This time with top author and lovely lady, Luisa Plaja
, whose debut novel, Split by a Kiss
(Corgi Children’s) will be published on March 6th.
So, who’s it for and what’s it about?
Split by a Kiss is aimed at teenage girls, and teenage-girls-at-heart. It’s about a British girl who moves to the USA and makes a decision that splits her into two people – literally. One teenage reader described it as ‘a cross between Sliding Doors and Mean Girls’, which is pretty accurate!
Why did you write it?
I set out to write about US/UK culture shock. The split came later, when I realised that both paths made perfect sense for Jo, my main character. I think there’s something about living with two cultures that always makes you feel a bit divided – you want to hold onto the familiarity of your home culture, but also throw yourself into the ways of the world around you and assimilate as quickly as possible. In Jo’s case, she has to decide whether to be the person she’s always believed herself to be, or whether to try on a new persona. Er, all that makes my book sound a lot more serious than it is!
What do you hope readers will get from it?
Entertainment, mostly! There’s hopefully some positive stuff in there (I’m reluctant to call it a ‘message’) about identity and self-image, too.
How long did it take you to write?
That’s a tough one to answer because I got stuck halfway through and wrote a different book, and then I came back to it. I’d say the first draft took a few months in total.
Did you use a fountain pen to write it?
Are you asking me this because I accidentally broke a computer this week?! I promise that has never happened before! OK, maybe just once before, but they were very different accidents! Um, no, I wrote it on my trusty laptop.
Tell us something about you.
I grew up with two languages (Italian and English) and at least two cultures. I love teen fiction, linguistics and indie films. And I wish I could ice skate.
What’s next for you?
I’m working on another novel for teenagers.
Anything you’d like to add?
Thanks for interviewing me, Nik!