South London Press Interview With Gareth P Jones

Honor Oak Park resident Gareth P Jones is celebrating as he launches his new children’s book, Solve Your Own Mystery: The Monster Maker.

Image of Gareth P Jones

Set in the fictional town of Haventry, the reader plays the role of a yeti detective’s assistant who must solve a mysterious crime. You can follow hundreds of possible paths to work out which of the weird and wonderful characters could be the culprit.

Cover of Solve Your Own Mystery: The Monster Maker

He said: “I thought I’d write a book that has a selective element, but that also reads as a fun mystery. I went completely mad while writing. I had all these different possibilities in my head.”

Mr Jones is the author of 40 children’s titles, from Rabunzel, about a rabbit with long ears, to The Dragon Detective Agency. The inspiration for the latter came from his South London surroundings. He said: “When I was writing my first book, I didn’t have time to do much research, so I placed it in my locality.

“I used to live on the top of Forest Hill and I was watching squirrels jump across flat roofs and I came up with the idea of dragons jumping from rooftop to rooftop.”

Gareth, 47, who lives with wife Lisa and their two children Herbie, 11, and Autumn, 6, had an unconventional route into writing. Working as a TV producer on shows like The Big Breakfast, he then helped run Richard and Judy’s Book Club. When he found himself sitting next to a publishing bigwig, he mentioned he’d written a children’s book and the rest is history.

Thankfully it won’t be the last you’ll hear of the Solve Your Own Mystery books as Fulham-based publishers Little Tiger have commissioned three more in the series. The second is about a missing time sponge kept by Bernard the time-bending lobster.

“When you squeeze it, it freezes time for everyone around you except for you,” said Gareth. “Writing a book is usually a run of madness. But writing these books are even madder than the usual madness.”

Gareth can be found at @jonesgarethp
Read the interview on the South London Press' website here