Monday 14 October 2013

Guest Author Interview - Debra Edwards

We start the week with a new guest author interview, in today's interview we welcome Debra Edwards, you can find out what she has to say below:

Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
Hi, I‘m Debra Edwards and I write fantasy fiction for children and YA paranormal. I’m a former primary school teacher, mostly teaching pupils of 10-11 years. I finished teaching last year so that I could spend more time on my writing, although I do spend more time promoting books at the moment. I have been writing for about 10 years now and love everything about it – apart from editing! I live near London in the UK and although I have travelled extensively, I really wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
What first inspired you to start writing?
I really never saw writing books as something I could do. I totally lacked confidence. In fact, before writing I wasn’t even reading that much. Teaching gave me a way in.

My first books were for 8-12 year olds and about stroppy teenage tooth fairies. I used to teach a class who were always losing teeth and constantly wanting to tell me about the tooth fairy. This got me thinking as they could never say what happened to the teeth after the tooth fairy took them. For me, this was the start of my writing career. I had to solve the problem, create a world where tooth fairies did something with the teeth and as such, Aggie Lichen; Pilp Collector was born.

And what attracted you to the paranormal?
I have always, from teenage, had an ‘unhealthy’ interest in vampires, werewolves, witches etc. I can’t really pinpoint when it started or with what, but I like to watch films and TV programs of that genre. I think I would have quite like to be a vampire at one point!

Where is your happy place?
This is mostly holiday memories. I am a poor sleeper and to clear my head, I trawl back to a holiday and walk my way through the events. I’ve travelled extensively, so I have many wonderful memories to fall back on.

As a physical happy place, the seaside town of Brighton in the UK is somewhere I feel totally relaxed. It is such a unique place to wander around.

If you could spend a day with anyone from history, who would it be and why?
William Shakespeare would be great to spend a day with. I’d like to see when and how he would write. I’d be curious about his relationships with fellow playwrights at the time. There have been many debates about whether he actually did write so much and I could question him to get to the truth!

What is your favourite song lyric?
I love the lyrics from Imagine by John Lennon. They never date even though it’s nearly 40 years since its first release. The lyrics are truly inspirational.

What book did you last read?
I have just finished reading Poison Heart by S B Hart, another YA book. I would definitely recommend it. It’s very different from what I’ve read before, no fantasy or paranormal. It’s about a girl who wants to take over another girls’ life. A really good read – must get the review done for it! And just started Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse. I love Percy Jackson books and so far this one, number 3, is just great! Loved the first film too. That’s what drew me into wanting to read the rest of the books.

What are you working on at the moment?
I am writing another YA book now. It’s kind of a cross between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Hunger Games. My working title is, Buffy the Dragon Slayer’! In the book, it falls to a teenage girl, Rae, to save the world from dragons. Here’s a snippet!

‘I am George, the original George as in George and the Dragon?’ said George, taking a Peter Pan stance. ‘And this is my trusted friend, Ascalon.’ He pulled a small wand like stick from his pocket. ‘…the dragon slaying lance.’

Rae stared hard at George then transferred her fierce look to the stick/lance he was holding. Then she burst out laughing. ‘Oh, please! George and the Dragon?’ She fell back against the tree. ‘Are you for real?’

George shook the stick several times. ‘It does that sometimes. It gets stuck. I think it’s all the crap it’s collected over the last few hundred years.’

 ‘Oh my god. You’re still talking, George,’ said Rae. ‘And it’s still just a stick. Look!’

Tell us about your latest book and how we can find out more.
My latest book is Marvin’s Curse, a YA paranormal novel. It’s my first YA book as all previous writing was aimed at the 8-12 year range. It’s about a boy who’s just lost his dad and one year later he’s still grief stricken. It examines how the different ways he deals with grief and the darkness that consumes him. Here’s the blurb:

How would you handle the dead? After losing his dad, 17 year old Marvin finds he can see and talk to the dead, an inherited 'gift'. Bonus, you might think, but Marvin hates it. It makes him different and he just wants to be 'normal'. He meets Stella in the graveyard that backs onto the house he's just moved into. 'My name is Stella, Stella McCartney. It says so inside my trousers.' (!?!)
A mysterious business card reveals that Stella has lost her memories and all signs point to Moghador, a gateway to hell where a pawnbroker holds the answers. And Stella is DEAD! She just doesn't know it... yet!

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