Monday, August 19, 2013

Interview with Liz Bankes, author of Undeniable

Hello! Today - as part of the Undeniable Blog Tour - I have an interview with the lovely author, Liz Bankes. I've really loved both books by Liz Bankes that I've read - Irresistible and Undeniable. I love the humour and romance in her books, but also the amazing friendships too.  

If you'd like to know more about Undeniable or Liz Bankes, do visit the following websites:

Hello and welcome to Fluttering Butterflies! Could you please tell me a little about yourself and your book, Undeniable.

Hello! And thank you very much for having me. I am Liz and I’m part-writer of teen romance books, part-assistant editor of children’s books and part-lover of cats.* UNDENIABLE is the follow up to my first book, IRRESISTIBLE, but the books can be read as stand-alones too. IRRESISTIBLE was the story of Mia and a summer of romantic entanglements. In UNDENIABLE it’s Mia’s best friend Gabi’s turn – she’s off to London to intern on her favourite teen drama for the summer and she meets a fun-loving extra called Spencer. It would seem the perfect opportunity for summer romance, but Gabi is reeling from a break up. And so trusting someone new is a huge deal. 

*I meant that I am a fan of cats, not that I am a person who has affairs with them. Just to be clear.

How different was writing Undeniable than writing Irresistible?

On one hand I felt more confident, because I learnt a lot from the editing process for IRRESISTIBLE. The first book felt like a real leap into the unknown – I’d never written anything that long before and I just went for it and thought ‘well I hope that counts as a book’. Everything my editor said was wise and good, so I kept it in mind for the second one. On the other hand it was hard writing as a different character – Mia’s voice in book one was pretty much the same as mine! Also, Gabi is my favourite character, so I wanted to do her justice!

What were you like at Gabi's age?

A female version of Will from the Inbetweeners. I spent a lot of time not getting into pubs and daydreaming about being cool. And stalking boys.*

*Just in the usual manner of lurking near them at parties and changing my route to school so I could walk past them, not the kind that gets you arrested.

Was there any particular scene in the book that you found really hard to write and had to keep returning to?

There’s a scene where Gabi phones her best friend Mia from the bathroom in Spencer’s house, after she’s had a lovely time with him, but isn’t sure what is going on. At first it was just played for comedy, with Gabi drunk and falling asleep on the loo, but I rewrote it quite a few times because I really wanted to get across that Gabi, who is usually very confident, is suddenly feeling unsure and insecure, but is covering it up. And that she needs Mia to be there for her, like Gabi was for Mia in book one. * Spoiler * She still falls asleep on the loo.

Which soap or television programme which you like to intern with?

It would definitely be a comedy. I’d go back in time and intern on Spaced or The Office – I irritate people by quoting from them a lot and it would be brilliant to have been there the first time those lines were said. I’d try and wangle a cameo as ‘short girl who walks past’ but would probably ruin it by laughing. Either that or I’d intern on Dawson’s Creek and make Pacey be my boyfriend.

Who is your fictional crush or favourite literary couple?

Well this is easy as my fictional crush is also one part of my favourite couple! It’s Dave the Laugh and Georgia from the Georgia Nicolson books. I’ve loved them since I started reading the series at the age of 12 and then spent years desperate for Georgia to sack off the silly Sex Gods and pick Dave! I think they show that the most important thing when it comes to love is having someone you get on with and who makes you laugh.

Gabi has a great circle of friends - if you could choose another fictional best friend for yourself and one for Gabi, who would you choose?

I am going to be repetitive and pick Georgia Nicolson as mine. She’d be full of wise boy advice, such drawing a face on a melon so that you have something to practise kissing on when your boyfriend’s not around. And that would mean I’d be part of the ace gang. It was something I really wanted to get across in this book – the focus is the romance, but it is important not to forget that your friends will be the ones who are there no matter what. I’ll give Gabi Jane Eyre – she has a bit of a miserable time of it and I think Gabi would take her out for some crazy dancing and cheer her up!

Which UKYA book have you most been looking forward to reading this year?

I was very much looking forward to the second Geekhood book from Andy Robb (Geekhood 2: Mission Improbable) coming out and it more than lived up to it! And it’s not YA, but it is difficult to explain how so very excited I am about Bridget Jones 3 coming out. It’s the kind of excited where you want to do a little dance when you think about it. Bridget is one of my absolute favourites and my inspiration for wanting to write romantic comedy.

Finally, what's next for you?

I am writing book three at the moment. It’s going to be a two-hander, featuring Cleo from book one and Rosie from book two. Cleo was Jamie’s quite terrifying girlfriend from book one. She’s very different to Mia and Gabi – (seemingly) very confident, as well as blunt and a bit mean, so it has definitely been fun writing as her. Rosie is one of those people who is nice to everyone and hates conflict, so it has been interesting to explore what she’s really like under the surface.

Ooh! I *love* the sound of a Cleo/Rosie book!  Thank you so much Liz for your fabulous interview! Be sure to check out the rest of the stops on the Undeniable Blog Tour too!

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