UKYA is all about introducing you to UK authors that write YA, and also, make sure that you keep up with other stops within the UKYA blog tour as well!
Today, I am featuring an interview with the wonderful Helen Douglas, author of the After Eden series.
Title: After Eden
Author: Helen Douglas
Series: After Eden #1
Publication Date: November 7th 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books
Eden Anfield loves puzzles, so when mysterious new boy Ryan Westland shows up at her school she's hooked. On the face of it, he's a typical American teenager. So why doesn't he recognise pizza? And how come he hasn't heard of Hitler? What puzzles Eden the most, however, is the interest he's taking in her.
As Eden starts to fall in love with Ryan, she begins to unravel his secret. Her breakthrough comes one rainy afternoon when she stumbles across a book in Ryan's bedroom - a biography of her best friend - written over fifty years in the future. Confronting Ryan, she discovers that he is there with one unbelievably important purpose ... and she might just have destroyed his only chance of success.
| Goodreads |
Q1: Tell us a little bit about Helen.
I’ve been an avid reader and writer my whole life and it was always my dream to write books for a living. It just took me a bit longer than expected to get there! I was lucky enough to grow up in a beautiful and wild part of the world – Cornwall – where I had a lot of freedom. My friends and I used to pack up picnics and head off on our bicycles for the day. (That sounds very Enid Blyton, doesn’t it?) From there, I moved to London for Uni and then I got bitten by the travel bug. For the next few years I didn’t have a serious job – I just worked to save for next trip. Eventually I settled in America where I did a bit of theatre directing and teaching. When I had children, I moved back to Cornwall so that they could get to grow up with lots of space around them as well. I still wrote stories and parts of novels, but didn’t take writing seriously. And then one day I was about to go for a big promotion at work and a writer friend told me not to apply. She said that if I did that, I would never find the time to finish a novel because all my weekends and evenings would be taken up with work. She was right. That was the moment I decided to stop thinking about writing as a hobby and start thinking about it as my job. It was absolutely the best decision. I feel very fortunate now to live in a beautiful part of the world and get paid to do something I love.
Q2: Eden is pretty much a normal girl, but she kinds of get mixed in something different than normal. What inspired you to create Eden this way? Did you have any inspiration? Or did you just created her at the top of your awesome mind?
I made a conscious decision not to present Eden as a kick-ass, confident heroine because I’m interested in characters who feel like you or me – with their own quirks and strengths and weaknesses, but who are essentially ordinary. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes and I knew that I wanted Eden to discover her strengths and confidence throughout the course of the book. In some ways I was inspired by Sarah Connor from The Terminator franchise. In the first film, she is very much an ordinary girl-next-door type. By the second film, she’s grown and changed significantly.
Q3: I know that most authors listen to music while they are writing. Let's just tell the truth, music has inspired so many writers in the past year, so did you have a playlist that you listened throughout the story? If you did, what was on the playlist?
I listened to music before writing a scene, then worked in silence while actually writing. Some of the songs that inspired me were: Porcelain by Moby, Yellow by Coldplay and Drops of Jupiter by Train, although I listened to a wide range of music to get into the writing mood. The full playlist for AFTER EDEN (one track for each chapter including the Prologue) can be found here: After Eden
Q4: What advice would you give to newbie authors that are struggling to write their own story in today's market?
Don’t listen to any of the information out there about what’s selling and what’s not. Right now you’ll hear that paranormal is over, dystopian is finished, everyone’s fed up with sci-fi. Write the book you really want to write because that’s the book you’ll love enough to keep working on through the hard times. And by the time your book is ready to hit shelves, the book market will have moved on anyway.
Q5: So why should we all rush out to buy AFTER EDEN?
Because it publishes the day before my birthday and lots of sales would be the best birthday present ever! Seriously, if you enjoy contemporary romance, with a little sci-fi thrown in, give AFTER EDEN a try.