H.G. Sansostri is with us today on the ‘Lets Meet’ segment. At only eleven years old, Harrison Sansostri is an accomplished child actor having appeared in film, commercials and West End Theatre and has just published his first novel, ‘The Little Dudes Skool Survival Guide’ with Tiger Publications. An honest and funny account of school life and friendship.
This book is ‘The Anti-bullying Guide’ that manages to deliver a witty, sarcastic and sensitive read, on how to deal with ‘Your Bullies’. It’s realistic and full of wisdom.
‘Billy and Ethan’ bring the book to life with their different scenarios of ‘Skool’ life, that makes you feel you are there with them. They try their very, very best to get their message across on how to deal with ‘YOUR BULLIES’
H.G. Sansostri is definitely one young man to watch over the next few years. I have every faith in his success.
“I really enjoyed this book with lots of LOL moments”
GoodReads 5 star Review
“A great little read!!”
GoodReads 5 star Review
“This is a very entertaining and well written book and is a must for all primary school kids.”
GoodReads 5 star Review
Today he talks about becoming an author, his new book and what is next for this budding young talent.
MW: What is your genre? Why did you choose it?
HGS: My genre of my book is Anti-Bullying, Friendship, Primary-school life and Humour, pretty long list I know!
MW: Tell us about your path to becoming an author. Did you have any idea at the start what the process really entails?
HGS: I didn’t actually purposely choose to become an author!
I was having difficult times at school and decided to write them all down on my iPad. I didn’t know this, but mum thought it was so good she started emailing the chapters over to herself to save my work. She showed it to a publisher and we got a spark of interest from them. So my written observations and thoughts became a book!
MW: Mum’s are always right!!
I think you can only write about what you know or what inspires you.
How long did it take for your first book to go from an idea to a published work?
HGS: About a year. I was ten when I first started writing what became my published book and I finished it when I was eleven, though this is my second one as I had written a book already called W.C.P. (War Changes People) and I’m going back to that one to improve it.
MW: Seriously?! Two books? You are only eleven! That is fab!!
If the movie rights to your novels are purchased, how involved would you want to be in the process of bringing those stories to life on the screen?
HGS: If I had movie rights to my book? Heck yeah I would be straight on it!
I would want to play ‘Ethan’ (as he is practically me!) I would also like to be involved in the casting process and be on set with the director every day, as its very important that (The Movie) doesn’t change the importance of what you have tried to create in your book? (I also know a lot about filming as I’m a child actor.)
MW: Child actor! Wow, tell us more…
HGS: I have been for 6 years now. I’ve done lots of work and have been involved in film and theatre.
I played the part of ‘Percival’ in ‘Lord of the Flies’ in the West End (best job ever that one!) I played Lenny Darwin in a film for cinema called ‘Creation’ when I was seven years old. Paul Bettany played Charles Darwin, my Father and Jennifer Connelly played Emma Darwin, my Mother.
I also worked with Warwick Davies in a Christmas horror called ‘Tell Him Next Year’. I’ve also done lots of short films and commercials, though I enjoy Theatre over Film any day! That’s where you are truly acting.
MW: That’s a bit like books and me. I love my kindle and believe it is a marvellous invention. However, it doesn’t quite replace my love for the printed book; the smell, the feel of the pages, even better if it is an ear chewed second hand version!
Do you prefer e-book formats or the traditional paper and hardback versions?
HGS: I am the same as you Matilda, except one little thing, I have a dislike for the E-book. I cannot bear to think that eventually books will be extinct and be replaced with Kindles and such, because I know that nothing can replace the feel, smell, and touch of a lovely book, it’s just irreplaceable!
MW: Are you the type of person that constantly carries around a notepad to jot down ideas or are you more in the technical age and use a dictaphone or other sound recording devices?
HGS: Well, up until now, I have never ever jotted down ideas. I just keep the ideas in my head and let my fingers do the writing. If I forget something I just re-read my work so I can get back into the flow of the storyline. I guess as I write more twisting and darkening plots I will need to start making notes, I’ve still so much to learn about writing, as I tend to get my tenses mixed up when I write, that’s a hard one isn’t it?
MW: Yes tenses are difficult. I get told off by my editor for them and I find the whole ‘show not tell’ rule challenging at times too. But the difficulties are what make us grow us writers.
What tips or advice would you offer to writers who are about to join the published community?
HGS: No. 1 Listen to your fans. If they want a sequel or another book based on your first book then try and do it. If they have put in the time to read your book that they truly love and want you to write another one don’t refuse. Otherwise they’ll lose interest and may not want to read your new works. Mum has also taught me that ‘give and take’ with other people is very important, so exchange ideas with other authors and review their work, take on board criticism as well because that’s how you grow in anything you do.
MW: Yet again, mum is right! I’m beginning to see a theme appearing!!
You seem to have a good understanding of your readers wants. Which authors, past or present, have greatly influenced your style?
HGS: Some writers have inspired me, some have even hypnotised me with their amazing writing, but I don’t think anyone has actually influenced my style. I guess when I tried to write my first book it was based on what was happening to me at school and a lot of observations in the playground, made my book characters ‘Billy & Ethan’ really come to be. I’m also very young so I don’t think I have developed a style just yet.
The people that inspire me the most are:
My Mum - She’s always there for me, in everything I do.
Mark Haddon - I aspire to write like him!
Susanne Collins - Her Hunger Games trilogy- astounded me!
Anthony Horowitz - Love the Alex Rider series.
My librarian - She’s a nice lady that is always cheery and helps you out if you need a hand and is looking forward to getting a signed copy of my book!
MW: You are still at school. How do you balance your school and homework with your writing?
HGS: I always write after dinner, but if I feel really inspired I will tap away at my IPad because I will probably forget any new inspiration I have for my book. Also, I try to do all my homework first, get that out of the way, then relax on the X-Box, have my lovely dinner. Go to my room and write away, I find it very relaxing to write too.
MW: When you decided on your story, how did you set about researching?
HGS: I never researched as I never planned to write this book. It happened, because at the time I was writing down my observations on my school life and at the end of a school day I would think about how I felt alone and a little unhappy, so I wrote my thoughts and feelings on my Ipad, through the eyes of a boy called ‘Ethan’, being me of course! I decided to put it over in a witty way too, including my fictional buddy ‘Billy’ who just messes up all the time!
This book talks about school life, bullying and friendship, and what I have observed in school (from the playground bench) ‘The Packs’ well you need to read it basically!!! There were so many problems going on at the time that I had to write them down to show Mum...
Eventually, I thought it would be a good idea to turn all my notes into a book. Not a boring book though! I decided to add a little comedy to lighten it up and I introduced my two main characters; ‘Billy and Ethan,’ amongst the advice we gave out, I wrote in jokes and fights between the two characters and lots of quizzes.
Also what inspires me to write are the children at my school. Observation is key to my book because most of my characters are based on real life children! All the different personalities and looks gave me an endless amount of material to write about. A lot of the stuff in my book happened to me and, as you will see, the ways I solved the bullies with my brain power... ZAP!
MW: Let’s flip things around for a moment. As a reader, what factors do you consider when deciding whether or not to purchase a book?
HGS: Right, Myself and my Mum will go to Waterstones the big one in piccadilly circus, and we will spend a couple of hours there just picking up books and breaking in the first chapters, I instantly know if I would like to continue reading them, so it goes on our ‘to buy pile.’
A book has to invite you in from the ‘get-go’ and have a good inviting ‘blurb’ also the covers are so important because before you read the ‘blurb’ the book has to attract your attention!
I am currently reading ‘Who Could That Be At This Hour?’ and ‘Breathe.’ They are written by two amazing authors; Lemony Snicket and Sarah Crossan.
‘Breathe’ is an amazing book. Although it does have a slow start, it gradually builds up to a highly suspenseful moment. Revolving around three characters on a treeless planet, they are on the run from the ministry, the corrupt replacement for the government and the founders of the company ‘Breathe’ which allows the citizens to be given oxygen.
‘Who Could That Be At This Hour?’ is an astoundingly brilliant book. It does have the same slow start as ‘Breathe’ but becomes more and more interesting as it moves on. The book is based on two detectives; Thedora and Lemony Snicket. They are given the task to find out who has stolen the great statue of the ‘Bombinating Beast.’ They soon begin to realise that the item may not have been stolen after all, not even touched actually! These two books are a must read!
(Oh by the way I love exclamation marks and commas, when my book was edited they took out lots of commas!!!)
MW: Thank you very much. It was a pleasure to meet you. I think you have a lot more stories to tell and I look forward to watching your success.
To find out more about H.G. Sansostri and his books, visit
Facebook: H.G. Sansostri
Email: [email protected]
To buy The Little Dudes Skool Survival Guide on Kindle visit Amazon UK