#AuthorInTheSpotlight Ron Butlin @RonButlinMakar @BCKidsBooks #SteveFranDan

Having read and reviewed his recent books about The Trolls, I’m delighted to welcome Ron Butlin to the blog today as part of the blogtour for Steve and Frandan Take on the World. Ron has kindly completed my Author in the Spotlight questions so read on to find out more about him.

First of all, would you tell my blog readers a little about yourself?

I am novelist, poet — I am a former Edinburgh Poet Laureate — playwright and opera librettist. Recently I began writing for children and have now published three books — the two trolls books and this adventure novel for 10 to 14 year-olds, Steve & FranDan Take on the World. I wish I’d discovered writing for children earlier. I really, really love it!

What inspired you to start writing?

When I left school I became a song lyricist with a band, a barnacle scraper on Thames barges, a footman / butler and a male model. When the band spit up I continued writing song lyrics which then, without music, turned into poems. After two books of poetry I began writing short stories, then novels and plays. And now, best of all, writing Trolls and FranDan!


Tell me about your journey to publication

When I started writing Steve & FranDan Take on the World I had no idea it was going to be so much fun, and be so exciting. No sooner had Steve and his friends got out of one scrape than they were right in the middle of another. I could hardly write fast enough to keep up with them.

Every evening I read a few more pages to my wife. She loved it. And kept on at me to write even faster. The pressure was really on! Finally the book was finished. Phew! Time for a rest, I thought. No chance.

Since the book has come out I have had great fun going to schools and festival. The publisher had a special Steve & FranDan t-shirt made. I wear it with pride!


In a nutshell, what is your latest book about?

Steve and FranDan (Fran and Dan are twins) are fed up with bullies, fed up with school and fed up with adults. They set off in a raft at midnight. Steve’s dog Nessie comes with them. Their trip soon turns into the biggest adventure ever when some seriously bad men show up. But once Steve & FranDan take charge, the adults don’t stand a chance!

Steve & FranDan Take on the World is a really gripping adventure. Total page-turner. Some people told me they couldn’t put the book down and read it in one sitting! See this link for some kids’ responses:



How did you come up with the title for your book?

 So much happens to Steve and FranDan (and to Nessie, of course) that once I’d written it, Steve & FranDan Take on the World seemed the only possible title!

How did you celebrate publication day?

On with the Steve & FranDan t-shirt and had two book launches. Full houses, lots of books sold and lots of fun!

Do you have a work in progress just now?

I have an adult novel, The Sound of My Voice, coming out in April. At the moment, I am sending Steve & FranDan off on a new adventure.

If you were on Desert Island Discs, what one book would you take with you?

For a desert island – R.L. Stevenson’s Treasure Island would be perfect!


How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?

I am on Facebook and Twitter @RonButlinMakar and my always-needing-updated website has a special kids-only section  www.ronbutlin.co.uk

Ron’s book Steve and FranDan Take On the World, published by BC Books (an imprint of Birlinn Books), is available now in paperback and as an ebook. You can order a copy online by clicking here.

Watch Ron reading from his book

From the back of the book

Steve has had enough – enough of cyber-bullies, enough of adults messing up the world. Sharp-witted Fran and her brother worry-wart Dan feel exactly the same. And so, along with his dog Nessie, Steve and the FranDan twins leave town in the dead of night to start on the biggest adventure of their lives …

But if things were bad before, they soon get worse. Much, much worse. Some seriously bad men show up. Why have Steve and Dan been overpowered and led away as prisoners? Why are they kept tied up in the barn of a disused farm?

Having managed to escape, and with no way to call for help, Fran knows it’s up to her to mount a one-woman rescue.

 Follow the rest of the tour by visiting the following blogs


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