I thought I'd take you directly to where most of THE FEARLESS takes place, Hope Island, a haven from the frightening, deadly humans that have turned fierce and fearless. It's kind of cold and we're hoping the Fearless won't be sneaking up on us while we chat. Eep!
Hi Emma! Let's sit on the rock here and have some post-apocalyptic tea while we chat about THE FEARLESS. In this world you've created, the Fearless, a frighteningly strong and fearless brand of humans have driven a small group of survivors onto an Island for survival. Many necessities must be traded for in order to survive. What item would you trade for that you absolutely couldn't live without?
Hmm, I think it would have to be good boots, a bit like the ones Cass wears on the book's cover. I'm prone to getting cold feet, especially in winter, and it's miserable. So sturdy footwear would be a must!
I'm a boots girl, too! I love Cass's picture on the cover. Did you have any say on the cover design?
I didn't, but the photographer, Larry Rostant, also did ACID's cover so I knew that I was in safe hands, and the design team at Random House UK did an amazing job too! I absolutely love that cover.
So there are a lot of rules about living on the Island. For example, "All Islanders aged 17 and over are expected to contribute to the community on Hope Island by working in the roles chosen for them by the HIGC." I see the Patrol people giving us dirty looks for being out here! So, if you lived on the island, which role do you think they'd pick you for?
I don't think I'd be in the Patrol - I'm not brave enough (and standing on the sea wall in all weathers does not appeal to me!). I'd quite like to do something practical to keep me occupied – and tell stories, of course.
Me too. I can't stand cold, blowsy weather. :) So who is your favorite non-main character in THE FEARLESS, and why?
Am I allowed 3? I really like Ben, Gina and Cy, because they are all coping with the same dilemma in different ways and are strong, empathetic characters. I'd definitely want them on my side during the apocalypse! And Cy's tattoos are cool.
I have a Cy in my book with tattoos, too! *fist bumps Emma* My Cy is short for Cyrad. How about yours? Hooray! What a great name. My Cy is just Cy… he's a bit of a mystery to be honest!
Mysterious characters are always welcome! Ugh, we're out of tea. Have some filtered water instead? Okay, last question for the writers out there. What was the hardest part of writing THE FEARLESS, and how did you overcome your obstacle?
The beginning was tricky to get right, because it's told from the POV of the main character when she's just 10 years old – not a very conventional thing to do in a book aimed at older teens! I could have skimmed over this part and just had Cass remembering it in a few pages or so, but when I tried it this way it came across as rushed and shallow. I felt by making the part with 10-year-old Cass a section in its own right (the story then skips 7 years later to her present life on the island), it really showed the impact of the Invasion on her life, and what she (and a lot of other people) had lost, and why her little brother is so important to her. In the end, I had to trust my gut instinct and go with what felt right – and luckily, my editor agreed that this was exactly the right way to tell this part of the story.
That part really stuck out for me in the best way. You did young Cass's voice so well, I just wanted to hug her the whole time. Think you may ever venture into middle grade books someday, or other genres, for that matter?
Thank you - I'm so happy that you liked it! Actually, I would love to write for younger readers, but I'm still trying to muster up the courage to try it… maybe one day!
Thanks for interviewing me, Lydia! *clinks beaker of filtered water* D'you think we should go inside? It's kinda cold out here, and the Patrol are definitely giving us dirty looks now…
Yes, I'm freezing too! Let's go into the Meeting Hall before we get in trouble. :)
Thanks Emma, and everybody for joining us!
Keep your sturdy boots on, and order Emma's THE FEARLESS on Amazon UK,
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