For my own contribution, here are the 10 Q&As below:
|Pyr Books edition|
1: What is the working title of your book?
The book I’m focusing on for this ‘blog-hop’ is The Crossing, the first in my Blood of The Lamb trilogy.
2: Where did the idea come from?
The ideas in the trilogy came from a number of separate thoughts that eventually coalesced into one story idea. In terms of the ‘blood’ strand, I had been thinking about the way human beings farm animals, treating them kindly (sometimes like family members) then at a given time kill them and eat them! I wondered if people would find this as acceptable if we did this to fellow humans – suddenly the practice takes on a much more sinister and unacceptable hue. I was also thinking about the current situation in the world where religion is being used as a means of political power – and for holding power and control over faithful populations – and how easily this can be manipulated for self-serving reasons. There are also themes about racism, the ill-treatment of women, the incarceration of refugees... lots and lots of things I wanted to explore!
3: What genre does your book come under?
It’s shelved under Young Adult fiction (though plenty of adults have enjoyed it) – probably science fiction or speculative fiction, which might be more accurate. It’s dystopian too.
4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Nice to dream... I’d like my central character portrayed by a real Pacific Islander (where the book is set) – don’t care about big names, just would want actors who put their heart into it.
|Cover for NZ release|
5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Maryam refused to play by the rules, and now the Apostles of the Lamb are out to get her blood.
6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
The book was first published in NW by Random House NZ and has just been released in the US by Pyr Books.
7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
The first draft took me about 5 months, writing 3-4 days per week around my other work.
8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
It has been called ‘Like 1984 for teenagers’ and likened to a YA version of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’ I'm pretty damn happy to stick with those!
9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Overall, I wrote it from a place of anger and frustration – I just don’t understand why religions (of all sorts), who all started with basic tenets of love and compassion, are used as weapons of hate against those seen as ‘others.’ And I hate the inequality and inequity in the world, especially towards women and people of any colour other than white.
10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I would hope that it’s a book that, if read on a deeper level, will prompt a lot of thinking about what’s really going on in the real world, and about the way human beings treat each other. It’s written from a minority POV – a Pacific Island girl, set in the Pacific, and is graphic in its depiction of the emotional and physical abuse of this faithful population.
Because I've been away for a few days (trying to have a rest before another busy year revs up) I haven't been able to organise anyone to 'hop' to next, so am just going to include a few NZ author websites for those who might be interetsed to explore NZ writers further. I have chosen randomly - this is only a very small sample of many wonderful, wonderful writers here doing fantastic work (dear writing friends, if you're not in here please don't take offence - put it down to tired brain! - and if you'd like me to add you please just let me know!)
Fifi Colston Art, verse, writing - a wonderful mix from a highly talented writer/artist!
Bernard Beckett Outstanding writer for YA and adults and fascinating blog pieces.
Maureen Crisp Great archive of writing tips and articles (and all-round lovely woman)
Brian Falkner Great interactive website and exciting books
Kiwiwrite4kidz A review site which will introduce you to lots of NZ writers
Fleur Beale One of our most loved writers for kids and YA