Saturday, September 19, 2015

Interview with Keren David #YAShot

You guys, YA Shot is almost here and I am super, super excited. It really is going to be the most epic day ever. 71 UKYA and UKMG authors all in one space, doing workshops and panels and signings and imagine all the flailing and the bookish conversations that will be had. YA Shot is a celebration of libraries and a year-long literacy programme that will include author visits and support for teenagers and young people who most need a little extra help. And for that reason, I'm more than happy to be involved with YA Shot, both on the day and with the Blog and Vlog tour.  I also have to give a big shout-out to Alexia Casale for doing an amazing job organising this whole thing. She's a superstar.

Today, on the YA Shot blog tour I am here with one of my favourite UKYA authors, Keren David. She's no stranger to Fluttering Butterflies and I've read and loved all of her books. Here is my review of her debut, When I Was Joe, and here is my review of her latest, This Is Not A Love Story. Check out my interview in which we talk writing essentials, fangirl-ing over authors, book recommendations and more.

To find out more about Keren David, do visit the following webites:

To find out more about YA Shot, check out

Hello and welcome to Fluttering Butterflies, could you please introduce yourself and your books? 

Hello, thank you for hosting me on your lovely blog.  I took up writing YA books in 2008, after a long career in journalism, and my first book When I Was Joe, about a boy in witness protection, was published in 2010. That book became the first in a trilogy and I've also written three standalone books -  Lia's Guide to Winning the Lottery, which I'm currently adapting into a musical, Salvage, about two siblings reunited after 12 years apart and my latest, This is Not a Love Story

At YA Shot, you'll be taking part in a panel entitled 'Crime and Punishment: Fictional wrongdoing and human rights' What can we expect from this panel and who do you think might be interested?

I am so intrigued by this panel, because I have absolutely no idea what it's going to be about, it'll all depend how our chair, Laura Jarratt decides to steer it. The other two writers on the panel are the awesomely talented Cat Clarke and Emma Haughton, and they both have crime novels out, but my latest book is more about the rules -  social, religious, cultural, legal - of love and relationships.  But then I have written a lot about crime in the past. So, it could be about anything, but most probably sex and violence, and I think that might interest just about anyone. 

Who are you most excited to meet at YAShot or are there any authors you'd fangirl over?

I am so excited about YAShot because so many author friends will be there, and usually we only meet on  Twitter or Facebook. I'll be fan-girling Tim Bowler, who I have wanted to meet forever,and also the amazing Alexia Casale for taking on the enormous task of organising YAShot, and creating such a brilliant event. 

What are your earliest or fondest reading or library memories?

My dad used to take me to the library at Campus West in Welwyn Garden City every week and I have very fond memories of browsing the shelves there -  often taking out books that were old favourites. Then at secondary school I managed to skip a lot of assemblies and RE lessons, because I was Jewish, so the library was a calm, quiet oasis in the school day. I'd read the newspaper while the rest of my class were singing hymns. 

What would you say you've learnt during or after the publication of each of your novels? (about any research done, the publishing industry, your writing process etc)

Book 1 (When I was Joe): I can write a book. It doesn't have to be autobiographical. 

Book 2 (Almost True): I can write another book. I can't do news editing at the same time though. 

Book 3 (Lia's Guide to Winning the Lottery): Sometimes you can do too much research. 

Book 4 (Another Life): You can write a trilogy without having planned it as a trilogy. 

Book 5 (Salvage): Don't forget to put dialogue in your book.

Book 6 (This is Not a Love Story): Sometimes writing about your own world is more difficult that imaging yourself into someone else's.

What are some of your writing essentials?

A power point -  my laptop battery has died. And the laptop is about to die too. 

Tea. Sometimes chocolate.


Ideally I need somewhere with no internet, or where I don't know the internet password.

I love that YAShot is filled with such an amazing array of UKYA/UKMG authors. Who are some of your favourite authors recently or what are some of your favourite books?

One by Sarah Crossan is extraordinarily good.  I'd never read a book in verse before, and I was blown away by it. 

When I Was Me by Hilary Freeman is a book which keeps you thinking long after you turn the last page.

I adored Susie Day's Pea books, and I was so happy to see the linked follow-up The Secrets of Sam and Sam

Helen Grant's Forbidden Spaces trilogy is fabulous, and I loved the final book, Urban Spaces, which came out earlier this year.

I could go on and on.....

And finally, can you tell us anything about your upcoming book, Cuckoo?! 

Cuckoo is due to come out August 2016, and it's about a boy called Jake who has a career as a  child actor, a brother who doesn't speak and a father who suffers from stress.  

Thank you so much, Keren! Hugely looking forward to your panel at YAShot AND reading your new book!  

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