Wednesday, January 02, 2013

The Next Big Thing

1)      What is the working title of your next book?
Runaways – now the official title! Sometimes the working title sticks, sometimes it doesn’t.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

I wanted to write a story about a boy who runs away and how he survives – but not as a street kid in a city. I wanted to take him out to the country somewhere. Then I decided to have two narrators so his sister came into the story. It means I can tell it in two different voices, with different things happening.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

It’s a verse novel – so that’s a novel told in poetry.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

For Jack, I’d pick Hayley Joel Osment as he was in The Sixth Sense. But he’s now grown up, so I have no idea! For Cassie, his sister, same thing. I tried Googling but that didn’t help either. I just have a picture of them in my own head, and that’s what counts for me.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Caught between two parents, neither of whom really want him, Jack runs away and is joined by the one person who truly cares about him, his sister Cassie.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

It was represented by my agent and will be published by Penguin Books in 2013.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

About two years. There were many times I nearly gave up, but once I found the place where Jack and Cassie run to in South Australia (turned out to be Hindmarsh Island but I had to go there to realize it), the story finally started to come alive for me.

8)What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Maybe something by Steven Herrick, who also writes verse novels in different voices.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Simply the idea of running away, which I did several times as a kid but I never got very far. I lived in the country and you had to walk a really long way just to get onto the main road!

10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?

I tend to write a lot about kids whose lives are made difficult by adults who either don’t care enough or are too selfish or caught up in their own dramas to realize what is happening to their own children. I love the idea of these kids turning the tables and finding ways to become independent and strong, and make their own lives worth living. I guess independence and self-reliance are big factors for me, and I worry about helicopter parents (or their opposite). So if you want to read about kids who find strength and courage together, this is it.

Here’s my list of writers who will be posting next week:

Tracey Rolfe’s writing blog is at <>
Demet Divaroren is at
Ellen Gregory -