Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Author Interview with Michael Diack

Today I'll be chatting with Michael Diack, author of The Super Spud Trilogy, a fun, original collection of adventures starring some genetically engineered potato chips/crisps. If you'd like to check out my review of the book, you can click here.

Welcome to Rally the Readers, Michael! Thanks for answering a few questions today. You probably get this question a lot, but I have to ask it anyway—what inspired you to write a book about genetically engineered potato chips/crisps?

I actually wrote a short story in primary school when I was ten years old about Colin and Lucy the crisp packets. They come alive after their use-by date and, after becoming separated, meet up again in the local rubbish tip and live happily ever after. When I was 19 I remembered the story and went from there. Being older, I changed the tone of the story and I wanted to make it as funny, unpredictable, quirky and adventurous as possible. Being a student, I guess I thought the story would appeal to my age group primarily but during the editing process I made it accessible for teenage readers as well. The irony is I don’t even eat chips that much, I much prefer snacking on chocolate and sweets!

How did you decide which Super Spud personality best suited each of the various Super Spud flavors?

As you know, the key aspect of the story is that the ingredients of the flavouring influence the personalities of the different Super Spuds. For some flavours it was quite simple to match up, for example, the steak and spinach flavours are loaded with iron so they naturally become the strongest of the Super Spuds. I guess I had Popeye in my head, after he eats a can of spinach he becomes super strong and I wanted this flavour to also be strong, courageous and natural leaders – hence they adopt a military persona. Ready salted flavour, despite tasting nice, was always the most boring flavour on the supermarket shelf so I decided this Super Spud would have a boring personality to match – as no one ever bothered to excite their ingredients, then why should they bother to excite anyone’s life? At my school, most students always chose salt and vinegar flavours so I wanted to make this flavour super arrogant. This Super Spud flavour knew they were popular with the humans and assumed they would be too with fellow Super Spuds (although everyone despises them really). I guess I thought of the flavour first (some conventional, others invented), then I’d create their respective personality based on the name and packaging. Thinking of new flavours and the associated personalities is certainly the most enjoyable part of writing these stories.

King Henry the Super Spud makes a reference to the human King Henry VIII and his wives. In the book, King Henry the Super Spud goes a bit mad. The history nerd in me needs to know if this is a reference to another human king named Henry, Henry VI, who also went mad, or is it just a coincidence?

It’s certainly true that I wanted to reference our history and draw parallels between our world and the Super Spud world. I thought this would be entertaining for the reader to read and recognize all the geographical, historical and cultural references. As for King Henry I definitely had King Henry VIII in my mind but not, I’ll admit, King Henry VI. Now I think about it, it probably would have been fun to have that character include all the different personalities of the different human King Henry's! In the story, he goes mad after being unable to cope with calling himself Frank and hiding his true identity as King Henry. Unless a Super Spud is a tuna flavour, for the most part they are unable to cope with long periods of using their brain and in the case of poor King Henry, it drove him mad.

G-James delivers an incredible speech in which he mentions just about every James Bond film. Was that difficult to write, or did it come together easily?

I’m a big James Bond fan and I knew I wanted to write a tribute to the films. I had the list of the films in front of me and I just began writing the speech, some parts worked well I think but sometimes I had to be quite obscure to fit some of the film titles in, especially Octopussy. It was great fun to write though and I think it is the longest speaking part of any Super Spud in the three books.

Which Super Spud do you think you’d be best friends with?

It would be good to be friends with a steak and spinach flavour because you know a general would always save your life in dangerous situations, although it’s unlikely they’d be around for long enough. I think Colin would have been the best choice, his strawberry and cream personality was normal in comparison to everyone else and all he wanted was to stay safe, find love and be happy. I guess King Martin would be a good friend to have as well, he was very rich and would pay for everything, even if he’s likely enlist you in some crazy adventure every other day.

I read on your blog that there’s going to be another installment of Super Spud adventures. Can you talk a little bit about what’s in store for the Super Spuds this time around?

I listened to all the feedback and reviews from The Super Spud Trilogy and I wanted to make Book 4 as strong as possible. The story focuses on four main characters and is one big plot where everything leads up to the final confrontation, so it’s a lot more conventional in that way. The story starts with King Martin going to China to rescue G-Boa, and then sees the Super Spuds sail the oceans, visit America, walk around Hollyspud, fly on Air Spud One, fight against zombies, pirates and even make a trip to the moon. The key thing with the next story is a lot of the action takes place at sea with the inclusion of the sea salt flavours. I hope readers will find it just as enjoyable.

And now for the obligatory random questions:

Favorite author?

JRR Tolkien

Favorite movie?

The Shawshank Redemption

Coffee or Tea?


First thing you’d buy if you won the lottery?

A beer

Favorite place to write?

On my sofa with my laptop and music playing

Thanks again for your time, Michael!

About Michael Diack

Hi, my name is Michael Diack and I’m 26. I studied geology at the University of Manchester and, after graduating, I was lucky to find a job in Oman working for a geophysical company. I enjoy table tennis, music, films, football, sailing and writing about magical potatoes with a taste for adventure and humour. I’m also a proud geek and I enjoy computer games and playing a four hour game of Risk with my friends. I always wanted to be a volcanologist, like Pierce Brosnan in Dante’s Peak, but I enjoy my current job and lifestyle. I released my debut novel back in April 2012 as a paperback and e-book for Kindle.

You can find Michael on his blog, Twitter, and Goodreads.


  1. Great interview! I'll have to check out his books. They sound fun! :D

    1. The Super Spud Trilogy is a lot of fun to read! I laughed out loud quite a few times.


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