If you haven’t yet heard of Rory H. Mather, don’t look away. In September 2020, he published his first picture book, Vlad’s Bad Breath, with Larrikin House. And now, this big kid with a beard has not one, not two, but SIX more books due for release over the next two years.

Not a fan of reading as a child, Rory H. Mather may have been inspired by a certain boy wizard to change his mind and is now rarely seen without a book in his hand.

As with many authors, Rory H. Mather uses the challenges he faced as a student to motivate him to write engaging stories that children want to read for themselves.

Keep reading below to find out what makes Rory tick.

Rory H. Mather-Vlad
Rory H. Mather-Vlad
Where do you get your inspiration and ideas for your books? 

My ideas can come from anywhere at any time. I have had ideas that have woken me up in the middle of the night. Other ideas have come from looking at an object or from hearing a word or phrase.

I got the idea for my debut picture book, Vlad’s Bad Breath, when I attended my friend’s talk on dental health. My friend didn’t mention vampires or anything like that, but while I was at the event, I started trying to think of good books about brushing your teeth – surprisingly there are not many – so I started thinking about how I could write one.

With all writing, if your goal is to get published, it’s important to look for the gap in the market.

I thought a book about a vampire that didn’t brush their teeth was fairly original.

What are your tips for children, or adults, who don’t know what to write?

Write one line.

Once you start, you have done the most difficult part of the whole task.

You can always remove it if you don’t like it, but getting that first line down is often all it takes to get the ideas flowing. You might even delete it later and replace it with something else but just put something down.

Which one of your books hold that special place in your heart? 

I only have one book currently out, but I have a heap of others coming out in the next year and a half. They all hold a pretty special place in my heart because they are all reminders that I am living my dream of being a published author.

Vlad’s Bad Breath will always hold the prime position in my heart because it was my first published book and is visually stunning. I cannot thank the wonderful team at Larrikin House enough for taking a chance with me and my story … they also hold a special place in my heart.

You’re only allowed to choose one – which of your characters is your favourite?

Oooh, another tough question because you haven’t met most of my characters and I don’t want to give too much away.

I relate very well to Frank because as crazy as it sounds I have had smelly feet.

I also relate to Vlad because much as I hate to admit it … my breath can smell in the morning.

One character I really relate to is a character in a book coming out in 2021 whose name, coincidentally, is Roary. He is a lion. I don’t want to give away the story but I think everyone will be able to connect with Roary.

When you think about children reading your books, how does that make you feel? And, what do you want them to gain?

This has to be one of the best feelings in the world.

It’s like the first taste of your favourite dessert, but better.

I want people to get a love of reading from my books AND I really want them to laugh, giggle or smile … even on the inside.

If they could read one of my books whilst also eating their favourite dessert, that would be brilliant.

During Halloween and Book Week, I got to see some children dressed up as my characters and that is pretty much as good as it gets.

You can also keep tabs on when all those new books by Rory H. Mather are coming out through his Facebook page. Check out Rory’s dogs on Instagram and find out more fun facts on his website, where you can also book school visits and workshops. 

Rory H. Mather-school visits and workshops

If you’re keen to know more about our local authors, illustrators and storytellers and get some inspiration from them, or book them to come and talk to your school or group, have a look at our ever-growing profile and promo pages.