One of the weirdest thing about being an author is taking that secret beloved project you nurtured for years and then… having to talk about it in front of the whole world. Thankfully I had The Book Chain Project to ease me into this. It’s a really simple idea: One week one author interviews another, who then interviews the next in turn. It’s a great way to find out about different authors’ work – and amazing to find out how much we all have in common.
First I was interviewed…
When it was my turn, my interviewer was Dave Cousins, author of YA books like 15 Days Without A Head, and middle grade books including My Robot’s Gone Wild. I was unbelievably nervous and cack-handed, Dave was incredibly confident and professional! We talked the media spotlight, ‘missing White Woman syndrome’ mental health issues… But we also talked about Calvin And Hobbes, how we both write by the seat of our pants and why I love piglet squid. (Answer: what’s not to love?) It really was a pleasure to chat and swap writing tips.
Then I was the interviewer…
I’ve spent years interviewing people so I was much more comfortable being the one asking the questions. I was really excited to get the opportunity to talk to Sarah Ann Juckes, author of Outside and The World Between Us. Like me, she writes stories about young people in impossible situations so we have a bit of common ground.
Sarah’s books are full of insight, wisdom, suspense and big feels and it was brilliant to get the inside story on how she writes. The book is told from two different perspectives, which switch from paragraph to paragraph. That sort of thing is hard to pull off, but it works so smoothly and sends a strong message about how two people can look at the same view and see something completely different.
Huge thanks to KL Kettle for organising the Book Chain, and making it so wide and varied. There are debuts, well-known names, picture book, middle grade and YA fiction writers. If it’s writing tips you’re after there’s so much wisdom in there. Check out the YouTube channel for more Book Chain Project videos, and it’s also available as a podcast. And the chain is still rumbling on – for latest interviews, follow @thebookchain on Twitter!