Noted author, Tamsyn Murray, recently agreed to an exclusive interview with Teen Blog, which was nice. Born and raised in the UK, she’s got one YA book to her credit, My So-Called Afterlife (a colleague describes it as “gripping”, so it’s very good) with another on the way very soon. We asked her about writing, reading and cricket …
At what age did you begin writing? And when did you know it was something wanted to get paid for doing?
I’ve always loved writing stories and can remember dreaming up characters and scenarios from a young age. English was definitely my favourite subject at school but I didn’t start to wonder if I could write professionally until 2008, when I read a how-to-write book and everything fell into place. So I like to think I spent the first thirty-five years of my life learning how to write. Either that or I wasted them!
What other YA authors do you read and enjoy?
I’m an enormous fan of Neil Gaiman, who writes across a range of ages, and I loved The Graveyard Book. Other YA books I’ve read recently include The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, Wasted by Nicola Morgan and Girl, Aloud by Emily Gale – three very different books but all outstanding.
Where did the idea for My So Called Afterlife come from? I assume the title is a nod to Clare Danes…
The idea for My So-Called Afterlife came when I was wondering what would happen if the building a ghost haunted got knocked down and something else got built on top – would the ghost haunt the new building? What if was something like a toilet? Then the character of Lucy appeared in my head, stamping her Ugg boots and demanding I tell her story. The title arrived after the book was finished and, yes, I was a fan of My So-Called Life.
A lot of the readers on this blog are aspiring writers, and judging by the short story competition entries we receive, they are also very talented, give them some tips on getting that first book published.
The best thing I ever did was find my literary agent. She made suggestions on where I could improve the book and knew which publishers to send it to once it was ready. It’s thanks to her that my novel found a home so I’d recommend aspiring writers try to find an agent on the same wavelength. They might take a percentage of your earnings but without mine, I’d be earning a lot less!
My So Called Haunting is due to be released soon, what can we expect from novel number two?
A different main character, for a start! My So-Called Haunting introduces Skye, a fourteen year old psychic who moves to London to stay with her aunt, Celestine. As Skye struggles to settle into her new life, she’s also developing a crush on the most unattainable boy in the school, Nico.
When her aunt asks for her help with a troubled teen ghost called Dontay, she’s glad of the distraction. But then Nico starts paying her attention, and she’s soon facing a battle to keep her love life and her psychic life separate.
As things get ever more complicated, it looks as though Dontay’s past might cost Skye her future.
We enjoy haiku and you enjoy cricket, write us a cricket themed haiku.
Erm, ok. This is my first ever haiku and I suspect it’s not very good! But here goes:
Bowler sights pale stumps
a crack of ball on willow
summer is a game
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My So-Called Afterlife is available for issue on our catalogue, click on the title to place a reserve. For more Tamsyn Murray news, go to her website where she has all the details of her work, along with a link to her frequently updated and very interesting blog.