1) Why young adult? Did you choose this genre or were
you 'chosen' by it? When I was first published, I considered myself more
a children's author than a YA author.
But with each novel, the characters that
I wrote about and the situations they found
themselves in became more 'young adult'. The fact that my own kids were growing up and turning into
adults probably had an influence on the tone
of my writing. I was surrounded by young adults and
their voices started to populate my novels. 2) Is there an author, living or dead, who inspired you particularly? I am an obsessive reader and there are dozens of authors who have influenced my writing and my approach to fiction. As a teenager, I loved the French novelist Collette, especially her Claudine novels. In a way, Collette's Claudine novels were YA nearly a century before anyone had even imagined such a genre could exist. 3) Please, tell us about your last book and, if you can, about your
future projects. My latest book is called India Dark and is published in the UK by Templar Books. It¹s based on a true story that was more bizarre than any fiction. In July 1909, twenty-nine young Australian performers, aged between seven and eighteen years of age, boarded a steam ship at Port Melbourne. They were meant to be setting out on a two-year world tour but eight months later the tour ended in scandal in South India. I spent months in India tracking the children¹s journey and years gathering material. There were so many lies and half-truths told about the tour, so many different versions of the events, that I decided the only honest way you could tell it was by turning it as fiction. I¹m currently working on a novel about four sisters who come of age in the wake of WWI. The story starts in Adelaide, Australia on Armistice Day 1918 and ends in Paris in 1923. I¹m hoping to finish it in time for a 2014 release. I¹ve also got a couple of junior fiction pieces on the go and am half-way through a novella about an eleven-year-old girl who can walk through walls. There are never enough writing hours in the day. 4) How was your writing journey? Was it difficult to find an agent
and get published?
I stumbled into publishing through the back door. I was working as a freelance editor and proof-reader and also writing non-fiction for kids and teens, mostly on commission, when my publisher asked me to turn an idea I had for a non-fiction book into a novel. She said if I could give her a synopsis and a sample chapter she'd give me a contract and an advance. That novel, Zarconi¹s Magic Flying Fish was published in 1999 and I haven¹t looked back since. 5) What¹s your opinion about this E-book revolution?
Would you consider the indie route?
I think it¹s important to not confuse the tool with the artform. E-books are just another device with which to convey stories and information. I think they complement the traditional book, rather than threaten to completely replace it. E-books do present some interesting problems in terms of copyright and I¹m not sure how that will all unfold in the future. I¹m lucky enough to not have to consider the indie route. As I¹m not stuck trying to find a publisher, I¹d rather spend my days writing new fiction rather than having to spend a lot of time doing marketing and promotion. I think it¹s important not to under-estimate the sort of support a publisher can offer. 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 quite like social media and use it a lot for personal and professional reasons but, like many people, I go through phases where I can¹t be bothered. As to selling books, I¹m sure it can boost sales but in the end the book has to stand up on its own. No amount of social media can help a badly written book find a big market. I suspect genuine word of mouth is still more powerful than the sort of obvious commercial puffs that filter through social media. Readers are a lot savvier than they¹re given credit for, especially YA readers. Info about the author:
Kirsty Murray writes award-winning fiction for children and young adult readers. She is the author of nine novels including India Dark, a gripping historical fiction about two girls caught up in a scandal that will change their lives forever. She lives in Melbourne, Australia.
To know more, please visit her website: http://www.kirstymurray.com/
To buy her latest book, simply click on the cover below: