Welcome to the UKYA extravaganza blog tour!
In case you’ve been living under a rock the past few days, this is an event set up by Kerry Drewery and Emma Pass where 35 of UK’s finest YA authors will gather together in Waterstones, Birmingham and do all things bookish. It’s going to be a grand time! (Sadly, I can’t go, but I’ll be stalking the hashtag like cray cray). So…what now?
There will be a spotlight on each of these authors and today, mine is on…Emma Pass. Her debut novel, Acid, has had high praise here in the UK…so, here’s our interview. 🙂
Hi, Emma! Thanks for appearing on the BookNerds blog. 🙂 When did you start writing? Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or was it a gradual thing?
I realised I wanted to be a writer when I was 13 – until then, I thought I was going to be a musician or an artist. I went to see the film Jurassic Park and afterwards, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I started to write a sequel and a few days later, it suddenly hit me that this was what I really wanted to do. It was a real ‘Eureka!’ moment.
How did the idea for ‘Acid’ come about? And was it difficult writing such a futuristic setting?
I first had the idea for ACID when I was 14, and a friend and I challenged each other to write a story about someone escaping from jail in a futuristic Britain. I came back to the story several times over the years, and finally tried writing it as a YA novel. I wouldn’t say it was difficult creating the setting, but it was a lot of work, because I was basically building a world from scratch, trying to imagine what the UK would be like in 100 years time when ACID had taken over. I had to invent new technology and try and figure out the politics, what people would wear, where they’d live and so on. It was fun, though!
Are you a sci-fi fan?
I do like sci-fi but I wouldn’t say I’m a hardcore sci-fi fan. I read really widely and like books in pretty much every genre, because every book you read teaches you about writing, even if it’s not in the genre you write in.
Are there any books/authors that inspire you?
Too many to list! If I had to pick one, though, it would be Stephen King. I got into him shortly after I started writing when I was 13, and to this day I’m still blown away by his skill as a storyteller.
Your main character Jenna has quite a fierce personality, was she based on anyone you know, and was it easy to write her?
She wasn’t based on anyone I know, but she did march into my head fully formed, which made her fairly easy to write. I really enjoyed it, actually, because it’s a lot of fun to write such a kick-ass character.
I’m an aspiring writer myself, and I’m always interested to know how other writers organise. Is there any particular place you prefer to write, and do you have a set amount of time you set aside, or is it on whim?
I used to write on the sofa with my laptop, but it hurt my neck, so now I’ve got a proper desk and a big comfy chair. It really helps with the neck problems and I wish I’d got my desk a lot sooner!
When I’m writing a draft, I do try and be fairly disciplined as quite often, especially when I’m writing a first draft (which I loathe doing) I’d rather do anything than actually sit down and write! What works best for me is setting myself a daily word count of 1000 words, and I’m not allowed to finish until I’ve got those words down.
I thought it’d be good to know a bit more about you; so…what’s your favourite colour?
Purple! I love it. I even have a purple stone in my engagement ring. Well, it is supposed to be the colour of creativity…
What advise would you give to new writers?
Never give up. Everything you write teaches you something. And the next book you write might be the one that gets you an agent or a publisher, but if you don’t write it, how will you ever know?
You can find Emma Pass on twitter: https://twitter.com/emmapass
Thank you to Emma for being nice enough to let me interview her. Of course, it’s only afterwards that I think of more questions. *face palm* In any case, this has been fun and enlightening. See below for the #UKYAExtravaganza blog tour dates
If you’re just finding out, tickets have sold out, but I’m pretty sure there’ll be all sorts of news on the day spread across the twitterverse. 🙂