Worst Week Ever: Monday interview
It’s the Worst Week Ever! And guess what, readers? It’s only Monday! Kidzone chatted to authors Matt Cosgrove and Eva Amores about their hilarious new book series.
Matt, our readers will be super familiar with many of your other books. How is this series different from your previous books? Matt: I’m definitely best known for my Macca the Alpaca picture books, but Worst Week Ever is very different. It’s written for older kids so it can be more cheeky, much weirder, a little bit gross and a whole heap funnier!
Tell us about Justin Chase. This poor kid really is having the worst week ever! What was the inspiration for Justin? Eva: Justin is a combination of me, Matt, both of our sons and everything embarrassing that has ever happened to all of us. Then we used our imagination to multiply the disaster factor by a hundred! He’s basically just a regular, quirky 12-year-old kid who’s VERY unlucky, but no matter what life throws at him, he keeps on going.
What made you decide to write a book series together? Matt: Eva and I actually met at university 25 years ago when we were randomly placed together for a group assignment. Since then we’ve collaborated on lots of different work projects, but this is our very first book together. We wrote it during lockdown, so it gave us something fun to channel our time and creative energy into while we were both stuck at home.
What was the writing/illustrating process like working as co-authors? Eva: It was a tonne of fun brainstorming all the disasters that Justin faces and talking through the plot together to plan out all the details. When it came time to write it all down, we worked in really different ways. I’m more hi-tech and use different apps typing straight into my computer, whereas Matt is lo-fi, old school and scribbles his words onto paper. Then we combined all the best bits together to make the story. When Matt was drawing the illustrations, I was in the same room so I could look over his shoulder and give my feedback (which he didn’t always appreciate!).
What do you hope readers take away from the book? Matt: Lots of laughs! My favourite thing is making someone else smile so we tried to pack as many funny situations into the book as possible. We also hope readers relate to Justin Chase’s resilience and realise that even during the ‘worst week ever’ you can still find humour, goodness and positivity, especially with the help and love of your friends and family.
What can readers expect when the Worst Week Ever! rolls on to Tuesday (the next book in the series)? Eva: I’m afraid poor Justin’s week is just going to get worse – and funnier! There are lots of clues in Monday as to what lies ahead for him, so all I can reveal for now is that his problems are going to really blow up!
What are a few things that would go a long way to making up a ‘Worst Week Ever’ for you? Matt: A genuine worst week ever in real life is probably touched by tragedy. Our book ISN’T about those worst things. It’s a silly, funny book filled with completely ridiculous situations like alien cat abductions and exploding toilets! We’ve definitely had our share of those kind of weeks, though, where it feels like everything is going wrong and you’re starring in an insurance commercial with phones dropped in toilets, accidentally smashed windows and mysteriously scratched cars, etc., etc.
And what would be part of your best week ever? Eva: In our book, when Justin gets in trouble from his teacher he travels to the comfort of his ‘Happy Place’ in his mind to escape. That imaginary Happy Place is full of the things that would make our best week ever in reality: yummy food, the beach, our family, plus funny YouTube videos!
When you’re having a bad day or the worst week, what do you like to do to feel better? What helps you turn things around? Matt: When everything feels negative, we think it’s important to focus on the positive things in your life. Talking to our friends or spending time doing fun things with our family always cheers us up. Going for a walk and appreciating nature, listening to upbeat music, reading a good book or watching a show that makes us laugh always brightens our mood. Or eating chocolate. Lots of chocolate!
Everybody, sometimes, has a rotten day or a week that is a shocker! It’s just part of life. But it’s also true that God is there for everybody, always, whenever the going gets tough. No matter who you are and what embarrassing or disastrous situation you find yourself in, God cares about you. “God is our shelter and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble” (Psalm 46, verse one).