Interview by Carl Marsh - February 2015
so the new book is out but if I could start by asking you, as a writer, why should people and especially young people, read more books?
Because stories are gateways to other worlds, and windows into other people's minds. It's the closest we can get to connecting and empathising with other human beings.
The new book, what can the reader expect from it?
New characters, a return to London, and an in-depth look at how the clairvoyant syndicate works in that city.
You must have read a lot of books, so can you tell me which ones have stood out for you, and why?
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood is my favourite novel, and made me aware of both feminism and the dystopian genre. Recently I've enjoyed the Engelsfors trilogy (starting with The Circle) by Sara B. Elfgren and Mats Strandberg; The Girl With all the Gifts by M. R. Carey, and I've just started Hild by Nicola Griffith.
I know the film rights were snapped up for the books, who would you love to act in the film, if you had a dream wish list that is?
I have a few ideas, but I'm trying to keep an open mind, as I know we may not get all of my ideal casting choices.
Have you got the whole story arc planned out as I know it is of a planned series of 7 (seven), or are you still ‘chopping and changing’ what goes in which planned book?
I have the skeletal outline of each book planned out, with all the important events, and I know where Paige will be at the end of each one, but I like to leave room for the characters to flesh the story out themselves. Sometimes I can envision a scene in my head, but when it comes to writing it, it just doesn't come out like I'd hoped it would.
When did you decide writing was the career choice for you, especially as you got your book deal whilst still at University?
I knew I wanted to be a writer from when I was about twelve or thirteen.
What advice can you give to any new un-signed writers out there?
Don't be afraid to experiment with different voices, genres, and styles. You might find that you have to write a few different things, and get a few rejections, before you find a mode of storytelling that works well for you.
Last question, and perhaps as if you were writing it in a scene for one of your books, “If you were an animal, what would it be and why?”
I have been compared to a giraffe and a lemur before. I'm assuming giraffe is because of my height!