Interview with Robert Whanslaw, Author of The Boy Who Changed His World

02 Jan 2024

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write The Boy Who Changed His World?

I wanted to write a story about real people. A story any of us could find ourselves in, given the circumstances. There were a number of things bouncing around in my head, and Potts, a Second World War hero, was there from the start. The location of Whitstable was where my parents owned a bit of land in the middle of nowhere and where I spent many childhood holidays, so this gave me the location with Potts living as a recluse. Callum sprung up later, who is the main protagonist coming from a troubled family. With the two main characters and location, the story started to piece itself together easily.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of The Boy Who Changed His World, what would they be?

In the book, there are many references to songs, so all of them. You’ll have to read the book to find the answer to that question.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

The two main genres I read are realistic fiction and crime noir. Realistic fiction I love as it makes you realise how close we all walk to taking a turn down some road that could change our lives forever. Crime noir fascinates me, showing characters driven by the dark side of human nature.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

I tend to make choices on the spur, but at the moment, anything by JoJo Moyes. I love the way she writes. She is somebody who knows how to grab the reader with her words and can convey such emotional feelings that open up the characters and bring them to life.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

All of them. There was not one scene I did not enjoy writing. When I write, I get into the character mentally and emotionally, so it’s impossible not to get totally absorbed in the scene. If I am not fully into the characters or the scene on the page, it doesn’t make it into the book. It’s a pretty exhausting experience, and I definitely need a holiday by the end of it.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

I am not aware of any; that’s not to say I don’t have them. Maybe it would be best to ask my wife that question.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

I like to make a conscious effort to do a good deed or help someone each day. I believe in the butterfly effect. I hope that my good deed gets passed on and is amplified around the world. And if it doesn’t, it makes me feel better about myself for the day.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

The story is about friendship and how that can better your life. It’s sometimes forgotten in a world where we are all so busy and consumed with technology firing information at us every second of the day. But friendship is important, and that is the one thing it would be nice to think a reader takes away with them.


Robert Whanslaw is the author of the new book The Boy Who Changed His World

Connect with Robert Whanslaw

Author Site



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