Colm Field

Kyan Green and the Infinity Racers
Colm Field

About Author

Colm Field gets called 'Colin' a lot. He lives in London with his three kids and his partner. Colm is happiest when he's excitedly writing a new story on his rusty old phone and his favourite mode of transport is walking, so obviously his debut children's novel is about high-speed multiverse-hopping on everything but feet.

David Wilkerson is a Black American illustrator from Maryland whose career began in the animation industry. He believes that there is healing in storytelling, and that it is the job of creatives to contribute to that cause. 



Kyan Green and the Infinity Racers  (Bloomsbury Children's Books)

February 2023

If you love your adventures with lots of action, high speed chases and multi-universe challenges, then you'll love Kyan Green and the Infinity Racers, which begins with an old, discarded racing track and ends in some incredible adventures including a trip to the races, a bank robbery and a journey in space....

We asked Colm Field, ReadingZone's Debut Author of the Month, to tell us more!

Read a Chapter from Kyan Green and the Infinity Racers

Q&A with Colm Field

1.   What's your day job, and what brought you into writing for children? 

Thanks for having me! I'm a builder by day, fixing stone in big houses, but I've been writing for ages. The job has actually helped the writing in some ways, as I work on my phone while going from site to site.

I always loved both reading and writing, since I was a kid myself, although it took a while for me to get my head around it being an actual job. Writing for children was something that came from reading and watching stuff with my own kids, and remembering the excitement stories can provide at that age.

2.  What happens in your new book, Kyan and the Infinity Racers?

So Kyan's helping his Dad plug leaks in the roof of their rundown rented flat, when he finds a toy racetrack, the Infinite Race. It seems… okay it seems old and rubbish, and he really just wants to get his chores done and get back on his tablet, but when the racetrack transports him to another dimension, right in the middle of a breakneck race with the prize of a million pounds, Kyan sees a way to help his family in their struggles with their mean landlord Mr Stringer.

The trouble is, like with all dimension-transporting toy racetracks, the Infinite Race is more complicated than it looks. The dimension it takes you to depends on the toy you put on it. Far from getting back into the race, Kyan lands himself - and his friends - into all kinds of police chases, alien encounters on underwater moons, and more.

3.   What sparked the idea for the Infinity Racers and a multiverse adventure?

The idea first came when I was playing toy cars with the kids. They were coming up with all these fantastical scenarios that the cars could enter, and I was watching them and thinking "how quickly can I go watch telly" because I love them, but life is short and it was beginning to feel shorter still, until suddenly it hit me - what if this track really did propel you to other dimensions? It was honestly a proper spark, one of those moments where I sat there transfixed with this idea, and the kids thought I was still playing with them but I wasn't even listening to a word they had to say!

4.   What do your children think of your book - did they help you with ideas?

The kids have been mega supportive about this coming out, it's been wicked to see them excited about it. I hadn't really talked clearly about writing it, so I think it came as a bit of a surprise to see the book, even though I'd filmed a trailer with my son and everything! Their own games always helped though, seeing what got them buzzing and what counted as really important when it came to their friends and family.

My younger children are too young to read Kyan yet. My eldest is just about reaching that reading age though. He asked me to read it to him, which felt big-headed, but it was mega to be honest - then I caught him swanning about with Bunny Versus Monkey the next flipping day, the traitor! So I've written him out of my will.

5.   There's lots to appeal to young gamers in the book - Are you a gamer? 

Yeah, I love games, so much so that I only really twigged that I'd included the gaming aspects when my editor Hannah pointed it out. I never have time to play much myself though, except with the kids. I used to love racing, shooting, and horror games, from Doom to Resi to Diddy Kong Racers. Now it's Fortnite, Minecraft, and Just Dance - although I swear I'm more enthusiastic about that last one than they are. Me and my partner are also going through old Halo, very slowly, one level every six months…

6.   How much world-building did you need to do before taking your characters to each of those worlds in the book?

The different worlds took a long time to create, but I did enjoy it. I really liked going into the science of each place, and using that to figure out why things might be what they are.

So with the Europa moon, I fell down a rabbit hole with the discovery of a massive ocean beneath its icy crust (as in, it came up on my news feed, I didn't personally discover it). Then it was a case of answering questions about what the inhabitants and landscape might be like - how would they see in an ocean without light, what might help them travel quicker, that kind of thing. My science is like my dancing, brimming with enthusiasm but not always accurate, so it took a while but it was a happy visit all the same.

7.   Which of the universes that Kyan visits would you like to experience, and why?

The universe where Earth has three suns would be fascinating, but that particular place is visited on horseback, and, like Kyan, both me and horses are happier when we're apart. So I'd have to take a car, which would take too many sparks from the endless storms to be sustainable, so I'd… oh my gosh I'd be a baddie! 🤘🤘🤘

8.   Can you tell us about Kyan and his friends - what does each of them bring to the adventures?

Well, Kyan's a bit of a mix of Lucky off Spirit and Tony Torretto (yup, we've got the cheap Netflix deal). He's a brilliant driver, fiercely loyal to his family… but through overconfidence he plunges butt-first into disaster and refuses to accept that he might need more help until it's often too late.

Luckily, Kyan has a mega group of friends. Luke is PROPER supportive, sometimes the cheerleader of the group, and sometimes its conscience, even if he can be slow to understand the things that Kyan's family can't afford that he can. Stefania is smart as, and while she might be both extremely caustic and unforgiving, it all comes from the care she has for her mates. And Dimitar, her brother, might seem surface - football, clothes and Romanian rap - but he's got depths, and is the first to understand why Kyan might be so desperate for his family to have more money.

9.   Who is your favourite supporting character (so many to choose from!) and are any of your characters based on people you know?

Alright, I need to clear this up for my partner's mother - I don't base any individual character on a single person. All the best and worst bits are magpie'd from everyone.

That having been said, life has given me a lot of reasons to be close with my partner's parents over time. And while I definitely didn't intend to portray her, David Wilkerson's excellent art for this book has somehow captured an uncanny likeness of my own kids' Grandma, without ever even seeing a photo of her. So there must be something there, and there's no way I'm risking my life by saying that my favourite character is anyone but the indomitable Loretta Green.

10.   What's next for the Infinity Racers? How many books are you planning?

I've got an idea for more books but I really want each one to work as a standalone story. So long as the crew can discover exciting new worlds while genuinely growing in themselves, I'll feel very blessed to be hanging out with them as they do. I can say that they'll be seeing things from very different perspectives next time round though…

When you're not writing:

What does a perfect day away from your desk look like?
I don't really use a desk, but I do like my construction work. So a perfect day is sunny, and I've just fixed enough stone to have a day off from thinking about bills, and the bus home is quick and quiet enough to write on, and I'll have a breakthrough with a story on the way. The kids are up for a game of manhunt in the park when I get back, followed by a game of Just Dance (obvs) after. Then they'll miraculously make their own way to their grandparents for some free childcare (cheers!), and me and my partner get a night out dancing, and we'll say we'll pick them up at ten the next morning, but everyone knows it'll be later and that's alright, 'cos we'll be taking them all for a movie and a posh meal afterwards whoop whoop!  Other than that, it's nothing too specific.

What are your favourite childhood films / books?
Books wise, I used to love the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew and Three Investigators, then moved onto Harry Potter, Tom Clancy (okay looking back that wasn't really for kids), Goosebumps and Point Horror. There's loads of new things out there that I know I'd've loved too - I got well into Amari (both books), I nicked my son's copy of the first After School Detectives series, and I just spent a day grouting listening to Cynthia Murphy's Win Lose Kill die which was MEGA.
Films wise… I always loved an adventure as a kid, preferably one with a lot of jokes - Back to the Future and Indiana Jones, the old Jurassic Parks I can really vividly remember going to see as my family had gone through a tough time and my Mum raced around to get the tickets and it felt momentous. Lord of the Rings still blows me away. Lately it's been Spiderman: Into The Spiderverse that I've been happy to see again and again, and some of the kids stuff on telly - especially Spirit and Fast and Furious: Spy Racers.

Which fictional character would you most like to be?
I'd love to say that I'm perfectly happy in my own skin, that how could I ever wish for another life with a wonderful family like mine. But being a Spy Racer would be insane, or getting signed up for Ravenclaw, or helping out detectives like the Hardys or Nancy Drew in a, you know, slightly more modern town, or…


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