Tom Fletcher is one of pop’s good guys. Despite the massive success of his band McFly over the last 13 years he has managed to remain grounded and humble. All hail Tom!
We all blame Dougie…
But not only is Tom a musical genius, but also he is also a writer and true master of all forms of creativity (alright Mr. Perf…*shady eyes*).
Tom released his first full length children’s novel ‘The Christmasaurus’ on 6th October and it’s been so bloody successful that they’ve only gone and adapted it into stage show already!
We decided to have a chat with Tom about the success of the book and ‘The Christmasaurus Live’…
Hey Tom! Could you start off by telling us a bit about the book and stage play?
Sure! It’s about a young boy, William Trundle, and a very special dinosaur called The Christmasaurus. They meet and become friends because they both have something in common – they both feel they are different. They meet by chance on Christmas Eve and have a a truly magical Christmas adventure as they try to discover what their hearts truly desire.
What was your inspiration for the story?
I love Christmas and dinosaurs so the idea of combining those two was pretty obvious to me. The young boy William is a wheelchair user and I just had this idea of a young boy in a wheelchair being pulled through the sky by a dinosaur like a reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh and I just connected emotionally with that image. It was an amazing journey writing it and discovering about young wheelchair users and making sure there was a real strong message in the book.
What was the point when you decided this idea was going to become a book?
Well, I’d been writing kids picture books for a while with Dougie and I had wanted to write a novel for quite some time. I knew it took a lot of focus and dedication to do it so I wanted it to be the right thing and everything just fell into place.
I could really see the idea as a musical, but the nice thing about writing a book is that you get to create that world first. It comes straight from your mind onto the page. Then, when you turn it into the stage show, you always have the book as the point of reference. I also feel like people have some sort of emotional investment in books. When you’re writing a book you spend so much time with those pages, learning those characters and the way you see them in your head.
I didn’t know it would be be adapted into a stage show this fast. The book had only been out a couple of months and then I found myself standing on stage as one of the characters. It was a bizarre end to a bizarre year. It’s been an amazing creative process.
You are the king of all forms of creativity right now!
It’s quite literally a dream come true. I love musicals and books and I’ve written this novel as well as music at the same time! I love to do all of it and I get to do it all in this one project so it really is amazing.
So I guess that means that McFly is a bit on the backburner right now?
Well, McBusted ended August 2015 and I thought we were going to go straight into the studio and record the new McFly album. But actually after two years of touring and a McBusted album not everybody was ready to start working on a new McFly album. We’ve been a band for 13 years so there’s no drama around that if people want to go and do other things or just chill out with their family. But because of that I had time on my hands to do something else. I can’t sit around and do nothing so that’s how ‘The Christmasaurus’ came about.
That’s very productive of you.
Yeah, and now everybody’s ready to get back into the studio and start working on new stuff. So it worked out really well!
Was it difficult to see the book adapted into a play for you?
Kind of. You have to be open-minded that not everything works. If you were to sit and read the whole book it would probably take four or five hours. You have to edit it down and make changes. But there’s something exciting to learn about what works on stage and exploring different characters. It’s important to not get too attached and then it’s actually really enjoyable.
Which part does it most break you heart to have left out?
Well it’s still in development so we’re still undecided as to what we will be leaving out and what we will be including. Actually though there are moments that I wrote that didn’t end up being in the book just because they weren’t necessary, but they were really nice moments and now we can re-explore them. Like for example some moments in songs which wouldn’t have worked too well if you had read it in the book, but now we can get that moment back on stage.
When will it be adapted into a film?
The movie’s in development now and has been for about a year, but an animated film takes a long time to make so we’re still a couple of years off at least.
What is your favourite part about Christmas?
I love to see friends and family. It’s that one time of year when it does bring everyone together. I love the music, the food and the movies.
What is your favourite Christmas film?
I love ‘The Snowman’. I know it’s not a full length movie, but one of my happiest things to do in life is to chill on the sofa with my kids and watch ‘The Snowman’. I’ve done it may times already this December.
And what’s your favourite Christmas carol?
We used to have a carol concert at school in the tube station. My favourite is ‘O Holy Night’.
When did you first wear a sleeveless sweater and which is your favourite?
Haha! Well, you know when you see those things and think I kinda want to try that but it’s a bit weird and no-one else wears them. I think I saw someone old wearing one and I decided to try it out and I haven’t looked back.
You’re owning the look! Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Tom!
Tickets are on sale here for ‘The Christmasaurus Live’ at the Eventim Apollo, London for December 2017.