Why did you start writing?
In the beginning, it was more to do with something to take up time after I’d lost my job…and to get the idea that had been brewing over an eight year period out of my head and onto paper. I discovered it was something I could do and it not make me any sicker, plus I really enjoyed it which is always good when doing any kind of work.
Why did you choose that theme for the book? Did it just pop into your head or was it (part of it) real experience?
90% of it was already written in my head before I started writing, but there was some of it that ended up the way it did because of experiences I’d had. Lisa’s experiences at her previous school were down to some personal experience, and I discovered that you can only write what you know…and I know a lot about hospitals and medicine, so yes, that obviously has a lot to do with the way I write and what I write about.
Do you recognize yourself in one of the characters?
I think there is a part of me in Tally, as well as Lisa. I was very much like Tally in that I didn’t fit it, but I’m like Lisa in that I didn’t care that I wasn’t part of the elite group.
Did you want to tell a message (moral) with the book?
There wasn’t one when I started writing, but the more I read it, the more I see that there is a moral hidden away. It’s okay to be yourself and if people don’t like it then they aren’t worth it, your real friends will stand by you through thick and thin and “fitting” in isn’t the most important thing in life – I think everyone can relate to that, at some point everyone goes through a stage of not fitting in, even the really popular kids.
What’s your favourite part of Blackout and why?
I’d have to say the ending, because it just came together so well. I’d known how I wanted it to end from the beginning, but I was worried that it wouldn’t make sense or it would be too obvious and such, but it’s not turned out that way and I just love hearing about people’s surprise at the end J