In anticipation for the upcoming release of ‘Wreck’ (July 3rd) Fleur Ferris is going on a blog tour to promote this wonderful and thrilling novel. Today, she has stopped off at my blog to answer a few questions.
I read ‘Wreck’ a few weeks ago and (spoiler) I really enjoyed it! If you’re looking for a captivating and thrilling mystery, then I highly recommend ‘Wreck’. My review for this will be up after its release. For more details on ‘Wreck’, check the synopsis at the bottom of this post. But without further ado, here is the Q&A.
Thank you very much for these fantastic questions. They really made me think!
1. WRECK is such a thrilling and suspenseful read. How did you come up with the idea and did you draw inspiration from anything?
I drew inspiration from a number of sources when coming up with the plot for Wreck. Whenever I heard of the discovery of a floating note at sea I wondered how long it had been floating for, how far it had travelled, who sent it, were they still alive, what did the note say. Often the discovery of these notes made world news and sometimes the sender, or members of their family, were tracked down. These stories got me thinking… What if the floating note wasn’t a wonderful discovery? What if it revealed something sinister? What if the person who found it was unknowingly thrust into danger simply because they had possession of it, simply because they had seen it? What if the note indicated or revealed something someone wanted concealed? For the discoverer, it would be as unfair as it was random and they would be completely blindsided by what was coming.
Instantly, my protagonist, Tamara, came to life in my mind. I knew where she lived, that she was the girl-next-door type of girl, excited by her goals and aspirations and about to move out of home and commence university. But instead of chasing her dreams she is running for her life.
2. After reading WRECK I definitely plan on picking up your other books. What was your favourite one to write and what would be your favourite to read?
I think BLACK was my favourite to write because Ebony was such a fun and fierce character. I also loved writing Ebony’s interaction with Ed and Aiden and her conflicts with Ged.
Writing BLACK also brought along surprises. For instance, what happened to Ged in the middle of the book shocked me – my original plan for that plotline was different – but suddenly there it was in front of me, written on the screen. I stopped writing and walked around questioning, Can I do that her? Can I do that to a reader? It made me feel a bit sick, but I decided it was right for the story, and my job as a writer is first and foremost being true to the story I’m telling.
The one thing that slowed me down while writing BLACK was the villain. He creeped me out so much I couldn’t write at night.
The whole story was so vivid and alive in my mind that I lived and breathed it during the writing process.
I can’t say which of my three books I’d rather read. I’ve read them all so many times I’m not sure I’d ever want to read any of them again.
3. I read on your website that you worked as a police officer and paramedic. What made you want to write a novel in the first place and is it something you’ve always been interested in?
In 2003 I wrote a short story and it was published in Woman’s Day. This sparked me to write more. Over the years, while I was a police officer and paramedic, I wrote novels that I never let anyone read. I knew in my early twenties that one day I wanted to be a published novelist but it wasn’t until I had children and left the Ambulance Service that I focused on writing for publication. I managed to get a pitch session with Tara Wynne of Curtis Brown Australia and she agreed to read my work. A few weeks later Tara offered representation. RISK (which was my sixth novel) was picked up by Penguin Random House and (thankfully) they have continued to publish my work since then.
4. More specific to the last question, why did you decide to write young adult fiction? Do you read young adult? If so, what’s your favourite young adult book?
So far I have written nine novels and numerous picture books: adult fiction x 2, adult non-fiction x 1, young adult sci-fi x 1, young adult contemporary thriller x 4, middle grade fantasy x 1. The reason I write young adult fiction is because I felt my young adult books were my strongest and therefore submitted them to my agent. After RISK was published, I focused on writing thrillers for teens, hoping to build my brand in this field and carve out a writing career. I love writing for young adults but I hope older adults can enjoy my books, too.
I read young adult fiction by local and international authors. I don’t have just one favourite YA book, so I will list a few. A shadow’s Breath by Nicole Hayes is brilliant. I love anything by Rebecca James and Ellie Marney. The Hunger Games and Divergent Series were books I devoured. My current read is Shield by Rachael Craw. Gabrielle Tozer is producing great work and one of my all-time favourites is Pieces Of Sky by Trinity Doyle.
5. Are mystery and thrillers something you have always been interested in? Did your previous jobs have something to do with this?
My love for the mystery thrillers started when I was a teenager. My mum was (and still is) an avid reader of this genre and so that is what was on our bookshelves at home. My past careers in police and ambulance services have certainly exposed me to situations I now draw from when writing my books. I do not include the real life situations I experienced, but I do give fictitious characters in fictitious scenarios the emotions that I felt in similar ones.
6. Tamara is such a brave character and her development is evident throughout the course of WRECK. Is it important for you to write strong female characters and break away from the “damsel in distress” stereotype.
To be honest it isn’t something I think about. I write contemporary and, as far as I can see, young women of today are not brought up to be damsels in distress, they are brought up to be resourceful, problem solvers, adaptable, and courageous. I hope my characters reflect the young women of today, and how they might behave should they ever face a similar situation.
Thanks so much again to Fleur for taking the time to answer these questions. Comment below if you’ve read any of Fleur’s books and if you plan on picking up ‘Wreck’ next month.
Tamara Bennett is going to be the first journalist to strictly report only good news. Finished with high school, Tamara is ready to say goodbye to her sleepy little town and part-time job at the local paper. O-weeks awaits, which means parties, cute boys and settling into student res with her best friend Relle. Things take an unexpected turn, however, when she arrives home to find her house ransacked and her life in danger. What is this mysterious note? And why does it mean so much to one of Australia’s most powerful media moguls? Caught between a bitter rivalry and dangerous family secret, who can Tamara trust? Or should she trust herself?