I’m working on two other novels for young adults: Albatross is at the editing stage, and Tombstone is finished, awaiting a publisher.
Albatross began life during Nanowrimo 2012. http://www.nanowrimo.org (Nanowrimo: novel writing in a month. It’s a great way of getting going with a new project. If you’ve not participated before, do give it a go this year!) I’d toyed with the idea of writing a book exploring gender identity for some time, and it seemed to me that this is a great theme for a young adult book.. Perhaps it was a sign of those particular times, but when I was a teenager, it was a pretty crucial topic. You know, are girls born or made? How do we acquire our sexuality? What makes one person very feminine, and another person overly butch? I’ve also always fancied writing some sci fi, but without the “sci” if possible. Not too many space ships, but lots of alternative possibilities. And the other issue I’m very interested in is identity – how unique are we? Which brings me to the subject of both clones and identical twins. So.. Albatross has got them all – gender identity, clones, twins, teens and an alternative world. That’s probably why it’s taking me so long to write. Each day I’ve got to think things like, ok what will they actually be wearing/ eating… how are they getting around, what do they eat, do they have the wheel, domestic animals, what do their houses look like, etc. not because I want to put all that boring detail in, but because you need to have it in your mind in order to write authentically. But it is the most fun you can have sitting still.
Tombstone. A few years ago I started writing a ghost story for adults. My main character was a journalist called Melissa who is being haunted. She thinks the ghosts are manifestations of past guilty secrets. It was fun to write and I was about 25,000 words in when I got more interested in the disappearance of her Dad, which was initially a minor sub-plot. And as that became more of a major thread, I began to see that it would probably make more sense if Melissa was a teenager, and rather than the ghosts being about her past, that they would be about her future…
This article was written by Caroline