Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sarah Alderson Interview

Sarah Alderson, author of Hunting Lila, was kind enough to answer some of my questions.
Check out her answers. :)

1 - Tell us a little bit about yourself? 
SA: I was born and grew up in London but now I live in Bali. I’m a wanderer – I think I’d be happiest living on an RV bus like the one in Hunting Lila, driving around from place to place (preferably with Alex for company).

2 – Have you always wanted to be a writer? If not, when did you find out you wanted to be a writer?
SA: I had no clue I wanted to be a writer until about two years ago. I worked for a charity as Head of Projects and I quit my job as I’d had enough of living in London and my husband I decided to take off on a round the world trip with our then three year old daughter to find some place new to live. I started off writing a blog about our travels which was really well picked up by papers and magazines and I also started writing Hunting Lila. It was only after I’d finished that I realised that I had discovered my passion. I can’t believe I didn’t work it out sooner – but better late than never! Now I can’t imagine not being a writer. And perhaps I needed thirty years of living and loving and having adventures under my belt before I began.

3 – Where did you come up with the idea for Hunting Lila? What inspired you to write it?
SA: I came up with the idea whilst swimming. I wanted to write something that was the opposite of a lot of young adult books – where the girl character was the kickass one and not a damsel in distress.

4 – Out of all your characters, which one is your favorite?  Which was the most challenging character to write about and why?
SA: In Hunting Lila I don’t have a favourite, I genuinely love all the characters, except perhaps Rachel. They’re all very real in my head. I really like Lila – she’s impulsive and a bit obsessed with Alex but she has a great self-deprecating humour and I love the history she shares with Alex and Jack. There are all these memories of Christmas’s past and basketball games in backyards and first days at school that are all in my head but which I hope the reader senses in their interactions. I love Demos too because he’s so conflicted. I really like all of Demos’s crew – Amber, Ryder, Nate and Suki in particular. I’ve just written a short story from Suki’s perspective which was so much fun. Her and Nate are such a comedy duo.

The most challenging – none of them really. Suki takes a little bit of concentration because you have to be aware that she’s reading the thoughts of every character in the scene and that’s going to affect what she says and does.

5 – I like the fact that in Hunting Lila some characters like Lila have special powers. If you could have one special power, which one would that be?
SA: I would love to be able to transport myself to wherever I needed to be. I miss my friends in other parts of the world and I’d love to go, ‘right tonight I’m going to hang out in London with my best friend drinking red wine and eating chocolate brownies, then I’m going to drop by my other friend in the Caribbean and go for a spin on their boat, then I’m going to pass by LA and go shopping and have brunch, and I’ll make it back to Bali in time for the school run.’ That would be just the most wonderful power ever.

I want the world at my fingertips!

6 – What do you like the most about writing? What would you say is the hardest part of being a writer?
SA: I’m lying in bed right now. That’s pretty cool right? I can write when I want, where I want. No more bosses (or at least, not in the same sense). No more commute (other than to the pool) and I get to interact with the coolest bunch of people – readers, bloggers, reviewers.

The hardest part is that  it can get pretty lonely living in these fabulous worlds which exist only in my head. But I share each chapter as I go with a couple of friends and that helps. Another hard part is the waiting. That sucks. You wait all the time – for an agent, a deal, a contract, news on sales figures, overseas rights, reviews. It’s hellish.

7 – Can you let us know something about the sequel to Hunting Lila?
SA: It’s called Losing Lila and it’s out next August. The opening scene is very Bourne Ultimatum though set in Mexico City. I hope fans will really love this sequel – not only does it feature nearly all the characters from Hunting Lila but it’s very much the story of how Lila grows and develops in her own skin and takes control of that wayward power of hers. She’s much more powerful and kick ass and there are lots of tensions between characters in the books that need to be worked out as well as the key mysteries to solve – what’s happened to Jack? And will they rescue Lila’s mum? (And for Lila – can she overcome Alex’s resolve in the midst of all this craziness – our girl has her priorities straight).

8 – Which author/s have inspired you the most?
SA: I’m really inspired by movies and television shows just as much as writers. I’m a child of the 80s, so Star Wars and Terminator and Lost Boys and Twin Peaks gave me my early education into other worlds and what could be conjured from the imagination. I think all this deeply influenced my writing.

I read and admire authors like Maggie Stiefvater and Suzanne Collins for their beautiful prose and the energy and plot of The Hunger Games.

9 - What can your readers expect from you in the future?
SA: I write insanely fast. I’ve just finished my sixth book and sold the film rights to Hunting Lila (though that’s a long and bumpy road and I’m not holding my breath) but I hope the future is full of Alex and Lila (3D versions please) and Evie and Lucas (from Fated). I want to keep writing until the ideas dry up, which judging from the way I write now, isn’t going to happen any time soon! Touch wood. I might try a screenplay at some point too.

10 - Is there anything else you would like your readers to know?
SA: I have a short story called Catching Suki, coming out soon, featuring a lot of the cast of characters from Hunting Lila. It will be available as an e-book on Amazon and all royalties and profits are going to a fabulous charity called Girltank which supports young girl changemakers across the globe. 

Thank you, Sarah! :) I can't wait to read Losing Lila now!

You can find Sarah at:

1 comment:

  1. Nice interview! I really love it. She's such an amazing author :)

    Same here, I can't wait for Losing Lila to be out!!!!