I have been tagged for this Q and A by the lovely Linda Green, bestselling author of several novels including And Then it Happened and the forthcoming Mummyfesto. She was also once my writing tutor and helped to inspire me to give this writing lark a serious go. You can read her answers to the questions here
Meanwhile here are mine:
What is the working title of your next book?
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Fourteen year-old Stella is in trouble, worse than that, her Trouble has got out: she’s called Eris and she’s an ancient goddess who specialises in misunderstandings, conflict and asking really awkward questions.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
My day job is as a question writer and verifier for quiz shows. This leads me into reading and researching a wide variety of subjects. One day it led me to Eris, and once I'd found her I just knew I had to write about her. I then had a “what if?” moment - what if Eris was the Inner Goddess of a teenage girl, and what if, one day, she got out…?
What genre does your book fall under?
Young Adult / Teen fiction
Which actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
As the main characters are all between 14 and 16 I imagine they would be young, upcoming actors rather than established names, which is another way of saying I don’t know of any 14 year old actors that would fit the bill! But for Eris I’ve always imagined a young Agnes Deyn, in spikey elfin hair mode. The main character Stella is Emma Watson circa ‘Goblet of Fire’. The two main boys are Ray / Raven - a teen Richard Armitage and Davey Lord, who would be an ideal role for a Harry Styles lookeelikee. And my daughter would never forgive me if there wasn’t a part for Tom Felton, so he could be the escapologist Slippery Steve.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I’ve written short stories for years and have had several published in anthologies and one broadcast on Radio 4. I took part in the Gold Dust mentoring scheme with the novelist Jill Dawson which really helped me to get my head round plotting and structuring a longer piece of work.
When it came to writing this novel the Young Adult / Teen genre seemed to come most naturally. I have a teenage daughter and she loves to share her books with me. I particularly love Jacqueline Wilson, who has made me cry, Louise Rennison, who makes me laugh and Tamsyn Murray who manages to do both.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?I’m hoping to find an agent. I am just honing my synopsis (with the help of the highly-recommended ‘Write a Great Synopsis’ by Nicola Morgan) and then I will be submitting it.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
About five months for the first draft, mainly writing first thing in the morning before starting work. Then I let it lie for a bit and worked on something else. I returned to it last October and started a substantial edit, which I finished just after New Year.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
The book is set at a small music festival, a fictional amalgamation of many I have been to. I have always loved the magical feel of festivals and the often surreal sights and events that take place. It seemed the perfect location for Eris to make an appearance and I enjoyed combining the modern setting with a thread from Greek mythology. Eris’s story is an ancient one, but the themes of choice and loyalty are still relevant today.