A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.
Late in the editing process for Poison Boy, I realised I needed a streetwise kid who could get my crew into a secret location, so I added a boy called Eyesdown to the novel. And I love him! He seemed to appear fully-formed; an angry, desperate, razor-sharp trader in gossip and secrets. If I can, I’ll write a book about him one day!
Picking a favourite character is tough – you feel so close to all of them since you know them inside out, know their life stories, their backgrounds, their hopes and dreams and fears and thoughts – even the ones they don’t let themselves acknowledge. In The Elites, my favourite character is Butterfly. Not only is he a hot boy with wings (hello!), he’s got the most tragic story. But he doesn’t let it define him. Instead, he uses it to become a better person. I love how grounded and loyal he is, and how he’s the steady beat to best friend Silver’s erratic drumroll. He’s the kind of person that’ll always be there for you, even in your darkest moments – and we all need someone like that in our lives.
My favourite setting has to be both our world, the human world or as it’s called in my books The Frontier, as well as the Otherwhere, the place where the Fae in my world live. The Frontier may seem like a normal average everyday place, but that girl you can’t stop staring at or that boy who is so cheekily smiling at you with eyes bluer than sapphires, whose to say they are even human? And if they’re human, whose to say they’re not carrying some kind of magical token that they’re happy to barter for, for perhaps a kiss? The Otherwhere is primal, the land is thick with ancient forests and ruined temples. Cities and towns are modern enough, but each country has its own King or Queen or Lord who they pay allegiance too and it makes for fun storytelling!
My favourite landscape from my own books would have to be the Hillands from ROSES. Its grassy, secluded and full of Magic – what’s not to love?
I’m fond of the Wok the Boat, the boat-themed noodle bar in Emma Hearts LA. I love that coming up with wok-based puns is part of my job now.
I love my main characters like they were my children, so I can’t choose between them. However, I do have a particularly soft spot for Val, Spider’s Nan in Numbers and The Chaos, Nelson in The Chaos and little Mia in Infinity. And at the moment I’m writing a character called Milton, who isn’t really meant to be in my book but has wormed his way into my affections.
My favourite setting from Red Rock is the island of Comino – that tiny rocky island in the Malta archipelago that lies between mainland Malta and Gozo. There are a series of caves which are popular with scuba divers. When I went there we took down food and the fish ate from our hands.
My favourite setting so far in any of my books is the lighthouse in the first story of My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish-The Sea-quel. Somewhere along the journey it turned into this Scooby Do spooky seaside setting complete with hidden trap doors and a crotchety but wise lighthouse keeper who hates meddling kids. It was soooo much fun to write. It was like the lighthouse turned into its own character as the words hit the page.
I loved writing Liz, the narrator of Glimpse. She has some very uncommon problems, stemming from some very common issues (self-acceptance being a big one), so writing her was both fun and an emotional journey.
Aulder and Bartie: a department store that’s really a twisted forest (with a sleeping God at its heart). This is of course EXACTLY why walking round these rambling old shops is often so confusing. It’s a trap!!!
My favourite character from DARK DAYS is Sia. She is in an extreme situation in a terrifying world that she can’t escape. She’s confused, frightened, angry, suffering and trying desperately to gain some control in a place where she has none. I really enjoyed exploring all sides of her character.
And mine? My favourite setting has to be the abandoned library in ACID. In Jenna Strong’s world, libraries – and free access to literature – have become a thing of the past. The library is the last one left in the whole of the Independent Republic of Britain, and has been left standing due to a lack of money to pull it down. Although the building is almost derelict, a small group of people have discovered it and now they use it for… well, I won’t tell you. It would spoil the surprise!
Emma Pass has been making up stories for as long as she can remember. Her debut novel, ACID, will be published on 25th April 2013, followed by another stand-alone thriller for young adults in 2014. By day, she works as a library assistant and lives with her husband and dog in the North East Midlands.