Home Interviews Author Theresa Breslin for Lost in Young Adults

Author Theresa Breslin for Lost in Young Adults

by Louisa Klein

1)Why young adults? Did you choose this genre or were you ‘chosen’ by it?
I write for all ages but my ‘young adult’ titles seem to be the ones that attract
most attention – in particular, ‘THE MEDICI SEAL’ about Leonardo da Vinci and
‘REMEMBRANCE’ about youth in World War II. The emails etc I get about these books
are often from adults who have read them and, interestingly, in foreign editions
some of these titles are published on the ‘adult’ list. I think a good story is a
good story is a good story
2) Is there an author, living or dead, who inspired you particularly?
Charles Dickens was my great influence. I read my way through all the usual
stuff as a child, samey books with predictable ‘safe’ endings until I came across
these neglected books on the bottom shelf of my local library. I had read everything
else they had and so took out this author’s thinnest book – ‘A Tale of Two Cities’.
I’s got an arresting opening line, an unforgettable closing sentence, and, in
between… well, it was a consistently dramatic tale, humorous, scary, busrting with
humanity and memorable characters. There wasn’t much money in our house but I begged
my mother to buy it for me. I have it still.
3) Please, tell us about your last book and, if you can, about your future projects.
My most recent published novel, PRISONER OF THE INQUISITION is about two
teenagers, Zarita and Saulo, whose lives come violently together in Spain during the
time of the Inquisition when a person could be denounced to the authorities, then
arrested, tortured and killed, on a flimsy pretext. It was a time of fear, of
betrayal and revenge. It was also when mind-altering innovations were being made,
when Christopher Columbus dreamed of his great discoveries. The two young people are
thrown together with catastrophic consequences. Then they have to work out how to
survive and have a future… if they can. At the moment I am putting the finishing
touched to SPY FOR THE QUEEN OF SCOTS due out in August 2012 and tidying up some
loose ends of research, I’m just back from Paris where I was doing author
presentations in the British School but also too the opportunity to go to Rheims to
seek out some info and get some good pics of the Cathedral where the French kings
were crowned, one being the first husband of the ill-fated Mary, Queen of Scots.
4) How was your writing journey? Was it difficult to find an agent and get published?
I suppose my writing journey began when I was very young, being introduced to
books by my parents and also inherting the Celtic culture of a lot of story telling
– especially at these huge family gatherings we used to have. No one ever said I
could become a writer bit I knew I loved books so when I left school it seemed the
most natural thing to become a librarian and I/loved/doing that – just being around
books and introducing young people to new titles and authors, with all the spin offs
of book clubs and reading groups. And then when working as a mobile librarian
something happened in one of the villages on my route and I wrote a story about it
which became a book which was entered for a prize which it won and it was
published… and suddenly… I was a writer. Actually I’ve never really woken up
from that wonderful dream yet!
5) What’s your opinion about this E-book revolution? Would you consider the indie route?
Everythting is changing so fast that it is hard to know what will be happening in
the next half year never mind in the next half dozen years. I’m fine with digital.
As Solomon, the character in my book WHISPERS IN THE GRAVEYARD that won the Carnegie
medal, says: ‘Words, words are different.’ And it’s all about the words, isn’t it?
It doesn’t matter in what form they are presented. Words have both literal and
emotional meaning and when put together to form a story they have transformative
power. Stories are our heritage, our cultural, and our empathetic link to our
humanity. eit
6) Nowadays many publishers expect their authors to use social media a lot to promote their books. Many authors, on the other hand, would prefer to write only, without being distracted by digital trivialities: what are your thoughts?
I’m still learning about social media but my big fear is that it might be a drain
on my creativity, and draw my energy away from making stories. Also I’m not sure If
I would truly connect with my readers.
Info about the author:
Theresa Breslin is the critically acclaimed author of over 30 books for children and young adults whose work has been filmed for television, broadcast on radio, and is read world-wide in many languages. A respected contributor to professional journals, she is passionate about children’s literature and literacy. She travels extensively, doing research for her books and speaking at international conferences and book festivals.
She won the Carnegie Medal, the UK’s most prestigious award in children’s literature, for Whispers in the Graveyard, her compelling story of a dyslexic boy. Before taking up writing full time Theresa worked as a librarian. Her books range from those for younger readers such as The Magic Factory series to middle readers like Bullies at School and the four Dream Master books – funny time-slip adventures exploring aspects of storytelling. She writes books for children and young adults, with some titles especially suitable for EAL readers. Divided City, exploring themes of prejudice, friendship, citizenship and conflict resolution has been shortlisted for ten book awards, winning the Catalyst Book Award and the RED Book Award. She has a range of historical novels including the The Nostradamus Prophecy and bestselling Remembrance and The Medici Seal, touching on the life of Leonardo da Vinci and shortlisted for the Book Trust Teen Book Prize and the Royal Mail Children’s Book Award. She has also written shorter books – her most popular title being Alligator, recently also published as a play for schools.
Her latest book is Prisoner of the Inquisition, is already nominated for a number of book awards.
To know more, please visit her website: http://www.theresabreslin.co.uk/biog.htm
To buy her latest book, simply click on the cover below:


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