Sophie Masson tagged me in this fun on-going blog for authors to answer questions about their up- coming work. See Sophie’s blog on www.sophiemasson.org/news.html
Q: What is the working title of your next book? A: A Ring Through Time, to be published by Harper Collins in March 2013. (Photograph depicts a re-enactment of convict times on Norfolk Island, where my story is set.)
Q: Where did the idea come from for the book? A: We were on holiday on the fabulous (and ghost-inhabited) Norfolk Island. The convict ruins and the horrific convict past fascinated me. Then, when I put my face underwater to snorkel around Emily Bay, I heard a voice in my head saying: ‘If only I could see my life as clearly as I can see everything now.’ Which set up questions: who is this girl and what’s happened to her that she needs to see her life more clearly? The story grew from that.
Q: What genre does your book fall under? A: I would call it an historical romance, but it’s described as a ‘Gothic romance’ in the teachers notes – and that’s fine too!
Q: What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? A: They’re so real in my mind I can’t really ‘see’ them as anyone else. I might leave that to the director to choose, assuming all my dreams come true and it’s made into a movie!
Q: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? A: Allie’s growing love for Noah is doomed unless she can solve a family mystery and lay the ghosts to rest.
Q: Will you book be self-published or represented by an agency? A: The book will be published by Harper Collins in March 2013.
Q: How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? A: A year – or about 12 years, depending on how you look at it. I made lots of notes while on holiday (having learned never to ignore the voices in my head!) but the project was shelved while I wrote The Janna Mysteries and other novels. I picked it up again in 2010, writing it while on a May Gibbs Fellowship in Adelaide. It’s been through several edits since.
Q: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? A: I can think of lots of historical romances for adults: not too many for Y/A, especially with a mystery attached. A ground-breaking novel maybe??
Q: Who or what inspired you to write this book? A: The history and setting of beautiful Norfolk Island and that voice! But the peace and quiet of the writer’s studio in Adelaide really got me going, as did the kindness and friendship of children’s authors in Adelaide and the help of the administrators of the May Gibbs trust – this is truly a golden gift for authors.
Q: What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest? A: There’s a doomed love affair casting a blight on a present-day romance; a bloody history of cruelty towards convicts; a beautiful island with a complex and fascinating history; ghosts and family secrets – it’s pretty much got everything except vampires and spaceships -but maybe I can cover those in my next book!