• Peace Virtual Tour: Interview

    24th October 2012. Interview on Summer Next Top Story.

    I loved this interview. Alicia asked such fun questions and everyone who posted comments were incredibly sweet :-)

    Tell us 3 things about yourself that we don’t know.

    I’ve got a serious addiction to shoes. I’m a huge Trekkie and I still haven’t got over the fact that I missed the Star Trek convention in London recently. And in case you haven’t worked this out from the second answer, I am a seriously big nerd.

    In 100 words or less, why should people read Peace?

    It is an unusual novel which has a different take on a taboo subject like addiction and it makes you consider how you see people and the judgements you make. We all know the dangers associated with drug use and the question I wanted to explore was why people would take that first step toward something that can ultimately destroy them. And I hope that I have accurately depicted at least one of the reasons why people turn to a drug like heroin.

    What about Peace are you the most proud of?

    Apart from the cover – which I didn’t design:-) I think I’m most proud of the first chapter because it accurately captures the London Peace knows; the urban jungle that is a backdrop for what is quite a dark novel.

    Major changes made to Peace from the first draft?

    So, so many. I started writing Peace back in 2005. Since then I have made a lot of revisions. I’ve added new chapters, only to cut them out, and so on. Most of the changes have been to condense and take out things which, although were relevant, slowed the pace of the novel down and to find interesting ways of describing dark and dreary things.

    Peace has its dark and heartbreaking moments, but do you believe in happily-ever-afters?

    Most definitely. It was difficult to give Peace a happy ending, considering the events that took place, and I think that anyone who has been through a similar trauma will agree that it is hard to envision a happy ending past that point. But I think that the ending was as ‘happy’ as I could make it and still hold on to the novel’s realism.

    In a guest post, you’ve mentioned how music influences your writing, would you share with us which songs shaped Peace?

    Mainly sad love songs. The main two are Mariah Carey’s ‘My All’ and ‘Anytime’ by Brian McKnight. Those two songs are about lost love and of yearning for people who probably don’t care about the fact that you haven’t been able to let them go. I think that is something nearly everyone can relate to

    If Peace was made into a film, who would play the characters?

    This is a difficult one for me. When I was writing the novel, the image I kept in my mind of Peace was of her walking through a crowd of people, but her image was always blurred. This helped me to create this person who is living on the margins of society, slowly disappearing each time she sets herself adrift on a hit of heroin. But I imagined that Mohamed looked a bit like Mekhi Phifer, who played Dr Pratt in ER.

    If you could travel back in time for one year, where would you go and what 3 things would you take with you?

    I would probably go to the Pride and Prejudice era as I love period dramas and period costumes. I would take my laptop, my mobile and my MP3 player – or maybe a microwave instead of the MP3 player:-).

    Haha, I’d probably do that too! Now for some Quick Questions:

    Perfect writing environment?

    Rainy overcast days. That way I can transport myself to a sunnier climate –depending on what I’m writing.

    Favourite book character?

    Rudy from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. He was adorable.

    Favourite movie?

    I love "The Lord of the Rings", but I was watching "The Diary of a Mad Black Woman" the other day and I love that film because it has a strong message about God, but isn’t preachy.

    Favourite leisure activity apart from reading and writing?

    This will sound really strange… but DIY. Nothing relaxes me more than taking out my tool kit and putting together flat-pack furniture or – something. I have to admit that I usually end up with a botched job, but that doesn’t stop me from trying.

    Guilty pleasure?

    I’m a hopeless romantic, so really soppy romance novels.

    Most embarrassing moment?

    Realizing that I’m probably a bigger fan of One Direction than my nieces:-)



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