It was more of a natural progression. I’d been writing for younger children and teens for a number of years. Wonderland started out as a teen novel, but the subject matter got darker, and, like an 18 film, it got a YA certificate.
2) Is there an author, living or dead, who inspired you particularly?
We didn’t have YA fiction when I was a teenager. In fact, it’s a term that has only really come about in the UK in the last couple of years. But both YA novels published so far were influenced by Sylvia Plath and Daphne du Maurier. Novelists I read in my late teen years and twenties. And by the wondrous John Green.
3) Please, tell us about your last book and, if you can, about your future projects.
My latest YA novel is Paradise. Set in out-of-season, rundown seaside town in Cornwall, this is the story of London girl Billie, who inherits her grandmother’s house, and a closet full of family skeletons, including the death of her uncle, the identity of her father, and the boy from the café she falls in love with. And I’m just about to start work on Eden, a follow-up to Wonderland and Paradise. Set again in Cornwall, this is about a house and family falling apart, and a stranger who may not be who he claims.
4) How was your writing journey? Was it difficult to find an agent and get published?
I was incredibly, almost obnoxiously lucky. I never set out to be a writer. At least not a novelist. I was bored one summer during parliamentary recess, wrote a book, sent it off to agents and publishers, and got one of each within six months.
5) What’s your opinion about this E-book revolution? Would you consider the indie route?
It works for some. But for me, my editor is a huge part of the process, particularly with YA, and because I write books with convoluted plot twists. The finished product is so far removed from the first draft, and I think it is a massive shame that that is what often gets published as an e-book. 6) Nowadays many publishers expect their authors to use social media a lot to promote their books. Many authors, on the other hand, would prefer to write only, without being distracted by digital trivialities: what are your thoughts? I spend huge swathes of time on Facebook and Twitter. Writing is a lonely job, so for me, it’s my office gossip time. A chance to talk to hundreds of other writers, and readers.
To buy her latest book, simply click on the cover below: