Second Polish interview

Here’s a link to the interview I did with Polish website Carpe Noctem. There’s also to be a competition to win some of my books in Polish coming up soon.

And here’s the text for English readers:

Even though “Bad Blood” is your latest book, it was the first one that has been published in Poland. Can you say something about your other works? Which one would you recommend for someone who liked “Bad Blood”?

I write in a wide range of genres. My first books were science fiction but since then I’ve written fantasy, horror and contemporary fiction novels. Readers who liked Bad Blood might also enjoy Waking Dream, a tale of three cousins who enter a landscape of dreams, or my series that starts with Borderland, about a group of teenagers who travel between worlds.

In 2011 my next horror novel will be published in the UK and perhaps in Poland as well. It is called Ghost of a Chance and is a ghost story and detective story set in an English country house.

Why did you decide to write literature for children and young adults?

I fell into writing almost accidentally. I was writing stories for years before I realised I was a writer.  I wrote the kind of books I wanted to read and fortunately for me there were publishers who liked them as well. It wasn’t until I’d written several books that I started to write more deliberately for young adults. I still write for the kind of reader I was as a teenager and the kind of reader I am now. I like stories about change and becoming and identity: all themes that are very appropriate for teenagers.

What was it like to send a sample of your first book, “Hex”, to your mother’s agent as a seventeen years old girl and later get it accepted for publishing? How did you feel while waiting for the feedback? Were you confident or rather nervous and hopeless?

I was sending material to my mother’s agent for advice about whether to try submitting professionally, so I was hopeful that she’d find something to like. I don’t know what I expected but it came as a HUGE surprise when she offered to represent me. Then, later, Douglas Hill suggested I send my book to his editor Marion Lloyd. She was the first editor it was sent to so I wasn’t expecting much – most books have to be submitted to lots of publishers. It was wonderful when Macmillan took the book and gave me a contract for a second book as well. I had just started at university so I was very young to get a first contract straight away like that.

Did your mother encourage you to write and was she helpful? Did she give you any advice on writing?

My mother has always been very helpful and supportive. We talk to each other about our ideas and discuss tricky bits of narrative. She also gives me advice about the industry and we discuss what ideas are popular and what might be new and exciting.

Why did you decide to turn to darker fiction and write “Bad Blood”?

I like to move forward in my writing and experiment with new ideas and new styles. Bad Blood was a challenge for me. I wanted to see if I could write something frightening and bring a darker atmosphere into my work.

Is there anything particular that inspired you to write “Bad Blood”?

I went to stay in a house in the Lake District in England and was inspired by the architecture and ambiance of the house as well as by the surrounding scenery. I was staying with my family which might have inspired my use of a family as the central characters in the book.

I was really impressed by the way you used the abandoned house and eerie dolls to create dark atmosphere in “Bad Blood”. Have you ever thought about writing a full-blooded horror for adults?

I would like to write an adult novel, which might have horror elements, but I haven’t had quite the right idea yet. I have lots of notes and some text fragments for an adult novel but right now I’m having too many young adult novel ideas to work on!

Who are your favourite writers and did their works have influence on your writing?

I have definitely been inspired by Diana Wynne Jones (A Tale of Time City, Fire and Hemlock and others) and Margaret Mahy (The Changeover and The Tricksters). Another favourite author is Ursula Le Guin.  I’ve also been influenced by Alan Garner, Annie Dalton, and John Wyndam. I read so much and enjoy so many different authors that I could list hundreds of books here, so I’d better leave it at that for now. If anyone would like to know more about my influences and the writers I admire, I sometimes recommend books on my blog which can be found on my website: http://www.rhannonlassiter.com

 

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