Monday, September 17, 2012

Guest Blogger - Carol Hedges

Carol Hedges is the successful author of 11 books for young adults and teenagers. Her writing has received much critical acclaim, and her books have been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and the Angus Book Award. At the beginning of this year,

Carol decided to become an Indie author, and has just published her firsrt YA novel, Jigsaw Pieces on Amazon Kindle. She is currently working on her next ebook, a Victorian detective novel, with werewolf.

Carol lives in Hertfordshire, with her husband, a pink 2CV, two cats and a lot of fish. She has one grown up daughter.

To celebrate the release of her latest novel, Jigsaw Pieces, Carol kindly agreed to allow me to interrogate, um, I mean interview her.

1. Most authors are also big readers. Do you read the same genre you write? and which book has influenced you most in your desire to be a writer?

I am a voracious reader - one of those who always has a stack of books by the bed - which follow me round the house. I don't read YA novels, actually I don't think of myself as a YA author, but as a writer of crime fiction that just happens to have teenagers as the main protagonists. I find it a bit tedious that we have to be categorised all the time! But I do read a lot of crime fiction and thrillers: Henning Mankell, Robert Harris are two favourites as well as Dickens ( well, he writes crime fiction, in a way). In answer to the last part of the question, I could give a frivolous answer and say Orlando the Marmalade Cat, as Kathleen Hale was the first author I borrowed from our tiny local library, when I was 6. The luscious illustrations and funny kittens were an early source of inspiration. Maybe that's why I have so many kittens on my Facebook page! Seriously though, I can't say one book has influenced me; I think the concept of THE BOOK is what inspires me and drives me to write.

2. Are you a plotter or a pantster when it comes to writing your books?

Because I write crime fiction, I have to be a bit of a plotter. I need to work out what the crime will be in advance, and who is the perpetrator. And I need to know how everything will end. Then I just fly by the seat of my pants, because it's more exciting that way. I always try to end a writing session on a cliff-edge, so that I return to a challenge. Being a pantster means that I'm open to new things happening, and I don't panic if the narrative starts veering off-course, because there is no course. Though there is an ultimate destination.

3. If you were giving a dinner party, which 4 fictional characters would you most like to invite and why?

Oh gosh, what a HARD question! Well, one of the guests would be Scarlett O'Hara from Gone With the Wind because she's the original Steel Magnolia, isn't she. And then, I'd invite Kurt Wallander, because his Swedish reserve would be an interesting contrast. My third dinner guest must be Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird because I just love the way she reacts to situations and people in Maycomb. My last guest? Ooh, pure indulgence: Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. I adore a man with a crumbly interior. And a wet shirt - no no,wait, that's Colin Firth.

4. What are you working on next?

I'm on the final edits of an historical novel set in 1860. It's called Diamond Girl and is 'Victorian-lite' in that, although researched up to the brim, it's written in a fast-paced and (I hope) humorous style. It also pokes gentle fun at some of the Victorian novel cliches:the bumbling detective, the ragged crossing sweeper, the over-managing mother. Did I mention the werewolf? I hope to get it uploaded around Christmas.

Many thanks to Carol for stopping by today. Jigsaw Pieces is available from AMAZONUK

Here's the blurb!

‘He had been part of my everyday life. I hadn’t liked him much, nobody had liked him much, but he’d been there. Now, I’d never see him again.’ Annie Skjaerstad had been searching for her identity since being uprooted from her native country of Norway. With a spiky personality winning her no friends, and family members suddenly torn out of her life, she is left seeking comfort from a growing intrigue into the stories of fallen war heroes. But one day, a boy from her school unexpectedly commits suicide, changing things forever. Confused by the tragic tale of someone she knew, Annie soon finds herself conducting her own investigation into his death. What she uncovers will bring her to a dark and dangerous place, as suddenly – her own life is put at risk. A tense, coming of age crime thriller by the author of ‘Dead Man Talking’.


Carol Hedges said...

Thank you, Nell for giving me this opportunity to share some of my writing experience. Look forward to sharing comments from your readers!

Flowerpot said...

Can't wait to read this!

Carol Hedges said...

Thanks 'Flowerpot' Hope you enjoy it!

Gilli Allan said...

Thunk this sounds terrific, Carol. Good luck.

Carol Hedges said...

Thanks Gilli.