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Jennifer Bell 
Q&A

Author of the action-packed, video-game inspired adventures 'Wonderscape' and 'Legendarium' in a Q&A! 
My review of  'Legendarium' is here.

1. In Legendarium you explore lots of brilliant legends from the Pied Piper of Hamelin to Yeti’s, but also some more obscure maybe lesser known legends. What’s your favourite legend of all time? Did you come across any interesting ones whilst researching for this book?

The most interesting legend I discovered during my research was the legend of the lost Incan city of Paititi. I found it so fascinating, I decided to feature it in Legendarium. People have been trying to locate the city for hundreds of years. Some versions of the legend describe Paititi as a city of incredible riches, hidden in the remote rainforests of Peru. It was allegedly founded by Atahualpa, the last ruler of the Incan people. My favourite legend of all time would probably be the story of Robin Hood because the characters are all so larger than life – Marion, Little John, the Friar, Will Scarlet. Plus, there have been some cracking Robin Hood movies made over the years.

 

2. If you were playing Legendarium, or even stuck in Wonderscape, who would be your top picks for teammates? Real of fiction, dead or alive!

Good question! From fiction, I’d choose Samwise Gamgee for moral support and perhaps someone wise and powerful like Yoda. I think Tim Peake would make a great a teammate because astronauts are trained to deal with difficult situations without getting panicked.

 

3. I know that your love of games is part of the inspiration for both Wonderscape & Legendarium. What are some of your favourite games that you’d recommend to readers?

The great thing about video games, just like books, is that there’s something out there for everyone. I’ve previously enjoyed The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Nintendo Switch. Both of those were really fun to play and not too difficult. For something more story-heavy, try Horizon Zero Dawn. It follows the story of a young girl, in a world overrun by machines, who sets out to uncover the mysteries of her past.

4. Are there any legends that you might believe in, even a little bit?

I’ve never come across a legend that I believe to be true, however I do believe in the power of legends as stories. The reason legends persist is because people love hearing about them. Tales of charming bandits, long lost cities and secret monsters have a unique appeal for that exact reason – you never know if they’re true or not.

5. At one point in Legendarium, Arthur, Cecily and Ren have to come up with their own mottos – if you had to write one for yourself, what would be your motto?

Right now I’m in the middle of a writing deadline, so it would be: Keep calm and carry on.

Thank you to Jennifer Bell and Walker Books for the Q&A!