Gosh it’s been a while! And I apologise for the awol-ness! But not to worry as I have a slew of posts in the pipeline to update on all the bookish things I’ve been up to (promise!) 🙂 Now, on to the reason why you’re actually reading this post…
Emily Lockhart does not need any introduction. She wrote We Were Liars which you may have heard about… It is a book that has had readers raving about the characters and writing style as well as agonising over the ending. In testament to just how popular this book is, We Were Liars has just won best YA book at the Goodreads 2014 book awards. Emily’s second book to be published in the UK is The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks whilst she’s written lots of children’s and YA fiction in the US already.
Anna James, from The Book People, led the discussion and we got to hear Emily talk about everything from her childhood to her book recs. Emily explained that the storyline of Liars was influenced a lot by her childhood. She used to split her time between a commune, where she lived with her mother, and Martha’s Vineyard with her grandparents in the summer and that’s where the idea behind Cadence and Beechwood came from. Emily said she was fascinated by the idea that a ferry journey could take you to “another life – the summer life”.
Emily mentioned she most associated with the character Gat from Liars, which I wouldn’t have guessed. She explained Gat was an outsider invited into a world of privilege (like Heathcliffe from Wuthering Heights *fangirls*) and Emily likened it to her experience as a scholarship student in a prestigious private school – belonging but not belonging at the same time.
There were some funny anecdotes like how both Liars and Frankie came about – Liars was conceived because Emily wanted to write about “real estate” (genuinely not making this up!) whilst a lunch with an editor led to an unplanned book deal and Frankie was born. And talking about choosing mottos for characters in Liars, Emily talked about some of the great sayings she’d come across such as “never read anything larger than your house” – one I think should apply to all of us booklovers 😀
Now for all you budding authors out there Emily had some top tips for undergoing the editing process. She said she tries to distance herself from editors comments for the first few days until she’s calmed down. Then she begins with the smallest edits first until even the big edits feel manageable. Butt Emily said if an edit still feels wrong after a week or two, she goes with her gut and sticks to her guns as all authors should.
Emily also let us in on her favourite books and authors:
- The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken, a children’s classic with the most enchanting illustrations
- Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith, a totally original novel which has both Emily and the YA blogosphere raving – add it to your to-read list if you haven’t already
- A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, The Color Purple by Alice Walker and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams if you’re after opinionated first and third person narrators like in Liars and Frankie
- And anything by PG Wodehouse who is one of Emily’s favourite authors.
Finally, we were also treated to a teeny tiny teaser about Emily’s next book. All she would divulge was that it would have a “little bit of murder” so keep your eyes and ears peeled!
Have you read Liars or managed to get your hands on Frankie yet? Have you read any of Emily’s recommended books above? I’d love to hear about it so let me know in the comments below 🙂