Ian is an idiot. I’ve been aware of this for a long time and yet he still never ceases to amaze me. Currently his idiocy is on display as he tries to build a pyramid, deck-of-cards-style, out of sugar packets, he is yet to make one small triangle stay upright but it’s still amusing. It’s also quite distracting, I’ve been able to completely tune out Jackie’s monologue about the evils of coffee. Since it’s the Summer holidays, our lunch table in the university cafeteria has recently been traded in for a mixture of café and bar tables. For the first week of this, Jackie was thrilled, she had just gotten into coffee, but that quickly spiralled and now she is fully informed on all the reasons we should all stop drinking it. Ian suspects she is just sensitive to caffeine but doesn’t want us tempting her to the dark side. I’m enjoying the café trips though, as much as they might be depleting my Summer funds every day or so, I have finally mastered my order and am waiting for the day I get to just say ‘the usual’ to the barista and they know what I mean. So far, no luck but I have gotten three funny looks for ordering my coffees with syrup, I think because they assume it’s a girly order, but personally I think it simply more characteristic of a sugar addict and I’m okay with that. The group varies a lot between days, Jack is away on holiday with family for a few weeks so he’s out, but Ian has been a constant with me, neither of us have enough going on to miss any social opportunities. Ian and I have invited Ivy, via text, but haven’t heard anything from her, I assume she must be on holiday as well but don’t remember her mentioning it before.
Today we talk about Finding Them, a book by Lorna Stevenson published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the author, Lorna Stevenson, to get to know her better, if there was a particular moment that led her to the writing of her book Finding Them, as well as what she would suggest to a young writer who wants to write a debut novel.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- Is there a particular moment in your life that led you to the writing of your book? What was that?
This book is a sequel to my first. As I wrote my first book, I knew I wanted to follow it up with this story to further explore the characters I loved. Fun fact, I actually wrote another version of the sequel, a full-length novel, and only at the end did I realise it wasn’t the story I wanted to tell, and I began working on this piece. I think about 2 sentences of the first sequel draft made it into this work. Perhaps one day, I’ll do more with the other version, but for now I’m very excited to share this work. I worked on this book during my final year of university, and rewarded myself for doing coursework by being able to spend time on this, it was very motivational. This book goes deeper into a lot of what I feel like I just scratched the surface of with my first book and I’m so excited to be able to share it. There are moments in this book inspired by moments in my life, making it a more personal journey to write it.
- What characteristics should your audience have to appreciate your book?
I think anyone interesting in reading a story about friendship will thoroughly enjoy this piece. The characters are all very distinctive, friends of mine have guessed at who inspired each character, but really, we can be a bit like each of them. There is a lot of travel in this book, so a hint of wanderlust will add to the experience. This series does have a hint of fantasy, so I think an appreciation for fantasy, as well as a liking for new adult books, would draw people to this work. There is a lot of heart in this story, so if you’re willing to worry about a character and root for them in hard times, you’re in for a good read. I will say, you’d have to read the first to fully appreciate the characters’ journey. However, if you want to laugh and cry, just give it a go!
- What would you suggest to a young writer who wants to write a debut novel?
Write a story you’re passionate about. Writing and editing takes a lot of time and care and you have to be eager to spend a lot of time with your story. Once you know what you want to write, give yourself the time to write it, and do it how you want. When I started writing, I felt a bit silly like it wasn’t something I should take too seriously, and that was difficult feeling to get over. If you don’t believe in yourself as writer, you won’t get very far, especially in sharing your work. In university I took a class where I had to stand up and read a short story I’d written every week to a group of my peers. At the time I dreaded each reading, but in the end feedback I received gave me a lot of confidence and reassurance. Sending your work to publishers is an even scarier experience, but it’s made a lot easier when you believe what you’ve written is worth being shared with the world. If you want to write, do it, let yourself be passionate about it, and know that if you loved writing it someone else will love reading it.
- How would you describe your writing style?
Comedic, I suppose. Whatever the scene, I try to add a bit of humour. In this work, I shift between a few perspectives and so the tone shifts with that, but there’s always some humour there, often sarcasm. This work was written for young people and above, so the writing style itself isn’t complex or difficult to follow. You won’t get lost in a metaphor. I write in a way i hope everyone can understand, and in a way that will hopefully start a conversation even within oneself about the subject matter, over the word choice. I write very character driven stories, meaning I can be a bit slow when asked to describe a story, but describing a character, I can do for hours. Before starting this series, I had the characters in mind for years, waiting for the write story and plot for them to hit me. This carried over into a lot of work going into letting the reader know each character and their relationships with each other.
- Are you working on a new writing project?
Yes, I’ve written a standalone novel since that I am in the process of editing. This novel is about a world in which the prison system has been abolished for self-contained towns of criminals who have their memories erased, Criminals live free, with just the knowledge they committed a crime, but not which one. The story follows a young girl as she awakes in one of these towns and tries to start a new life while wondering about her old one. I am also currently working on a new series of YA novels. I won’t say much about them, as I am in the early stages of this project, but I have planned out the rough structure of a trilogy for these new characters. The series will focus on friends, family and struggles of destiny. In the near future I hope to write the third book in the series we’re discussing here. I know what I want to do with the third and would be final instalment of the series, but its bittersweet to think about writing the ending. So many ideas, such little time! If you want to follow my writing journey, follow me on instagram @writing_them
Europe Books thanks the author, Lorna Stevenson, once again for taking the time and answering our questions. We are really pleased to have walked alongside her on the editorial path that led to the publication of her book Finding Them. We wish her the best of luck for her future works.
To you, my readers, I hope that this book will fill you with emotions and make you reflect on all aspects about friendship.
So, my dear reader, all I have to say is to enjoy your reading!