UKYACX is coming around again. And with that, comes another epic blog tour. For this years blog tour, I have teamed up with Liz Flanagan, author of Eden Summer to give you a short Q&A about her book. So without further ado, I’ll pass onto Liz…
- Tell us about Eden Summer?
Eden Summer is a thriller that’s also about friendship and resilience. My main character Jess turns up at school one Friday morning to discover that her best friend Eden has gone missing overnight. After helping the police with their investigation, she decides to join forces with Eden’s boyfriend Liam to retrace their steps from that summer. Along the way, they uncover the secrets that both girls have been hiding, as time runs out to find Eden safe and well.
- Why did you set it in your home town?
I set the story in my home town because it’s the place that I know and love best. I grew up in Hebden Bridge, so I have layers of memories, from being a child, a teenager and an adult in this beautiful landscape. It’s also somewhere that contains a certain wildness and darkness, so I wanted to refer to that, too.
It’s also somewhere that many writers have described, which can be a challenge, particularly when so many astonishingly talented poets and novelists got there first. It made me doubt myself and interrogate my right to write about this place. I think anyone growing up here is aware of that, so I’ve given Jess some of that dilemma in the story.
- What has been the most challenging thing about your journey to publication?
Perhaps the most challenging thing was the length of that journey! Eden Summer is the third novel I’ve written, so I had to come to terms with rejection along the way. It was particularly hard after my second novel was turned down by editors, even though it got some encouraging feedback. I think I thought this was my last shot, so perhaps that made me push myself and my writing harder this time.
- What’s your advice to emerging writers?
Keep going! When you’re writing a first draft, don’t think too critically, and don’t compare your early draft to finished books: just get the words out. Afterwards, that’s when your inner editor kicks in, and you might need to edit and redraft more times than you expect! Think of it as a marathon, and pace yourself to keep going to the finish line…
- UKYACX is being hosted in Newcastle City Library – tell us about how libraries have been important to you?
Libraries were absolutely vital for me, growing up, and they still are! As a child, I went to Hebden Bridge library very often. I read fiction, non-fiction, and then later I worked my way through the young adult shelves, reading authors like Robert Swindells, Susan Cooper, Margaret Mahy, Robert Westall, John Christopher and others. I recall borrowing certain books which made a huge impact on me, like Louise Lawrence’s Children of the Dust, or Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O’Brien. I wouldn’t have had access to such fantastic reading material otherwise.
I’m delighted that I can nowtake my daughters to the same library to feed their book addiction too.
Thank you to Sofia for hosting this blog interview, and to UKYACX for inviting me to take part on September 17th.
Tickets available here: http://www.sevenstories.org.uk/whats-on/events/122825/ukya-extravaganza-afternoon-event-ya-panel-talks
Find out more about Liz on her website:
Follow her on Twitter: @lizziebooks
or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lizflanaganauthor
Big thanks to Liz for answering the questions and being awesome! Make sure to follow the rest of the blog tour (UKYACX Blog Tour Banner YA Authors).