2024 Reading Challenge

2024 Reading Challenge
Tina has read 0 books toward her goal of 39 books.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Author Alice Kuipers drops by to say "hi"

Author, Alice Kuipers drops by to discuss her book and the future of publishing!! Welcome Alice!!!

Tina: Your main character is written as a "real" person with flaws and qualities. Tell me about how you view the main character's flaws?

  • The main character, Sophie, felt very real to me. She kept nagging at my mind when I was trying to sleep or read and so I knew I had to write about her. Sophie is really struggling at the start of the novel with the terrible events of her past and her way of dealing with it - which is to not deal with it - is one of her flaws. She thinks being normal is really important and she hates that she can't just get on with her life. She's not very forgiving of herself and she doesn't even know herself very well. Having a character who I liked so much but who had so far to travel to get to know herself better was really exciting for me as a writer. It was challenging (and quite hard) to discover her fully on the page because she was trying so hard to hide herself from everyone. Even from herself. Definitely from me! As the author, this character haunted me and challenged me. She made me push myself to get the words on the page. Now, I view her flaws as essential to making her feel true to readers because they made her feel true to me.

Tina: Where did you get this original idea for a book?

  • People often ask me about ideas and where I get them from and I try to give good answers but often the truth is a strange combination of half remembered moments and glittering impulses. I was inspired by lots of things all at once for this book. I wanted to write about panic attacks because I had this girl in my head who suffered from them. I wanted to explore the tragedy of the London bombing and the aftershock of living with that (I was in the suburbs of London that day and I needed a way to think about the events of that morning - writing is my way of thinking). And finally, I wanted to explore the relationship between two sisters. I live way too far from my own sister and I miss her. I guess all those thoughts were shifting around in my head and then the idea of words being black like inky spiders glittered in my mind and the impulse to write the opening page of the book got me going.

Tina: Do you believe that someone can live their life fully, when they have such guilt and a heavy heart?

  • I think recovering from grief and from guilt is incredibly hard. I did a lot of research into how people move on from tragedy. Again and again, I found people with hearts so heavy they couldn't live their lives fully. Sophie wants to move on but to do that, she has to let herself grieve. Only then can she possibly begin to really live again. I hope The Worst Thing She Ever Did explores this accurately.

Tina: Where do you see the world of publishing in the next 5 years:

  • This is a good question and one that publishers and agents are asking themselves right now, it seems. I'm not sure most of them know. Personally, and I'm not an expert, I think there will be lots of books that are only made as eBooks. Perhaps print on demand will become the way forward for paper books and perhaps book stores will have to rethink ways to meet readers. I love book shopping in stores where the staff know what to suggest for me to read next.It's one of my greatest pleasures so the thought of the changes that may come over the next five years chill me a little. I know there will still be readers and there will still be stories for writers but in the next five years, I believe the book industry will shift. Some publishers will (and already are) embracing those changes. I guess I should be excited as well as concerned. We'll see.

Tina: What do you think about ebooks?

  • I had a Kobo. I loved it. It broke. A book has never ever broken on me or failed to be there when I need it at one in the morning. Books wait faithfully for me on my bedside table. I'm a little burned from my eBook affair, but next time I'm on a plane I know I'll secretly wish I had my Kobo with me...

Thanks very much, Tina. Keep up the great work!

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