A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.
Today on Author Allsorts, I’m interviewing our very own Laure Eve, whose debut FEARSOME DREAMER is out from Hotkey Books today!
Congratulations and Happy Book Birthday, Laure! I absolutely loved FEARSOME DREAMER. It’s magical and dreamy, yet has a dark, gritty undertone and reminded me of Margo Lanagan, Neil Gaiman and Maggie Stiefvater. The worldbuilding in particular is so original; I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like it. How did you come up with World, Life and Angle Tar, and the concept of the Talented?
Thank you! I like you 🙂 The world came from my enjoyment of the skewed perspective alternative timelines give us. The idea lets us play so much, holding up a warped mirror to our own reality and seeing it with fresh eyes. This is what all the best fantasy and sci-fi does, even the really strange stuff. It shows us who we are.
The idea of the Talented was an easy leap for me. Ever since I can remember, I’ve had an inclination to vivid dreams. Those dreams that feel so real you are, on waking, convinced for several seconds that they are real. And if ‘real’ is just, as the lovely Morpheus in The Matrix teaches us, electrical signals interpreted by your brain, then if something feels real… it is. In a sense.
I loved the characters of Rue, White and Frith, too – how did you create them?
Rue and White came first. The scene where they have their first lesson together, and she walks to him across a dark, cavernous room, was the first scene I wrote, and it came from a dream I had. They are opposites, natural antagonists. Unnatural lovers, which I think is what makes their relationship so interesting. The tangled web woven between them was what I thought I was mainly writing about. And I was… but then along came Frith. He was a minor character at first, but he kept insisting for more scenes, like some kind of diva actor. And I had to accommodate. I like his presence. He adds a level of complexity that was missing before.
What was your journey to publication like?
For this book, embarrassingly easy. From the time I submitted to my now agent, to the time we said yes to the book deal, was a shade under two months. But I don’t believe this means too much, one way or another – things take time, or sometimes they don’t, depending on some ethereal combination of luck and chance. And I’ve made mistakes, and had my share of rejection. I talk more about that in this post.
Do you have any writing rituals?
Not really. I always write on the tube, but I think that’s out of necessity more than anything else 😀 Nothing quite gets me into the writing mood like music, thought weirdly I don’t tend to listen to music as I write – too distracting. Low level background noise is my fuel.
Who are your favourite writers?
There are just. So. Damn. Many. I say the same writers a lot, so I’m going to gloss over the usual favourites and go for some different choices. Dan Simmons is an incredible writer, but it takes a certain kind of mood to read him. Iain M. Banks for the world of the Culture. I owe some ideas to his books. And Robin Jarvis. I’ll read anything he writes. They look like children’s books, but they aren’t, if you know what I mean. The same could be said of all the best children’s books.
If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring authors, what would it be?
Read. Read, read. Read widely, in genres and areas you wouldn’t normally touch. Reading will help you understand how to form and how not to form a compelling story. No writing manual can teach you any better.
And finally, where would you prefer to live – World, Life or Angle Tar – and why?
Damn, this is a good question. I’m a prime candidate for Life – a born fantasist who would rather live in her own head than the real world half the time. But there’s too much danger there. I think Angle Tar, on balance. There’s something deeply alluring about its rich, brash culture.
Thank you, Laure!
In the world of Fearsome Dreamer, England has become Angle Tar – a technophobic and fiercely independent country holding its own against the mass of other nations that is World. Rue is an apprenticed hedgewitch in rural Angle Tar, but she knows she is destined for greater things. After being whisked off to the city by the enigmatic Frith, Rue becomes the student of White, a young Worlder with a Talent that is much in demand: White is no ordinary Dreamer – but then neither is Rue. Both can physically ‘jump’ to different places when they dream – and both have more power than they know. Rue and White find themselves electrically attracted to each other – but who is the mysterious silver-eyed boy stalking Rue’s dreams? And why is he so interested in her relationship with White? Is Rue about to discover just how devastatingly real dreams can be…?
Laure Eve is a French British hybrid who grew up in Cornwall, a place saturated with myth and fantasy. Being a child of two cultures taught her everything she needed to know about trying to fit in at the same time as trying to stand out. She speaks English and French fluently and can hold a vague conversation, usually about food, in Greek. Her debut novel is called FEARSOME DREAMER, and it’s out now!
Emma Pass has been making up stories for as long as she can remember. Her debut novel, ACID, is out now, and will be followed by THE FEARLESS on 3rd April 2014. By day, she works as a library assistant and lives with her husband and dog in the North East Midlands.