Interview With Children's Author Maz Evans |

British Author Maz Evans on Crafting a Superb Story For Children

"Being part of a literature festival is just exhilarating – so much creativity in one space."

Posted on

26 January 2020

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British Author Maz Evans on Crafting a Superb Story For Children

A quick chat with the children's author who writes Greek mythology as you've never seen it before

Some of the world's most talented names in children's literature today will be landing in Dubai for the 12th edition of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, on February 4 - 9 at the InterContinental Dubai Festival City. Stars of school libraries, such as the author of the hit series Geronimo Stilton, will be at the annual celebration of books and art to hold Q&A sessions as well as themed events.

Award-nominated children's author Maz Evans is among the stellar line-up of special guests at Emirates Lit Fest. Evans has now written four books in the much-loved Who Let the Gods Out series for young readers, and she's bringing her workshop on creative writing for children to the festival along with a fun-filled interactive theatre for the little ones.

For the festival's 2020-run, Evans will host a fun-filled family morning packed with Greek mythology. Kids can join in on all the mythological mayhem with an interactive theatre based around her epic world from the "Who Let the Gods Out" series, promising an hour of giggles and games along with entertaining plus educational content.

For the budding children's authors in the UAE, her creative writing workshop "Cooking Up a Story Stew" will deliver her tremendous expertise in crafting a plot and create a superb story for children.

Ahead of Emirates Literature Festival, the EWmums team caught up with Evans on where she drew inspiration for her hit series, who she's keen to see at the event and much more...

Evans' professional writing in journalism began as a TV critic and a feature writer. Throughout her career, she has also bylined for many British titles. After working as a creative writing lecturer, she founded the creative writing programme Story Stew, which has brought her expertise and talents to schools and literary festivals across the UK.

She published her first children's book in 2017, receiving raving reviews from little readers, parents, and major papers.

"I’ve always been a writer of one kind or another, but as an avid childhood reader, the thought of writing a children’s novel was especially appealing," said Evans. "The urge really took hold when I had my own children – and they love having a Mum who writes books!"

In fact, her books are dedicated to her children, "As is everything I do."

One of the funniest bestselling titles today, Who Let the Gods Out follows the protagonist Elliot whose mum is ill and their home is under threat. He joins a shooting star named Virgo on a mission to seek the help of ancient Greek gods of legend.

"I was a massive fan of Greek mythology as a child, a love that stayed with me throughout my education and into my adult years," said Evans. "When looking for a backdrop for my debut novel, it seemed perfect."

Her series drew in fans for its hilarious new voice in children's literature, resulting in heaps of positive comments.

"The lovely Piers Torday described me as 'this generation’s Douglas Adams'. I nearly died of pride!"

Who Let the Gods Out by Maz Evans

The series' covers typically depict young Elliot surrounded by some of the books' unique characters. Though the saying goes that one shouldn't judge a book by its cover, the bold use of colours and illustrations for Who Let the Gods Out showed how involved Evans is in her work from front to back.

"A book’s fortunes can live or die on [the covers]. You can write like Shakespeare – but if no-one picks up your book to buy it, who will ever know? "

Evans said that she constantly draws inspiration and support from other writers: "The UK children’s writing community is incredibly supportive and I’m constantly turning to my friends for help and advice. They are a lifeline and I adore them."

With the Emirates Literature Festival coming up, the author expressed her excitement on meeting everyone - from authors to festival-goers.

To Evans, being part of a literature festival is exhilarating.

"So much creativity in one space. I especially enjoy meeting artists whose work I am not familiar with – it’s a privilege to broaden one’s horizons in such a beautiful way. "

Where to meet Maz Evans at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

Who Let the Gods Out Show

  • Workshop: Maz Evans: The Who Let the Gods Out Show (Event No. 55)
  • Date: Saturday, Februay 8, 2020
  • Time: 10 am - 11 am
  • Location: Al Ras 3, InterContinental, Dubai Festival City
  • Price: AED 39 | AED 35.10 (for Foundation Friends)
  • Buy your tickets.

Story Stew with Maz Evans

  • Workshop: Cooking up a Story Stew - Workshop with Maz Evans (Event No. 830)
  • Date: Friday, Februay 7, 2020
  • Time: 3:30 pm - 4:30 am
  • Location: Al Amwaj 2, InterContinental, Dubai Festival City
  • Price: AED 99 | AED 89.10 (for Foundation Friends)
  • Buy your tickets.