Author Interview: Caroline Green

‘Book Events for Children’ is delighted that author Caroline Green has risen to the challenge of answering our probing questions this week.

In her past life Caroline worked as a journalist, before publishing her first novel Dark Ride, which won the Romantic Novelist’s Association‘s Young Adult award earlier this year. Her second novel Cracks is published this month and Caroline is currently working on ideas for her next books for children and young adults.
Who or what first inspired you to take up writing?

I’ve written stories since I was a little girl. I had a teacher called Mr Eric Hyde when I was in the final year of primary school and he was a real inspiration. He encouraged us to write exciting serials and to be as imaginative as we could with language. When I first got published I tried to track him down but discovered that he had sadly passed away some years before. I would love to have been able to tell him how much he influenced me.

Who was your favourite author as a child?

I devoured pretty much every Enid Blyton book going and was a particular fan of the ones set in boarding schools. I longed to go to one myself and have midnights feasts in a dormitory. My favourite book, though, was The Didakoi by Rumer Godden.

Can you tell us how you came to get your first book (Dark Ride) published? Was it a long process?

Oh yes, it certainly was! I sent an earlier version of the book out to loads of agents but even though quite a few showed interest, none ultimately wanted to sign me. I got very despondent about it all and was close to giving up on the book but as a last ditch attempt, I decided to submit it directly to a publisher, just to see what would happen. Anne Clark, the Senior Commissioning Editor at Piccadilly Press took a chance and rescued me from the slushpile, for which I will be eternally grateful.

Dark Ride won the ‘Romantic Novelists Association Young Adult Novel of the Year 2012’. Did this open up new opportunities for you?

It provided wonderful publicity for the book and I am so grateful to the RNA and their members for the award. It was the first time they’d had a Young Adult category, which made it particularly special.

Your new YA novel, Cracks is now available. How did you come up with the idea for the story?

I literally found myself imagining the walls crumbling and cracking around me when I was having a shower one morning. Then I started wondering what it would be like if you were the only person who could see this, which is what happens to my character Cal. (Yes, I do think about very strange things sometimes! My family tell me so all the time).

Are you working on a new book at the moment? Can you tell us a bit about it?

I’m working on the concept for my third book for Piccadilly Press but it’s all a bit too vague to pin down yet. I have also written a book for younger children about a boy who swaps bodies with his dog, which is out with some other publishers at the moment. So I’m crossing my fingers for that one.

Can we look forward to seeing you at any book events in the coming months?

I hope so! I enjoy book events very much as it’s an opportunity to meet like-minded people, who love reading as much as I do. I’m visiting some schools in the coming months and also appearing at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August, which is very exciting.

What piece of advice would you give to budding children’s authors?

Just don’t give up. Often when you reach the point where it feels the most unbearable, and where you think you can’t withstand another knock, that’s when you are closest to the goal. And don’t believe that submitting to an agent is the only way to get published.

Where is your favourite ‘quiet place’ to enjoy a book?

The bath, definitely. Although I have yet to learn how to gauge the temperature correctly and always come out looking like a lobster that has just run the marathon.

Is there a character in a children’s book with whom you identify and did you ever wish to be a character in a book when you were a child?

See above! I wanted to be one of the confident boarding school girls from Enid Blyton books.  At the moment I’d quite like to be Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games. Okay, so there is the whole trying-not-to-be-killed problem, but I think she is one of the best fictional heroines around.

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