We’re thrilled to welcome Chloe Perrin into The Reading Realm today to talk about their book HIS ROYAL HOPELESS, which is published by Chicken House!
CHLOË PERRIN is a North Walian writer who currently lives in West London studying Creative Writing at Brunel University.
They love to feed crows, prefers Halloween to Christmas and was frequently told off as a child for reading in class. Chloë has previously worked as a youth worker, drama tutor and professional storyteller, having always believed that the best way to teach anyone anything is through a story.
HIS ROYAL HOPELESS was longlisted for the 2019 Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Prize and is their debut novel.
What is your favourite childhood memory of reading?
In my childhood home we had an attic room full of books, and I used this amazing book cave as my own personal library. Left to my own devices, I read sooo many Clive Barker books (for any non-horror fans, this was NOT an appropriate reading choice for tiny me and probably answers a few questions people might have about my personality today).
My favourite reading memories are an amalgamation of sneaking these gore-infested books into school, such as hiding them under the table to share a particularly gory part with a friend, or seeing the teachers hilariously panic while their minds raced with “how do we take the book off this child without putting them off reading forever”.
What are you reading and enjoying at the moment?
I’ve just finished Joseph Fink’s brilliant The Halloween Moon, where Halloween-obsessed Esther Gold is stuck in an endless Halloween night. It has loads of really beautiful moments exploring the concept of growing up, and it’s also genuinely creepy! Esther Gold-aged me would have been obsessed with this book.
Can you tell us about a book that made you cry?
I’m a huge crier, so it’s less a question of “did this book make me cry” and more “how dehydrated was I after crying at this book”. I also cry at everything. The last book I cried at was Terry Pratchett’s The Monstrous Regiment (I’m a huge Pratchett fan so I’m sobbing my way through the Discworld). I also cried at Richard Pickard’s The Peculiar Tale of the Tentacle Boy and Alex Foulkes’ Rules for Vampires – neither of which are particularly sad, they’re both brilliant weird and wonderful adventures, I’m just a wimp.
I’ve cried at The Simpsons before, if that gives you more of a benchmark.
Can you tell us about HIS ROYAL HOPELESS?
His Royal Hopeless follows Robbie, a very un-evil heir to an extremely evil dynasty, as he tries to prove his own exceptional evil-ness. The story is partially inspired by my experience growing up as a queer neurodivergent person, constantly being told you’re doing things wrong but never really understanding why or how. I reckon a lot of people can relate to Robbie in that way!
Ultimately, HRH is a (hopefully) funny book about figuring out what it means to be you, and trying to fit in with a family that frequently tries to kill you. I promise it’s less gory than a Clive Barker book.