Author Alex Scarrow spoke about his Time Riders books and hosted a history quiz when he visited Brooke Weston. Alex was inspired by the characters and events he devised in his former job as a computer games designer and they gave him the impetus for his novels.
He told students from Years 7 and 8: ‘About three years ago I was looking to write stories for your generation and I realised I had this treasure trove of ideas, all of those weird computer games that had never been made. Over the past few years they had fused together into one huge book idea, which was Time Riders.’
Alex showed the students a promotional trailer and read the first two chapters. The team comprises Liam O’Connor, Maddy Carter and Sal Vikram who should have perished in 1912, 2010 and 2029 respectively. Yet moments before certain death they are recruited by a mystery man in order to ‘mend’ corrupted history to prevent alternative scenarios, such as the Nazi domination of America, becoming reality.
Alex explained: ‘Time travel has been invented and the history that you and I know and share is already being changed, corrupted and contaminated by time travellers from the future. It has been really good fun writing about it because the idea is so huge. It encompasses all of history, even prehistory, but what is really magical and fun to play around with is all of those histories that have never had the chance to happen.’
Alex also told students about the power of the written word, particularly for teenagers and young adults: ‘One boy emailed to say that reading the book was like watching a big blockbuster movie. The beauty of books is that they are like a film on pages. I don’t have to worry about budgets or how expensive it would be to stage this story because inside every one of your heads is the world’s best-funded film studio with an unlimited special effects budget - your imagination.
'The great thing about actual books is that your parents are never going to tell you off for consuming this product, they are never going to break down, you are never going to have to update your operating system and, most importantly, you will never step into an experience quite as immersive as a book. Forget the 3DS, PlayStation and X-Box, books are quite simply the best portable entertaining platform in the history of mankind!’