Author interview

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Author Interview – Carolyn Waugh on her debut novella The Oasis Of Time

Published August 16, 2016 by bibliobeth

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AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY – CAROLYN WAUGH

Carolyn has worked in a laboratory for almost forty years now but in her spare time for pleasure and to de-stress she likes to read (a lot!), mostly fantasy and romance novels. Then a few years ago she started to jot down some notes which then turned into stories. Friends were interested and wanted to read them and when they had, they told her she should try and get them published. Carolyn tried a few publishers and unfortunately was rejected so gave up for a couple of years when she tried again and was accepted by an American publisher. She hopes that people who read the story enjoy it as much as she enjoyed writing it.

Click on the book to get to the link to Good Reads!

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For my review of The Oasis Of Time, please click the link HERE.

INTERVIEW WITH CAROLYN WAUGH

I’d like to welcome Carolyn to bibliobeth today and thank her very much for her time in giving this interview.

1.) Have you always been a big reader and what’s the earliest memory you have regarding something to do with reading?

Yes, I’ve always been a large reader, usually reading up to five books a week! My earliest memory is my mother teaching me how to read, I must have been about four years old so I could read before I went to school which I found very useful.

2.) What was your favourite book to read as a child or teenager?

Fiction mainly, because it was something I found you didn’t have to concentrate too hard on but I do like Alistair MacLean as well and people like that – anything with a bit of murder and intrigue in!

3.) If you had to live on a desert island for six months what three books would you take with you?

Does a series of books count as one?! (bibliobeth: Yes, I think it could!) Okay, I would take the Harry Potter series, probably the series I’m reading at the moment by Sherrilyn Kenyon which is a group of books of all different types (I’m reading Dark Bites at the moment) so you don’t get bogged down into one type of book and lastly, War And Peace – I can be quite eclectic in my tastes!

4.) The Oasis Of Time is your first published novella with Amazon. Have you any plans to write a full novel or do you prefer to write short stories/novellas?

I like writing short stories but I would like to try, maybe in the future, my hand at a novel but I would like to see how the short stories take on first and see if they can sell. I know I’ve given them to several friends and they seem to enjoy reading them which is good. The problem is trying to get them published as it seems to cost so much unless you’re a published/known author as people aren’t willing to take that risk on you.

5.) Jay and Lilly don’t have the easiest start to their relationship for one reason or another, do you think they change as people through what they both experience?

I think they do because they don’t have certain emotions until they both meet. This brings out both the best and the worst in them and also brings something entirely new to the relationship, something different.

6.) I love the magical quality present in The Oasis Of Time. Is magic a big part of your work?

I think everyone needs a little bit of magic or paranormal to get them out of this world at the moment because there is such death and destruction, everyone needs a bit of light-heartedness and fantasy to take them away and take their mind off it a bit.

7.) Is there a happy ending for Jay and Lilly and might we see them again in a future story?

There is a happy ending and you never know, you might do! I might get the idea of bringing them back for a “part two.”

8.) Are you working on anything at the moment and can you tell us a little bit about it?

Yes I am and it’s a ghost story…. you’ll have to read it when it’s finished!

 

 

Once again, a HUGE thank you to Carolyn Waugh for giving up her time to do this interview and for her wonderful answers to my probing questions! The Oasis of Time was published in e-book format on March 10th 2015 by M-Y Books Ltd and is available to buy now.

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Author Interview – Fredrik Backman on his novel My Grandmother Sends Her Regards And Apologises

Published June 13, 2016 by bibliobeth

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FREDRIK BACKMAN – A BIOGRAPHY

Fredrik Backman, a blogger and columnist, is the bestselling author of My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry and A Man Called Ove. Both were number one bestsellers in his native Sweden and are being published around the world in more than thirty-five languages.

Click on the books to get to the link to GoodReads!

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For my review of A Man Called Ove which I talked about with my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads, please click HERE.

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For my review of My Grandmother Sends Her Regards And Apologises, please click HERE. Please note, this book has also been published as My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry.

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Britt-Marie Was Here is Fredrik’s new novel, published on May 3rd 2016 by Atria Books which features one of the wonderful characters from My Grandmother Sends Her Regards And Apologises.

INTERVIEW WITH FREDRIK BACKMAN

I’d like to welcome Fredrik to bibliobeth today and thank him very much for his time in giving this interview.

1.) Both your debut novel, A Man Called Ove and My Grandmother Sends Her Regards And Apologises feature complex characters with hidden depths. Which character have you most enjoyed writing (past or future novels) and why?

I think I’m always most fond of the character I’m writing at the moment. I think it has to be that way, maybe not unlike a relationship, you have to be in love with the person you’re with right NOW. You can still be friends with the old characters, but you have to invest your time and your attention to the one you’re with right here. To be honest I think my feelings about the characters go as far as me almost forgetting things about the characters in my old books, since I’m too invested in the present. People sometimes asks me detail questions about an older book and I have to answer “I don’t remember, I have to re-read what I wrote”. That’s not to say I don’t care about the old characters, I really, really do, but the present characters consumes all of me. My thoughts and my feelings and my memories and my plans. My experience is that whenever I write a book like that, giving it absolutely all I’ve got, then the characters become real people to me. I consider them actual human beings, so I begin to view and react to my old books more as documentaries. As if I did an interview with an actual person, wrote a book about it, and afterwards that person continued their life and went on to other things and had an existence without me. Does that make sense?

2.) When the story begins, Elsa has two superheroes in her life – her grandmother and Harry Potter, although she may gather a few more along the way! Who were your superheroes when you were younger, literary or otherwise?

I liked sports. That was my biggest pretend universe. I find sports to be the same kind of escapism as literature or movies of comics: You step into a place where everything is made up but we pretend it’s real. We pretend it matters. We invest real feelings into it. And the second we decide we don’t want to, it all falls apart. Star Wars and Lord of the Rings would be nothing without an audience, and football is the same thing. It’s all pretend, and deep down we know, but we NEED that as human beings. When talking about that psychological model “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs”, where human needs such as “food/housing/friendship” and so on are listed in a pyramid, I always find it odd that “imagination” is never listed. Everyone I’ve ever met has something going on in their head that is all made up, and is absolutely vital to them. It can be movies or books or sports or music or whatever. I don’t know if that answers your question. But if not, I answer “Astrid Lindgren”. She’s my absolute favourite writer. If you don’t love her you and me have nothing in common in life at all.

3. One of my favourite characters in the novel is the brave and biscuit-obsessed “wurse.”I’ve already got a mental image of him in my head but please satisfy my curiosity and tell me what breed of dog he most resembles to you? (If he were a dog of course and not a wurse!)

Well, he’s a wurse. They look they way they look. Like a wurse. It’s like asking “what does a horse look like?” It’s not a thin rhino or a very big monkey or a hairy snake. It’s just a…horse.

And I really wanted to write it the way so that every reader can cast it themselves. I wanted to force people to use their imagination. Which of course backfired, because now I’ve, true story, have had more than thirty different email discussions with people from at least six different counties who’s written me to tell me “DOGS CAN’T EAT CHOCOLATE THEY WILL DIE!!!”. And I answer “well it’s not a dog”. And they reply “DOGS CAN’T EAT CHOCOLATE YOU MORON!!!”. And I answer “well it’s a wurse, not a dog”. And they reply “YOU KNOW NOTHING OF DOGS THEY ARE ALLERG…”. And I answer “IT’S NOT A BLOODY DOG!!! IT’S A BLOODY WURSE!!!”.

4.) Elsa’s grandmother is responsible for the most terrific fairy-tales and the creation of many kingdoms. Do fairy-tales still hold a special place in your heart as an adult?

I think any adult who doesn’t hold a special place for fairy-tales needs to get help.

5.) Are you working on anything at the moment and can you tell us a little bit about it?

I’m writing a book to be published in Sweden this autumn. It’s a lot more serious than my precious ones, according to ones who’ve read it. Less jokes, more story, and perhaps a bit darker. It’s different. So maybe everyone will hate it, I don’t know. But it’s what I wanted to write right now and I thought I have to take the chance now that the publishers actually WANT to publish my books. Because that will all change as soon as they figure out I don’t really know what I’m doing here.

And now for some quick fire questions!

E book or real book?

I don’t care. I read a lot of printed books, I read a lot of others on my phone. I have two kids, I don’t have the luxury of choosing HOW to read. If I get to read I read anything. And “real” book? What does that even mean? “You do book or you do not do book. There is no try.”, as Yoda might have put it.

Series or stand alone?

I’ve always viewed series as just a REALLY long stand alone. Divided into smaller chunks. So…both?

Fiction or non-fiction?

Fiction. Easy. There’s quite enough reality in reality.

Online shopping or bookshop trawling?

Bookshop trawling.

Bookmarking or dog-earing?

Dog-earing.

Once again, a HUGE thank you to Fredrik Backman for giving up his time to do this interview and for his frank and very funny answers. My Grandmother Sends Her Regards And Apologises was published on June 16th 2015 by Atria Books and is available to buy from all good book retailers now! I’m very much looking forward to reading his next novel, Britt-Marie Was Here so look out for a review of it on bibliobeth very soon.

Author Interview – Helen Grant on her Forbidden Spaces YA trilogy

Published January 20, 2016 by bibliobeth

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HELEN GRANT – A BIOGRAPHY

Helen Grant was born in London. She read Classics at St.Hugh’s College, Oxford, and then worked in Marketing for ten years in order to fund her love of travelling. In 2001 she and her family moved to Bad Münstereifel in Germany, and it was exploring the legends of this beautiful town that inspired her to write her first novel, The Vanishing of Katharina Linden. She then moved to Brussels for three years, and now lives in Scotland with her husband, two children and two cats. Her most recent published novel is Urban Legends, an urbex-themed thriller set in Flanders.

Click on the books to get to the link to GoodReads!

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For my review of Silent Saturday, please click HERE.

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For my review of Demons Of Ghent, please click HERE.

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For my review of Urban Legends, please click HERE.

Why not check out some of Helen’s back catalogue too? Here are the next two on my must read list:

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Helen’s debut novel The Vanishing of Katharina Linden was published in April 2009 and was short-listed for both the Booktrust Teenage Prize and the CILIP Carnegie Medal.

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Helen’s second novel, The Glass Demon was published in May 2010 and short-listed for the ITW Awards Best Paperback Original category.

INTERVIEW WITH HELEN GRANT

I’d like to welcome Helen to bibliobeth today and thank her for her time in giving this interview.

1.) Your Forbidden Spaces novels are set in the beautiful country of Belgium. What inspired you so much about this country to use it as a setting for your trilogy?

We actually lived in Flanders in Belgium for three years, and much of the trilogy is inspired by things I experienced there (not the serial killing bit though, I’m glad to say!). When we moved to Belgium I was still working on my third book set in Germany (where we lived before that) but I was looking around for ideas for whatever I would write next. The area we had moved to was Dutch speaking so I started Dutch evening classes, and the teacher used to tell us snippets of local culture and traditions. Apparently in Flanders the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday is called “Silent Saturday” because none of the church bells ring that day. Children are told that this is because the bells have flown away to Rome to collect Easter eggs from the Pope! When I heard this story, the first thing I thought was that if I had been a little Flemish kid I would have been dying to get into the church bell tower on Silent Saturday and see if the bells really had flown away! And that was what inspired the very first scene of the first book in the trilogy. The heroine, Veerle, who is only seven years old at the time, climbs the tower of the village church with her friend Kris. They are a bit disgusted to discover that the bells are still there, i.e. the grown ups have lied to them. Then they look out of the window and see something terrible happening in the village below. That crime reverberates through the entire trilogy.

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The author, Helen Grant in Tervuren, the town where Veerle goes to school in the first novel, Silent Saturday.

Photo courtesy of author

The locations in the books – Tervuren park, the Gravensteen castle and Saint Baaf’s cathedral in Ghent, the abandoned factory, the Brussels sewers – are all real ones and I visited most of them for my book research. I really enjoyed visiting the sewers! Sewer systems are one of the most dangerous urban exploration environments of all – there are flash floods, posionous gases, the risk of getting lost and never getting out, not to mention rats and creepy crawlies. It’s all there. A very inspiring setting if you are writing a gritty thriller!

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The Brussels sewer system – the perfect place for a show-down!

Photo courtesy of author

2.) In Silent Saturday, we are introduced to one of the most frightening villains that I think I’ve ever read about. Did you find it difficult to get inside the head of someone so innately wicked?

Does it sound weird if I say no? I actually enjoyed writing the scenes with De Jager (the villain) in them. That’s not because I like the things he does. He’s a monster. It’s more that I wanted to take the gloves off and create a really horrific villain. Someone extreme. In my earlier books, it tends to be all about the nasty discoveries after the crime has taken place; this time I wanted to create a real feeling of direct threat. My other villains also tended to have their reasons for killing, even if they were very twisted ones, but De Jager just enjoys hunting down other people. He doesn’t want to relate to his victims as human beings with feelings and motives at all, and one of the things I relished was his dismay when he is forced to start thinking about Veerle and Kris and what they may do.

3.) Our heroine Veerle loves taking risks and in the second novel, Demons of Ghent we see her exploring the rooftops of the city. How much of yourself do you see in our main character?

Ha! Quite a lot. I’m more law-abiding than she is, and I definitely don’t have her head for heights(!), but I totally “get” her interest in urban exploration. I enjoyed writing the Forbidden Spaces trilogy more than anything else I’ve ever worked on. It was partly because I loved doing the research trips but also because I think Veerle’s life is incredibly cool, even with the problems she has.
The other thing is Veerle’s relationship with her mother. I based Claudine on my own grandmother, who also suffered very badly from anxiety. It’s very tough supporting someone who has those kind of issues. You can love them to death but still be exhausted with trying to support them. I really empathise with Veerle’s struggle to do the right thing for everyone including herself.

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The beautiful St Baaf’s Cathedral in Ghent seen from the Belfort Tower, both of which feature in the opening scene of the second novel, Demons Of Ghent.

Photo courtesy of author

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Gravensteen Castle, Ghent where Veerle and Bram spend a night, also in the second novel, Demons Of Ghent.

Photo courtesy of author

4.) In the final book of the trilogy, Urban Legends, old ghosts return to haunt Veerle and her family is put under the spotlight like never before. Was it important for you to write about family dynamics in a real and honest way? Do you see a happy future for Veerle?

Yes, it was very important to me. I think a huge part of writing a successful thriller is to make the characters come alive. You have to care about them and believe in them for the story to be exciting and convincing. Plus the plot of the book wouldn’t happen in a vacuum – everyone has family or relationship stuff going on in their lives.
I do see a happy future for Veerle. She has had to be self sufficient at a very early stage in her life and she can be quite spiky and also impulsive. But she is brave too and she is actually a very caring person in spite of her impetuous side. There’s a moment in Demons of Ghent where she is asked to do a favour for someone she doesn’t like, who is in desperate straits, and Veerle does it even though she knows it is going to get her in a lot of trouble. I think she deserves some happiness, and I think she is going to get it in the future – I think bravery and empathy are a great combination.

5.) Are you working on anything at the moment and can you tell us a little bit about it?

Yes, I’m working on a new book unrelated to the Forbidden Spaces books. It’s set in Scotland, where I live now. I’m actually doing a lot of planning and thinking at the moment about where I want the story to go. I think it’s safe to say that it is a mystery and it has some Gothic elements to it. The part of Scotland where I live, Perthshire, is just crying out to have stories written about it. The countryside is full of history – ancient castles, ruined churches, mysterious standing stones. I want to try to make the most of that!

Now for some quick fire questions!

E book or real book?

Real book. I read in the bath! An eReader would be wrecked the first time I dropped it.

Series or stand alone?

Hmmm. Both. The one thing I don’t like though, is a series which is one story hacked into chunks. I like each book to have a satisfying conclusion.

Fiction or non-fiction?

Fiction.

Online shopping or bookshop trawling?

Both, but mainly online – not because I don’t want to support bookshops but because the nearest one is about 17 miles away!

Bookmarking or dog-earing?

Mostly dog-earing, except for old or rare books.

Once again, a HUGE thank you to the lovely Helen Grant for giving up her time to do this interview (and for the fab photographs!). I’m very excited now to explore some of her back catalogue and will probably start with her debut novel, The Vanishing of Katharina Linden. Look out for a review of this and her second novel, The Glass Demon on bibliobeth soon.

Urban Legends completes The Forbidden Spaces trilogy and was published by Corgi on 26th March 2015. This series and of course Helen’s other novels, are available to buy from all good book retailers now!

Author Interview – Jason Starr on his new novel Savage Lane

Published January 15, 2016 by bibliobeth

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JASON STARR – A BIBLIOGRAPHY

Jason Starr was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1966. He grew up playing sports, such as tennis and baseball, and dreaming of pitching for the Yankees. In college, at Binghamton University, he took an interest in literature. He worked as a dishwasher, telemarketer, financial reporter, publishing assistant (he was fired from a publishing job at St. Martin’s Press for reading and writing at his desk), and computer networking salesperson before publishing his first novel in 1997.

Starr is the author of nine international bestselling crime novels, set mainly in the New York City area:Cold Caller, Nothing Personal, Fake I.D., Hard Feelings, Tough Luck,Twisted City, Lights Out,The Follower, and Panic Attack. His latest novels,The Pack and The Cravingwere published by Berkley/Ace.

Starr’s work has been published in over a dozen languages and he has been nominated for numerous crime fiction awards. In 2004 he won the Barry Award for Tough Luck, and in 2005 he won the Anthony Award for Twisted City.

In Germany, Cold Caller was adapted as an hour-long radio drama by Deutschland Radio, and was chosen as one of the top 50 crime novels of the past 60 years by the prestigious newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung. In Germany and Austria, The Followerand Panic Attack have been major bestsellers.

Starr has co-written three darkly comic crime novels with Irish novelist Ken Bruen—Bust, Slide, and The Max—and co-edited the collection Bloodlines: An Anthology of Horse Racing, which includes stories by Jane Smiley, Laura Hillenbrand, Daniel Woodrell and Jonathon Ames.

Starr also writes comics and graphic novels for Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Vertigo Comics, and Boom Studios. His 2010 original graphic novel, The Chill, was a Diamond Top Ten Bestseller and was featured on Entertainment Weekly’s Must List. His work in comics has included characters such as Doc Savage, The Avenger, The Sandman, The Punisher, and Batman. His latest comics work is the bestselling Wolverine Max series for Marvel Comics, and the forthcoming comics series The Returning for Boom Studios. His recent non-fiction has appeared in Dodge Magazine, German Vogue, and The New York Times.

Many of Starr’s novels have been optioned for film and TV, including The Follower, which is in development as an original TV series for Lionsgate, adapted by Bret Easton Ellis. A short film based on Starr’s short story The Bully won the 2009 EnhanceTV ATOM Award for Best Short Fiction Film, and was an official selection at the 2010 Palm Springs International Film Festival. Starr also writes screenplays, such as October Squall, produced by Halle Berry and Fox Searchlight, as well as an adaptation of Cold Caller which is in development as a feature film by Smoking Gun Productions/Gil Adler with Clayton Jacobson directing. Starr also recently completed the screenplay for Tough Luck, based on his novel, and to be directed by Michael Rapaport.

Starr lives in Manhattan.

Click on the images below to get to their descriptions on Good Reads! Please note, I’ve just put a few of Jason’s titles in this post, there are many more to check out if you like the sound of what you read.

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For my review of Savage Lane, please click HERE.

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INTERVIEW WITH JASON STARR

After thoroughly enjoying Jason Starr’s new novel, Savage Lane, the lovely team at New Books Magazine arranged for me to have an interview with the man himself. We arranged to meet at The Wallace Restaurant, located within the Wallace Art Gallery in Manchester Square, London where there was a brief opportunity to view the beautiful paintings before I was due to meet Jason. I have to admit to being fairly nervous as other interviews I’ve conducted in the past have normally been through email but I had no need to worry. Jason, dressed casually in jeans and t-shirt immediately put me at my ease and was so warm and welcoming.

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The Wallace Restaurant – nice place for an interview…

Image from http://www.wallacecollection.org/visiting/thewallacerestaurant

After setting my phone up to record our chat (and praying that the recording would work!) we started chatting. Believe it or not, Jason was just a normal, very funny person who had a lot to say and was clearly passionate about his writing. The whole experience felt very informal and relaxed and I felt that I got a real idea of who Jason was as a person as well as an author. It was nice to also find out more about his life – at the time we met he was in the middle of a European book tour which saw him visiting Austria, Germany, England and Italy and it was interesting to find out that he actually studied in London for a while, so he was fairly familiar with the city, one of his favourite haunts being Camden.

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A few paintings from The Wallace Collection

Image from http://www.wallacecollection.org/visiting/thewallacerestaurant

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and interviewing Jason and now feel much more confident and excited about carrying out further face to face interviews for my blog. Thank you so much to Jason Starr for giving up his time during a very busy book tour and to the editor of New Books Magazine, Guy Pringle and Harriet at No Exit Press for introducing us.

1.) Congratulations on Savage Lane, a fantastic and darkly comic novel that fans of crime fiction/noir will love. How do you think that love or obsession as a theme is represented in your work?

In many of my books there is definitely a theme of obsession but I think of it more in terms of what a character wants i.e. their goal and then trying to dramatise it in a way that is compelling which probably goes back to my background as a playwright. When I’m writing novels, particularly thrillers, I find there are many obsessive characters in my work, particularly in Savage Lane but also in my other novels. For example, in The Follower (which was a book about a stalker) and perhaps in my first novel Cold Caller where many characters want something. In Cold Caller he wanted the perfect job, in The Follower he wanted this ideal relationship and in Savage Lane, every character is obsessive in some way or another! So I think it has definitely become a theme in my books, partly for dramatic reasons because I find it a compelling way to build a thriller but I do think I’m also addressing themes that I think most people can identify with. Everyone has been in situations where they feel somewhat obsessive about things and hopefully readers of my novels can identify with a characters behaviour. This doesn’t have to be necessarily admiring it or feeling like it’s something they would aspire to in their own lives but feeling that they get this character and they understand what they want. I think if you really understand what a character wants, the character becomes compelling.

2.) Many of your characters in Savage Lane have something to hide. Did you have the full story mapped out before writing it or did you surprise yourself at times with an idea?

It’s true, every character in this book does have a secret. I was really just focusing on the situation with Mark and Karen and the dynamics of this married guy and this divorced woman in a small community totally misunderstanding and misinterpreting their relationship. Then I began to build on these thoughts into a novel and it was only then that I thought about the other characters and figuring out who they were. Then I started consciously thinking about each individual having a different obsession and when everything came together it was clear that everyone was hiding something. Mark’s hiding this secret desire for Karen but his wife Debs… well lets just say they’re both hiding things from each other. Then the kids, as teenagers often do, are also hiding things from their parents. All of those dynamics are very relatable for the reader I hope as I think they’re very real. Granted I take things to the extreme in the book but at the same time I am trying to be as realistic as possible. If it comes off as being too extreme I think it’s only because it’s very real.

3.) I found your characters to be complex and incredibly fascinating, especially Mark’s wife Debs. By the end of the novel do you think any of the characters have realised the consequences of their actions?

I think it was very important not to censor myself from being as honest as possible as I was writing. I wrote closely from each characters point of view and I had a real idea of who Mark was as a character. If someone thinks that a character like Mark doesn’t exist in real life that would be false as they definitely do. I think all the characters are delusional in a way and very dis-connected from their own thoughts and actions so I think a lot of them believe in the end that they are justified in their behaviour but I think as the book is a satire, there is a underlying sub-narrative where the reader can hopefully be the judge of their behaviour and decide for themselves whether they approve or not of their actions. I really wanted to have those two narratives or sub-text going on where the character feels justified but the reader understands this is not necessarily true and that they might be getting it wrong.

4.) You are recognised not only for your novels but for comics such as your Wolverine Max series. What are your views on the different ways your work can be interpreted i.e. pure prose versus a more visual medium?

I think when I’m writing comics it’s certainly a much more visual experience, telling the story with images rather than words, in fact in as few words as possible. In the revision process of the comic I will take out as many words as necessary as I don’t want them to interfere with the art which should really be telling the story. In a novel it’s all about the words and you can get deeper into the psychology of the characters and the subtext we were talking about before, those layers of narrative. It might be possible to achieve this with a graphic novel but certainly for a novel the narrative takes on way more importance.

5.) If Savage Lane was to be adapted into a film, whom would you like to play the main characters?

I always think about that but always after I write the book. While I am writing it it’s very hard for me to think for example what a character looks like. I barely describe them in the book, in fact I keep my descriptions to a minimum for a reason because I think it’s much more important to describe their attitude, getting down the way they talk, then each reader can come up with their own image of what this character looks like. Afterwards when I’m done with the book, like anyone I guess I start fantasising about who would play them in a film. Mark is a character that could be very widely cast but would be a difficult choice. He’s not as good-looking as he thinks he is so I’m not sure who would play him, that would be an interesting choice! I guess Diane Lane would be great for Karen and Julianne Moore would be perfect for Debs.

6.) Are you working on anything at the moment and can you tell us a little bit about it?

I usually work on a few things at once. I’ve been working on a new psychological thriller, in the same genre as Savage Lane but very different characters and situation. I’ve also been working on a few TV projects and pilots, crime dramas which I co-write with another writer and working on a new comics projects with a licensed character which hasn’t been announced at the moment. I’m kicking around a few new ideas and I like that way to be honest as writing a book can be very solitary and I’ll keep the whole book in my head until it’s done so it’s a private process, whereas with other projects that are collaborative or in other mediums it’s a good balance to get out amongst the people and not be so introverted.

And now for some quick fire questions!

E-book or real book?

Real book, I think reading is multi sensory. It’s not just about the words, it’s about the smell of a book, the feeling of a book in your hands. E-books can’t replicate that!

Stand alone or series?

Stand alone. Up to this point, I have preferred to write self-contained stories. I do write a co-authored series with Ken Bruen, but in my solo books I like starting with a new set of characters each time.

Fiction or non-fiction?

Fiction. I read a lot of non-fiction too, especially biographies, but for pleasure I prefer losing myself in a good novel.

Online shopping or bookshop trawling?

Bookshop trawling! I just love book stores, and being around books. It excites me and brings me joy.

Dog-earing or book-marking?

Book marking. I don’t like damaging books. Oddly, I feel like a book is a living thing and I try to respect that!

Once again, a big thank you to everyone who made this interview possible. It has also been published in the Winter 2015 edition of New Books Magazine, a subscription I have been enjoying for a few years now which I highly recommend to everyone who is a bit book-mad like myself! Visit their website HERE.

Savage Lane by Jason Starr was published in the UK by No Exit Press on 2nd October 2015. From his back catalogue, I also highly recommend Panic Attack (review to follow shortly!).

Blog Tour – Interview with Lou Kuenzler, author of the new children’s series Bella Broomstick (Bella Broomstick #1)

Published January 10, 2016 by bibliobeth

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LOU KUENZLER – A BIOGRAPHY

Lou Kuenzler likes to write stories which make children laugh.

Her popular SHRINKING VIOLET books are funny, action-packed adventures about a little girl who suddenly shrinks …. Think Mrs Pepperpot with a 21st century twist!

And then Lou’s next series PRINCESS DISGRACE introduces the clumsiest princess ever in a comic romp through life at a posh princess academy – unicorns, dragons and japes galore!

For slightly younger readers, Lou’s AESOP’S AWESOME RHYMES add a comic, rhyming twist to the classic moral tales.

While JACK SPLAT: SUPERFLY PEST and JACK SPLAT: DOG’S DINNER tell the fly-on-the-wall adventures of … well, of a fly!

Find her at:

Website: http://www.loukuenzler.com/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/loukuenzler
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3164179.Lou_Kuenzler

Lou is represented by Scholastic Books UK and her PR for this blog tour is the lovely Faye Rogers who also came up with some brilliant interview questions for this post!

Click on the book cover to get to the link to GoodReads:

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For the link to Lou’s other series click the cover:

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INTERVIEW WITH LOU KUENZLER

I’d like to welcome Lou to bibliobeth today and thank her for her time in giving this interview.

1.) Bella Broomstick is about a girl who often gets into trouble, did you get into trouble when you were a child?

I did get into quite a lot of trouble when I was little, mostly because I grew up on a farm and was always up to mischief with my favourite animals. I had a pet ferret called Matilda who liked to run up people’s trouser legs. I used to take my tame sheep Brillo into Dad’s vegetable garden and hand feed her all the best peas and beans. Worst of all, there was a television series when I was little called Horse In The House. You guessed it … I decided my pony Flora ought to come inside and see the programme for herself. Unfortunately, we were only half way across the kitchen when my mum came in. A smartly dressed bank manager in a suit and tie was with her. “Get that pony out of here,” Mum hissed. And I would have done … if only there was room to turn Flora around. I can still see the look of horror on the bank manager’s face as Flora lifted her tail and left a steaming hot surprise by the fridge. Perhaps that is why, when I wrote Bella Broomstick, I gave her the magic power to talk to animals. It would have been so much easier if I could have just asked Flora nicely to leave.

My mum does see the funny side now, but it has taken about thirty years!

2.) If you could re-write any children’s classic, which would you re-write?

Oh, it’s funny you should ask that. I have always wanted to revisit The Secret Garden. But I am just reading a brilliant version by Holly Webb (Return to The Secret Garden) Grrr! Looks like Holly got there first.

3.) What was your favourite book as a child?

My favourite book was definitely The Borrowers. I think this must have been the inspiration for my Shrinking Violet series. I have always loved the idea of being tiny and being able to sneak around unseen. I remember when I read The Borrowers Afield (which is set in the countryside), I spent hours and hours lifting up stones on the farm track, hoping I would find a tiny Borrower of my own. I also loved Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones which is all about witchcraft and wizardry … and, of course, The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy. I know these must have been an influence when I decided to write Bella Broomstick, all about my own young witch.

4.) Do you have a concrete plan for your books or do they just come together as you write them?

That’s a good question … I always have a bit of an idea but not the whole thing. I teach Writing Children’s Fiction to adult students at City Lit in London. The way I always explain my planning to them is to compare it to a car journey you have never made before. Imagine you were at the college near Holborn and decided you wanted to go to Cornwall. It would probably be a good idea to have a quick look at a map. If you just set off, you’ll end up going round and round in circles (and might have to make a detour via Aberdeen). If you at least know that you are heading South West, the journey will instantly have some structure and shape. Once that structure is in place – with a few key markers (Reading, Bristol, Exeter perhaps) pinpointed along the way – you can take any detour you like. Stone Henge? … Why not. Even Aberdeen if you know it is miles out of your way and yet still feel it is essential to see on this particular journey.

If you over plan, on the other hand, and just put Truro into a Sat Nav, the journey will be a lot less lively and fun. You are unlikely to use your imagination very much at all if you know that the proper thing to do is “turn right in 800 yards.”

So … I do always have a destination in mind and few points to boost my plot with petrol and/or a loo stop along the way. But if I glimpse an enticing twisted chimney pot through the tree tops, then why not go and have a peep. Perhaps they’ll be somewhere unexpected to find lunch … And I know which way I’m heading after all …

5.) If you could give your child self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Keep a diary – your adult writing self would LOVE to know how it really feels to be six or eight or ten … Unfortunately (other than a few embarrassing teenage scribbles), I didn’t ever keep a diary for long. I am dyslexic and found all writing difficult when I was young. Of course, that’s the real piece of advice I’d give my younger self: don’t worry that your brain seems to work in a different way to other people’s – you’ll come to celebrate that difference in the end.

A huge thank you to Lou once again for her time and to Faye Rogers who put this whole blog tour together. If you’ve enjoyed this, why not visit the other stops on the blog tour? Bella Broomstick was published on 7th January 2016 and is available from all good book retailers now!

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My review of Bella Broomstick will be published later today so come back later to check it out!

 

 

 

 

Author Interview – Alexia Casale on her new YA novel House Of Windows

Published November 23, 2015 by bibliobeth

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ALEXIA CASALE – A BIOGRAPHY

Shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize. Longlisted for The Branford Boase Award. A Book of the Year 2013 for the Financial Times and Independent.

A British-American citizen of Italian heritage, Alexia is an author, editor and writing consultant. She also teaches English Literature and Writing.

After an MA in Social & Political Sciences (Psychology major) then MPhil in Educational Psychology & Technology, both at Cambridge University, she took a break from academia and moved to New York. There she worked on a Tony-award-winning Broadway show before returning to England to complete a PhD and teaching qualification. In between, she worked as a West End script-critic, box-office manager for a music festival and executive editor of a human rights journal.

She’s not sure which side of the family her dyslexia comes from, but is resigned to the fact that madness runs in both. She loves cats, collects glass animals and interesting knives, and has always wanted a dragon.

Alexia is represented by Claire Wilson of Rogers, Coleridge & White.

Her debut novel, The Bone Dragon, is published in English by Faber & Faber, and in German by Carlsen.

Click on the books to get to the link for GoodReads!

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For my review of The Bone Dragon, click HERE.

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For my review of House Of Windows, click HERE.

Interview with Alexia Casale

I’d like to welcome Alexia to bibliobeth today and thank her very much for her time in giving this interview.

1.) House of Windows is a very different book to your debut The Bone Dragon. Did you set out to write such a completely different story or was it an idea that developed over time?

I started working on a version of House of Windows when I was thirteen, long before I thought of the pieces of story that became The Bone Dragon. Returning to this ‘old’ project after The Bone Dragon allowed me to start as I mean to go on by showing that I plan to write all sorts of books, across all sorts of genres: it’s the story and characters that attract me to a book, not the genre or readership. But I love that Faber took such trouble over the look of House of Windows so there was a connection between the two, at least with appearances!

bibliobeth (“Both the covers are absolutely beautiful, designed by Helen Crawford-White.”)

2.) Our main character in this novel is Nick and his story reads like a “coming of age” epic. Is he based on anyone you know and was it hard to say goodbye to him at the end?

Nick, or a version of Nick, has been living in my head since my early teens so I doubt I’ll ever be rid of him. The thing that’s changed is that he’s no longer demanding that I write his story: he’s out there between the pages to meet other people, so he doesn’t take up my time creatively any more. But he’s not gone, just like Evie’s not gone. I guess it’s like former colleagues who’ve become friends: it’s all fun now, rather than mostly hard work!

Different bits of Nick are based on different people. There’s a certain amount of me in him, as there is with any protagonist, then there are bits of various people I went to University with, and bits and bobs of family members and family friends… The people we meet and know and love and hate are how we understand how people work. No matter what a writer says, that’s the resource we all draw on to create characters.

3.) You paint a beautiful picture of Cambridge in the novel, a city that you know well. Did most of your research for this novel involve having to re-visit and why in particular did you choose to set your story here?

Going back to Cambridge is always wonderful and it was fantastic to have an excuse to revisit some of my favourite places in the University and the town. Mostly I went to take photos in case I needed them for publicity or promotions stuff – I’m hoping to make a book trailer once YA Shot is over! Cambridge is so close to my heart that I didn’t need to re-visit. That’s why the book had to be set in here: I had all the passion and joy in the place that Nick needed and it was a lovely thing to share with him. I got to fall in love with Cambridge all over again through him, sharing all the little details of one of my favourite places in the world.

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King’s Chapel in Cambridge from The Backs (photograph provided by author)

As for the ‘character’ of the University, most people imagine Cambridge is posh and snotty and that it takes itself very seriously, but that’s only true of some aspects and some people. The thing I’ve tried to capture is how Cambridge is a world unto itself and everyone plays along because it’s fun… but we all get how daft it all is. Take the language: you have to learn it because everyone stops speaking English at the gates, but that’s not a hardship because it’s basically a very silly game you all get to bond over. So what most people probably see as a way of excluding the rest of the world is more about building a sense of community around fun and not taking yourself or the whole Cambridge life too seriously. I really hope that comes across. But the bottom line is that Cambridge is beautiful and fascinating: the key aspects of most compelling settings.

IMG_4756-001Trinity Hall, Jerwood Library from Clare Bridge, Cambridge (photograph provided by author)

4.) You touch on some emotional subjects in this novel, in particular the relationship between Nick and his father. Do you think that if their relationship had been better Nick would have been a different person as a result?

Definitely! Nick is emotionally unintelligent and maybe he always would have been, but a loving, healthy family dynamic would doubtless have mitigated his natural cluelessness: it’s hard for someone who doesn’t naturally ‘get’ people if there’s no one to help him figure those things out. If even one of his parents had helped him learn how to relate to other people, he’d have lived a very different life. He’d still be super-smart but maybe if he had been busy having a social life and doing something other than studying and more studying, he wouldn’t have gone to Cambridge at 15… Which is not to say that Nick isn’t responsible for his own choices, but he is still a kid. He gets a lot of stuff wrong but I appreciate how little help he’s had in getting it right. Nick isn’t written to be likeable, but I really hope people will grow to understand him. Even if they still think he’s spiky, difficult little smart arse, I hope they’ll also empathise with him by the end of the story.

5.) Are you working on anything now and can you tell us a little bit about it?

Many things! I’m writing a WWII adult historical novel. And a psychological thriller in a similar vein to The Bone Dragon. And also the first in a potential series.
But obviously the main thing is YA Shot until November!

bibliobeth: (“I actually cannot wait!!”)

IMG_4992-001The Bridge Of Sighs at St John’s, Cambridge (photograph provided by author)

Now for some quick fire questions!:

E book or real book?
Real book EVERY TIME. As a professional editor, ebooks are too much like work.

Series or stand alone?
Depends. Series for fantasy. Standalone for thrillers. Series for historical. Standalone for literary/contemporary. Series for crime. Sometimes. Oh, I don’t know. Just give me all the books and an eternity to read them.

Fiction or non-fiction?
Fiction for pleasure every time. As a researcher, I’m hardly anti non-fiction, but getting the most out of non-fiction is always hard work. Books are sometimes just for fun.

Online shopping or bookshop trawling?
Online at the moment because of time and energy issues! But I LOVE secondhand bookstores. Many of my happiest family holidays of a kid were spent in Hay-on-Wye (aka Bliss-on-Earth).

Bookmarking or dog-earing?
Bookmarks for reading. Dog-earring for permanently marking things I think are amazing. Dog earring for recipe books.

Once again, a HUGE thank you to the lovely Alexia Casale for her efforts in making this interview possible. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next and be assured, I will definitely be reading it.

House of Windows was published on 6th August 2015 by Faber Children’s Books and is available from all good book retailers now. I also highly recommend her debut novel The Bone Dragon which was short-listed for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.

Author Interview – Jane Elson on her second novel, How To Fly With Broken Wings for YA Shot

Published October 15, 2015 by bibliobeth

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Jane Elson with staffie Shireen from The Dogs Trust at Harefield – photo provided by author

JANE ELSON – A BIOGRAPHY

After performing as an actress and comedy improviser for many years, Jane fell into writing stories and plays. A Room Full of Chocolate was her first book for children and won Peters’ Book of the Year and the Leeds Book Award as well as being longlisted for the Branford Boase and nominated for the Carnegie Medal. Her second book How To Fly With Broken Wings  has been Longlisted for Hillingdon Secondary Book of the Year and the Hounslow School Libray Service Junior Book Award.When she is not writing Jane spends her time running creative writing and comedy improvisation workshops for children with special educational needs and volunteering at Kentish Town City Farm. Jane was also Selected as a New Voice in the Guardian’s guide to The Best New Children’s Books 2014, Jane is described as ‘A new author to watch.’

Click on the books to get to their description on GoodReads!

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For my review of A Room Full Of Chocolate please click HERE.

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INTERVIEW WITH JANE ELSON

I’d like to welcome Jane to bibliobeth today and thank her for her time in giving this interview!

1.) How To Fly With Broken Wings is your second novel, following the amazing A Room Full Of Chocolate. After the huge success of your debut novel did you find it difficult to write the second or was the story always there to be told?

I actually started writing How to Fly With Broken Wings before I had finished the draft of A Room Full Of Chocolate, which I submitted to my now agent, Jodie Hodges. I was attending Lou Kuenzler’s Writing for Children Workshop at City Lit and the first chapter just fell out on the page and the story started to pour from me. I really enjoyed the experience of writing in the two voices of Willem and Sasha. I think How to Fly is the most complex project I have ever tackled but I loved every moment of working on it, and for that I have my amazing editor Naomi Greenwood to thank. She makes the editing process a creative joy, so even when I was working long- long hours on my story, it was enjoyable. However tired I got it never felt like a slog as Naomi has such a talent for helping me bring out the best in my writing.

2.) How To Fly With Broken Wings follows a young boy with Aspergers Syndrome who is trying his hardest to make friends. Have you had any personal experience with bullying and how did it affect your life?

Yes, I was bullied at school. I was an undiagnosed dyslexic and dyspraxic, which made me an easy target. The kid who was clumsy and very uncoordinated – so easy to mock. I hated PE so much. So much bullying seemed to happen in those lessons. I remember the teacher doing this thing where the last child to get changed after swimming and back on the coach would lose 10 house points. Of course it was always me. Getting changed quickly and dealing with buttons and shoe laces can be a challenge for a dyspraxic!

I remember as if it were yesterday, the misery of trying to run to the coach with half my clothes on inside out and still wet from swimming as I had not had time to dry myself properly.

I would say bullying affected my confidence in a big way. I now work one morning a week with dyslexic and dyspraxic children, some of whom have Aspergers Syndrome.

The bullying I went through has given me a big insight and understanding into some of the challenges many young people face.

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From Jane’s Pinterest board: moods by LEGO face, source – designholic at flickr.com

3.) Willem and Sasha bond in the novel over their love of flying. What kind of research did you have to carry out in order to bring their story to life?

Oh my goodness, I have never done so much research in my life! The acknowledgement list at the back of my book is huge. There are too many people to mention all of them here so I will just name a few, starting with the nitty gritty – the technical stuff.

I read a whole manual on How To Fly a Spitfire! I was also lucky enough to coincidently bump into a man, Andrew Pearce, who knew everything about Spitfires.

My cousin Sally helped me with the science and made it fun and easy for me to understand, as it’s not my strongest subject.

My publisher, Hodder Children’s Books, was adamant – and rightly so – that if I was going to tell the story I wanted to tell, then the bullies had to get the appropriate punishment.

My friend Paula, put me in touch with Steven Wilkinson, a retired policeman, who was able to advise me on police procedure for the climax of the story. My friend Curtis Ashton, a social worker who has worked extensively with Young Offenders, was so valuable in making sure that we had the appropriate punishments for Finn and his gang in How To Fly With Broken Wings.

Next came the research for the historical texture of my story. The research I enjoyed the most was visiting the vintage shop Circa who helped me explore the beautiful textures and fabrics of 1940’s fashion and let me peep in the 1940’s handbags, smell the face powder, feel the silk and embody Rachel’s world – the female Spitfire Pilot in my story – as she danced the night away in her red dress. My friend Leon, an expert in dance, talked me through 1940’s dancing – the jitterbug and jive.

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Diana Barnarto Walker – one of the “Spitfire Women,” – Jane’s inspiration for the character of Rachel (photo provided by author)

 

The research that moved me the most was watching documentaries about the Spitfire Ladies of the ATA. I was so touched by these women, now very old but with such twinkling eyes, that have known the freedom of flight: the feeling of dancing with the clouds in a Spitfire. Life was never the same for them when the war ended. Most of them never had the opportunity to fly again. That really tore at my heart. I have such respect and admiration for their bravery and the vital part they played in World War 2.

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Maureen Dunlop, an Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) pilot featured on the front cover of The Picture Post magazine on the 16th September 1944. One in ten female pilots died flying for the ATA. Maureen died at the age of 91 in May 2012. Jane says: “She became the glamorous cover girl image of the war. People loved this image as it showed women could be brave and beautiful.”


The other bit of research that moved me deeply was the plight of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier or Staffie as they are commonly known. They are the most abused breed and a huge percentage of dogs in rescue centres are Staffies. They are loyal beautiful dogs – known as the nannie dog as they actually are so good with children. Even so, they have gained an undeservedly bad reputation through the media, as so many lads like Finn and his gang in How to Fly choose this breed to strut down the street with thinking it makes them look tougher. This powerful and brilliant RSPCA You Tube video Britain Love Your Staffie, really tugged at my heart strings.

I thought back to the books I had read as a child and so often it was a Collie dog, or Retriever or a lovable but scruffy mongrel, but I couldn’t think of any story with a Staffie –and so Buster was born. He was such fun to write and I thought it an interesting dynamic to make him Finn’s dog but a total softie, showing the true nature of the breed. As they say there are no bad dogs, only bad owners.

Dogs Trust Harefield were so supportive with what I was trying to do with Buster. Richard Moore, the manager met with me and introduced me to the dogs. I had a lovely morning playing with and having my photograph taken with Shireen, a beautiful little white Staffie, for the inside of the back cover of How To Fly With Broken Wings. Shireen, I am thrilled to say, found her forever home the week after the photo session and is so happy with her new family.

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From Jane’s Pinterest board and her inspiration for the Staffie Buster in the novel (and coz it’s too cute, I couldn’t resist!) Source: petsandlove.net

4.) You are appearing at YA Shot in Uxbridge this year on a panel about tackling sadness in fiction for younger teenagers. Is it crucial for you as an author to get an important message across in your books?

I never write a book thinking I want to get a message across. The story is always paramount but through the characters issues naturally arise and it’s important I am responsible about this. I am very aware that children in the MG age range 8-12 often are dealing with the same issues as the YA age group. It is important to me reaching out to those children. I applaud Jacqueline Wilson for the subjects she has tackled and I feel that she has paved the way for other authors to be able to do this.

5.) Do you believe that libraries still play an important role in inspiring young people to read?

Yes definitely. I think there is something very precious about choosing a book in a library, taking it home, getting lost in the story, then bringing it back and exchanging it for another story to treasure. I still remember my first trip to the library when I picked Orlando, a story about a ginger cat who had adventures. In my job as an author I have seen some amazing libraries, both public and in schools. I love it when they are lively and the hub of the school or community. They are also relatively safe places for children to go when they have nothing else to do in the long school holidays. I see time and time again in my local library, flocks of children drifting in off the streets and shifting through the books then finding something that captures their imagination and sitting there quietly for hours lost in another world. That’s magical really if you think about it. Libraries are vital to the community and must be protected.

6.) Have there been any authors in particular that inspired you as a writer?

I realize the books I read as a child inspired me to be on the path I am now – but of course I did not realize it at the time, as it never occurred to me that I could be a writer. It was beyond my imagination as I spent my whole time at school being punished for my bad spelling. However the stories I wrote were passed under the desk and read by the other kids in secret during science – yet still the penny did not drop that maybe, just maybe I had a knack for storytelling.

When I was a child I loved books by Noel Stretfield particularly When The Siren Whaled – I performed a piece from that book to get into my after school drama classes. It really is a wonderful book. The other book of hers I loved was Ballet Shoes. I think this book had a major influence in my ending up in the theatre. I have a flare for improvisation, so making up stories and reading and performing them was the passion of my life – yet still it didn’t occur to me that maybe I could write stories down. I also read all the Enid Blyton books, of course. If you had told me when I was a child that I would grow up and be published by Hodder Children’s Books who also publish Enid Blyton and Noel Stretfield, I would never have believed you in a million years.

When I met my editor, Naomi Greenwood, for the first time she asked me about my background. Naomi said something along the lines of – you have always been on the path to this moment, only you didn’t realize it. I remember looking round and seeing all the displays of Enid Blyton and Noel Stretfield books and it was a really profound moment, like my life suddenly made sense.

Horse books were also my passion as a child – I loved Black Beauty and My Friend Flicka. On my next book cover, Swimming To The Moon, Michelle, my lovely designer is going to put a horse on the front! This is the ultimate dream for me – I am so excited. I like to relax by going to Kentish Town City Farm to see the horses in particular Winston a big black cob who I have really bonded with.

Entering the world of children’s books as an adult, there are many writers who have inspired me. For example, the late Siobhan Dowd – Solace of the Road is a stunning piece of literature; David Almond’s Skellig is one of my favourite books of all time; I also love Hilary Mckay. Naomi, my editor gave me a copy of Permanent Rose. I loved it so much and promptly went out and bought the whole Casson Family series. Hilary’s writing is just delicious. I was so honoured that one of my first author appearances was at the Hay Festival on a panel with Hilary Mckay.

7.) How do you see the future of YA/MG fiction?

I think as the world changes the stories that need to be told naturally evolve with the issues young people face. But I always hope that young people will continue to read classic books from days gone by. I think it is important to understand the stories of the past to make sense of the present.

7.) Are you working on anything now and can you tell us a little bit about it?

The book I am writing on now is called Swimming To the Moon about a quirky, very clumsy girl called Bee who has a love of hats. Bee can’t swim, yet accepts a double dare to enter a sponsored swim to raise money for the local old people’s home where her great grand Beatrix lived before she died. Bee misses her so much she can’t breathe. Then she meets Moon-Star Higgins a traveller, who feels like a trapped animal in school. The two make a pact by the Promise Tree in the woods that cannot be broken and both their lives are changed forever.

Swimming To The Moon is a book about love and grief and reaching for your dreams.

And now for some quick fire questions!……

E book or real book?

Real books – every time, I love the smell and touch of a book and the satisfaction of holding it in your hand and finishing it.

Series or stand alone?

Both – some standalones stay in your memory forever and are perfect just as they are. There is something very exciting though about reading a series. I mentioned the Casson Family series earlier by Hilary McKay. It’s lovely to have a whole collection on your shelf.

Fiction or non-fiction?

Fiction – I love to escape into another world. However, doing research gives me a chance to explore non-fiction books I would never normally read.

The How to fly A Spitfire manual springs to mind!

Online shopping or bookshop trawling?

Bookshop trawling definitely. I love exploring bookshops – all those possibilities! I love it when I am visiting new places and suddenly come upon an independent book shop to explore.

Bookmarking or dog-earing?

Bookmarking without a doubt. I have a whole collection including a beautiful one that my friend Chris embroidered for me. However sometimes I grab anything to hand to mark my place and forget it’s there. I love it when years later I come upon notes and all sorts of treasure within the pages of my books.

My dad used to put leaves in between the pages of his nature books. They were really beautiful.

 

Once again, thank you so much to Jane for her efforts in making this interview possible. How To Fly With Broken Wings was published on 3rd March 2015 by Hodder Children’s Books and is available from all good book retailers. Why not check out her awesome debut novel, A Room Full of Chocolate too?

Coming tomorrow on bibliobeth – my review of How To Fly With Broken Wings.

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