Interview with Author

1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, your age, your family, your hobbies and interests.

My name is Temi Owolabi, I am 12 years old and I live with my mum, dad, and younger sister. I am interested in Space as there is still so much left for us to uncover, discover and learn about the things happening in and outside our Solar system. Aside from this, I also love to play video games and enjoy playing sports like tennis and rugby.

2. How long have you been writing?

I have been writing for 2 years now.

3. What made you want to start writing, not just reading?

To start with, I enjoy reading Sci-fi and adventure books. I enjoy reading books that captivate and take the reader to an unknown place. A weird but adventurous and thrilling plot that keeps the reader engrossed till the end. I only stumbled on writing recently, 2 years ago. In the summer of 2020, I joined a creative writer’s camp led by Mrs. Sophia Ovonlen. My parents insisted that I join the summer camp during the Covid-19 pandemic and school lockdown to improve my writing
skills and as a means to keep me busy at home. It was a good decision. Upon finishing the virtual writing camp, I received a star writer’s award. I was then given the opportunity to write a book in a 1-year creative writing academy. I took
up the writing challenge and my writing journey started. My choice of genre is Sci-Fi.

4. Please tell us a bit about your new book.

My new book is called ‘Lost in Space: The story of Tom Walker’. It’s an action-packed adventure sci-fi adventure which contains the explorations of the main character, Tom Walker, who ventures across the Universe (with the help of his family) in the hopes of finding his father, who mysteriously disappeared on Tom’s 11th birthday.

5. Is this your first book? What inspired you to write it?

Yes, this is my first book. What inspired me was the current news at the time, in 2020, which was all about SpaceX launching astronauts into space, aboard the Dragon spacecraft, and boarding the International Space Station. This was done as an act to preserve American Aeronautics as they had not sent a man to space in over a decade. I thought that this event was quite important as it indicated that people are still trying to uncover all the secrets and mysteries of the universe, as our world is a minuscule part of the Universe. I was also inspired by the different lessons I have had relating to Coding and Space. Since then, I have been writing and the result has presented my debut novel, Lost in Space, an action-packed adventure science fiction book.

6. What things have you read or done that have especially helped your writing?

I participated in a coding project where I wrote a Raspberry Pi code of a snowman as part of the European Space Agency Astro-Pi mission zero-project. The project was later shown to the astronauts above the Indian Ocean and displayed at the International Space Station. Getting a certificate from the ESA astronaut, Luca Parmitano was ecstatic. I also attended a NextGen STEM session with the Association of Black & minority engineers AFBE-UK where I had the opportunity of learning from a NASA engineer about the NASA Robonaut and other technical robotics used in Space. Few of the plots in my book are based on these learnings and I appreciate all the interactive educational platforms for kids that I used and that helped my writing like the NASA space exploration website, ESA mission project, and AFBE-UK NextGen STEM lessons on Saturdays and so on.

7. What was the easiest and hardest part of writing this book.

I’ve got to say, like other things that cross one’s way in life, writing a book brings its happy and sad times – the easy and challenging parts. The easiest part was probably writing the book itself. I find it easy to write creatively, so it wasn’t much of a challenge.

On the other hand, proofreading the book and editing it was a much more formidable challenge. Even with the help of my parents and my coach, it still took days and weeks where I would stay up, sometimes even till 1 AM, proofreading and editing out any typo errors. I vividly remember a time when at a point in the book, I was describing a dream (It was quite hard!) and we argued about it for ages! Writing a dream and making it seem real as well as using the right tenses or writing in 1st person or 3rd person was a huge challenge. Halfway through my writing, I had writer’s block and felt like I wouldn’t be able to complete the book.

I’m glad that I finally finished it. It has been quite a journey and I am glad that I took up the challenge to write the book.

8. How did you come up with the title?

The title ‘Lost in Space’ was pretty easy to come by, as it fully described the plot of the book. But there is also a series on Netflix called ‘Lost in Space’ (It’s very interesting), so I couldn’t use that exact title. Instead, I altered it a bit so it still described the plot, but wasn’t already copyrighted. That’s how the Title ‘Lost in Space – The story of Tom Walker’ came about.

9. Are there any similarities between you and any of the main characters?

At the time I started writing, I was 11, like Tom is. As well as this, you’ll find out in the book that Tom talks to himself a lot, which I do a lot too. Unlike me, though, Alice (Tom’s younger sister) likes to talk a lot in general, which is similar to my sister, and Jane (Alice’s Twin Sister) likes to research different things off the internet, which is very similar to my Mum.

10. Do you have any special interest in space travel? Perhaps you would like to be an astronaut or visit NASA?

I have an interest in Space travel and I find it awesome how people venture into the unknown to explore and analyze the planets around us. At the moment, I am not very sure of my desire to be an astronaut but I would love to visit some of the NASA exploration sites – Kennedy Space centre Florida, Vanderberg Air Force Base for Space Launch, or any of the Research & Science centres.

11. What lesson(s) would you want readers to take away from the book?

I want readers to take away a lesson that teaches them that you can do anything if you put your mind to it. It sounds cliché, but it speaks the truth. If you know truthfully in your heart that you CAN do this, then nothing should stop you from achieving it with a smile on your face. I tell myself that all the time.

12. What themes did you explore in the story?

I explored mainly the theme of Space Exploration, but on the side, I also explored themes like Extra-terrestrial beings, AI and more.

13. What are the challenges you encountered in writing and publishing the book?

I would say that there were a few challenges along the way. It took about 1 year 6 months to complete writing, editing, and finally publishing the book. During this period, I started a new school (boarding), met new friends and I had to combine my school work alongside the creative writing lessons. I attended creative writing lessons to review each chapter on Saturdays after my school games. Most times, I get very tired but I still attended the class. Another challenge was the frequency with which I changed plots. So many ideas were real & visible in my head and having to put that into writing and have a consistent plot structure was a challenge. I eventually surmounted all these challenges with the help of my coach.

14. What inspires you as a writer in general? What have you learnt in your journey as a writer and your advice to others?

Anything and everything inspire me. Though, I like writing about Space, scenery, and nature, as nature is around us everywhere and it is still beautiful, despite human impacts due to climate change and deforestation. What I have learned in my 2-years journey in writing which is essential is Authenticity. This means bringing in those true feelings and real-life experiences to boost one’s writing and the other is Creative imagination – bringing those imaginations and ideas to life. The ability to think on the spot, as this will help you write the book faster and more effectively, is something that children have naturally. If you can harness it and use it effectively, it won’t be long before you notice your writing work shining bright.

15. What book(s) are you reading now?

At the moment, I am reading the Power of Geography by Tim Marshall and before that I had finished reading the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins.

16. Who are your favourite authors and what do you admire in their work?

My favourite authors are Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games, Under land Chronicles) and J.K Rowling (Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts) because of the exciting adventures that they bring to their books along with suspense and many more characteristics that make their books stand out for me.

17. What are your current projects, in writing or something else?

I don’t really have any other projects in writing, other than the 2nd book, but at the moment I am doing lots of charity projects for children living in poverty. I feel that more people should be doing things like this as it helps people in these difficult times. To do this, though, you have to understand that you could have been in their position and it is not their fault for being in that situation. So, every little helps. You can learn more on my charity adventures at

18. What’s next for this story? Are you working on the next book?

I plan to write a next book and make this a series. I will be working on the next book soon and it will be a continuation from the ending of the first book, taking surprising twists along the way. Watch this space!

19. Do you have any advice for other young aspiring writers like you?

My advice to young aspiring writers is, don’t give up, always take other people’s advice on your writing and correct yourself and finally, keep reading books, it’s an amazing way to keep your mind creatively active so you can write to the best of your ability.

20. Where can we get the book to buy?

It is available in all major stores like Amazon, Barnes and Noble etc. The publisher mentioned that it will be available at over 39,000 book retailers. So, please get your copy of ‘Lost in Space – the story of Tom Walker’. You can get more information on