*** This is an old interview that I did with author Siobhan Curham on my old blog about five months ago. Since it was such a big opportunity, I decided that I would re-upload it here for you all to read!
Last month I read ‘The Moonlight Dreamers’ by Siobhan Curham which was sent to me by Walker Books in exchange for an honest review. You can check out my review here; http://gabbytheblogger.blogspot.com.au/2016/06/review-moonlight-dreamers.html
This month, I was given the opportunity to interview Siobhan over email. I sent her a few questions and here are her answers;
How did the story idea of The Moonlight Dreamers come about?
SC: I wanted to write a novel that would encourage people to dare to dream. I’ve been writing for young adults for six years now and in that time, I’ve got to know loads of teen girls who have either emailed me or I’ve met at my workshops and talks. This has reminded me of how tough the teenage years can be. I believe that having a dream can make life a lot easier as it gives you something positive to focus on amongst all the exam stress and family / friendship issues and online life. My dream of becoming a writer got me through some very tough times in my own life.
My favourite Moonlight Dreamer would have to be Sky. Who is yours and why? Who do you relate to the most?
SC: I’m really pleased you like Sky as she’s probably the one who’s most similar to me and the one I can relate to most! My favourite to write was probably Rose because she’s fiery and passionate and not afraid to speak her mind – and I wish I could be a bit more like that sometimes.
Oscar Wilde is talked about alot in the book, especially since he is Amber’s hero. What made you choose Wilde, and who is your hero?
SC: When I was coming up with Amber’s character it made sense to me that she’d love Oscar Wilde. I think she can relate to him as a fellow outsider and his dry wit and sarcasm seems very in keeping with her character. My hero now and when I was a teen is Bruce Springsteen. His lyric are like poetry and I love the songs he writes about breaking out of small towns and making something of your life. I could so relate to that as a teen!
Each character is very different and have their own unique qualities. Was it difficult trying to come up with a diverse range of characters?
SC: I think I might have struggled if I’d had to come up with more but the four Moonlight Dreamers came to me quite quickly. I wanted to have someone quirky and original like Amber to come up with the idea for the Moonlight Dreamers in the first place and someone spiritual like Maali as I was really interested in exploring what it’s like to be religious as a teen in today’s society. Sky came about because I wanted to write a free-spirited, home-schooled, hippy-type character. Rose was the final character I came up with. My starting point for her was I wanted someone who would shake things up a bit; someone hot-headed who wouldn’t get along with everyone. I was also really interested in what it must be like to be the teen daughter of celebrities and living in that fishbowl at a time when you’re already feeling acutely self-conscious.
After reading The Moonlight Dreamers I knew I wanted to read more of your writing. What is your favourite book that you’ve written?
SC: Thank you! Actually, my favourite book is The Moonlight Dreamers as I think it’s the most ambitious thing I’ve written in terms of structure and style, but after that I’d say Finding Cherokee Brown, as it deals with bullying and finding yourself, which are subjects very close to my heart. And it features a road-trip to Paris!
What is your favourite genre and age group to write, and what is your favourite to read?
SC: I love writing YA novels about real life issues; novels that will hopefully uplift and inspire the reader without being cheesy or unrealistic. These are probably my favourite to read too – John Green and Jandy Nelson are my writing heroes.
I’ve noticed that you also do things outside writing books; blog, editorial consultant, journalism, and workshops. What is your favourite?
SC: Ooh, that’s so hard to answer as I love them all. If I had to pick one it would probably be my workshops. Something really special happens when you get a group of people together, whether it’s to work on writing or to talk about daring to dream. I love getting people to support and encourage and acknowledge each other – I find it really inspiring.
What book(s) influenced your life?
SC: When I was really young The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe blew my mind. The world the author created felt so real to me. And I was SO upset when I thought Aslan had died! That’s when I first realised how powerful books could be. Judy Blume’s books really helped me navigate my teens and the trials and tribulations that brought. And, as a woman, I find Maya Angelou’s books and poetry hugely inspiring.
I loved how The Moonlight Dreamers focused on friendship rather than the typical romance? What made you go in this direction? Did you ever plan on adding more romance?
SC: I’m so glad you liked that aspect as I was aware it was a bit of a gamble. I’m lucky enough to have some amazing female friends and I wanted to write a novel that celebrated the power of female friendship. There can be so much emphasis in books and movies on finding your soul mate and that it’s impossible to be happy until you do. I wanted to show how, with good friends and exciting dreams you can have a really full and adventurous life. I also wanted to counter certain elements of society that seem to encourage bitching and comparison amongst women and girls.
What has been the most rewarding part of your writing experience?
SC: Hearing from so many lovely readers. In the run up to The Moonlight Dreamers coming out I’ve been getting loads of amazing messages from readers in Australia who’ve read review copies and it blows my mind to think that something I wrote here in the UK could be having a positive effect on people on the other side of the world.
Check out Siobhan Curham and The Moonlight Dreamers here;
Thanks for reading! Comment below if you’ve read any of Siobhan Curham’s books!!!