Today I'm joined by author Deborah White, for my stop on her WICKEDNESS blog tour! Her debut novel combines historical fiction, romance, magic and thrills for an exciting YA read.
Welcome Deborah! Let's get stuck straight into some questions...
Did you want to be a writer when you were a child?
I wanted to be an actress... but writing my own scripts, of course. Failing that I wanted to be a poet. I never thought I'd be a novelist - too many words!
How did you get into writing?
I've always been scribbling something or other. First longhand, then when I was nine I got an ancient (1912) Smith Corona portable [that's a typewriter, for my younger readers!]. I love it, I still have it, but my Apple's easier!
What other jobs did you do before you became a writer?
Ooooh... when I was still at school, and then later at uni, I had lots of jobs. Dental nurse, working on the production line packing Brut (aftershave), hairdresser's Girl Friday, shop work. When I finished uni I went into community work and finally trained as a primary school teacher.
Do you write long-hand, or straight onto a computer?
Straight onto a computer - unless I'm writing a poem, in which case I prefer longhand.
What's the best bit about being an author?
Probably the moment a publisher says they want to publish. Then holding a copy of the published book in your hand.
And the worst?
Definitely the moment a publisher says they DON'T want to publish.
How did WICKEDNESS come to be published - what's the story behind the story?
Actually, I had people trying to convince me that I should write Wickedness as a straight historical novel. But I've never seen it like that. Luckily David Ford and Brett Brubaker (my agents) and then Templar (the publishers) agreed with me.
What tips would you give to aspiring writers out there?
Write what you want to write, not what you think the market's looking for. That way if it never gets published at least you enjoyed the process. Oh, and read, read, read. Deconstruct other people's work and see how they do it.
What are your favourite children's books/authors and adult books/authors?
For adults, The Shipping News by Annie Proulx, The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton, Small Gods by Terry Pratchett and The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. Oh, and if you come across it, Homestead by Rosanna Lippi. A little gem! I like non-fiction too, especially about science.
For younger readers, I like Holes by Louis Sachar, A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly and Diary of a Chav by Grace Dent. As for picture books... well, any, but currently There Are Cats In This Book by Vivianne Schwarz.
How do you invent your characters and choose their names?
The question is, does the character or the plot come first? For me, it's a bit of both. So I have an idea of character, but it gets modified by the plot. If the plot demands a feisty heroine, but with a fear of heights, that's the character I write. Names... I spend ages picking the 'right' one. I look in name books and use the internet.
How would you 'sell' the joy of reading to someone who doesn't like books?
Hmmm. A lot of people who don't appear to like reading books still read. They just read different things - and maybe in a different format. Who's to say that someone reading a car magazine and fantasizing about buying that new car isn't having as satisfying and creative an experience as someone reading Dickens? So first off I would sell the joy of being able to read.
Describe your writing style in five words.
Pared-down. Atmospheric. Rhythmic. Snappy. Enjoyable!
What are you working on next?
A sequel to Wickedness. And a visit to Greece and the Oracle at Delphi has given me inspiration for a future novel.
Thanks Deborah! My review of WICKEDNESS will be appearing on the blog soon, so watch this space! In the meantime, you can catch up with Deborah's other blog tour stops by following the itinerary below: