First of all – Congratulations on becoming Zoella Book Club Autumn 2016 winner!
Tell us a little about the new novel.
Mae is 15 years old and she’s lived most of her life in a luxurious psychiatric & wellness facility called Hummingbird Creek. She thinks it’s because her psychiatrist father works there. But it’s not…
Where did the idea/inspiration come from?
The idea came to me one day in the bath! My dad is a psychiatrist and in the Seventies our family lived in a psychiatric hospital for a couple of months whilst my parents were house hunting. It seemed perfectly normal at the time.
Where and when do you write?
I write anywhere – in silence, unless it’s a café when I’m likely to be listening in to other people’s conversations inbetween short bursts of writing. It doesn’t have to be a particular time of day, but I often write best at night, and sometimes I deliberately go to sleep thinking of a plot problem in the hopes that my unconscious mind will come up with a solution in the morning. Occasionally it does. For me, writing always involves snacks.
What are you working on now?
I’m thinking about the plot for my next book. I’m getting there slowly.
Desert Island books?
There are so many books I want to read. Being marooned on a desert island with a heap of books sounds like bliss. Top of the pile is When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi – a memoir written by a neurosurgeon before he died aged 37 from lung cancer.
Does writing energise or exhaust you?
Both. I bet most writers say that. For me it depends which part of the book I’m writing, how emotional it is, how it’s all hanging together, how I feel that day…
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
You will serve a very long apprenticeship but it will be worth it.
What is the first book that made you cry?
Hmm, probably The Little House on the Prairie.
Finally, where can we get your book?
Hopefully anywhere that sells young adult fiction.
See How They Lie is available here.