We have a fantastic giveaway for you! We are so happy to be able to send one lucky winner all three of Helen Smith's books - Alison Wonderland, Being Light, and The Miracle Inspector - in E-Book format. But before you enter, how about you get to know a little bit more about our great author:
1) Please tell us a little about yourself:
I’m novelist and playwright. I live in London.
2) What inspired you to become a writer? and How long have you been writing?
I love reading. It had such a profound effect on my when I was a child that I always wanted to become a writer. I used to write dreadful poetry when I was about eight years old but I didn’t turn professional until I was in my late twenties and had my first radio play broadcast. My first novel was published by Gollancz in the UK a few years after that.
3) Where did the idea for The Miracle Inspector come from?
I have been doing some volunteer work with exiled writers who have fled their home countries and come to live in London after being imprisoned and tortured. I wondered what it would be like if there was a sudden upheaval in my home country and I had to leave. Where would I go? How would I get there? How would I be received when I got there? If that sounds a bit heavy, I ought to say that it’s written as a dark comedy and it’s slightly surreal so it’s not too upsetting, though it’s sad in parts.
4) Was there ever a different ending to The Miracle Inspector, or did you always know that our two protagonists would be separated forever?
Ah! It’s interesting you say that. A few people who have read the book have told me they believe the two main protagonists were reunited at the end. It’s really difficult to talk about it without giving too much away but I tried to write it so that it was ambiguous and the reader could put their own interpretation on what happens at the end.
I always wanted it to be a book of two halves – in the first half, Lucas is put in a position of superiority by society and he takes his advantages for granted, much as he loves his wife and tries to understand how life might be like for her. In the second half, we spend more time with Angela.
I knew how it would end before I started writing.
5) What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of writing? Is it easier to write novels vs. plays, etc?
I hate the planning part. I like the actual writing and I love editing, which involves going back and polishing what you have written. It’s always a pleasure to find that there are plenty of good bits, even while cutting out anything that doesn’t work.
6) On our blog, we hosted a discussion question on the future of books with the increasing use of E-Readers. What do you think? Will we still have actual books in 10 years?
I love paperback books. I think they’ll survive because print on demand technology will change the way that books are distributed, making it more economical for publishers, and making it easier for readers to get hold of books that previously would have been listed as ‘out of print’. I have recently started buying and reading ebooks. I love the way that I can get hold of any available ebook within a minute, usually at a bargain price.
I think/hope that we’ll have both kinds of books in ten years.
7) Do you have any advice for future authors out there?
Most people start writing something and then they give up. The secret to success is to finish that book. Good luck!
THANK YOU SO MUCH TO HELEN SMITH FOR ANSWERING ALL OUR QUESTIONS!! FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HELEN AT WWW.HELENSMITHBLOG.BLOGSPOT.COM
AND CHECK OUT HER BOOKS:
THE GIVEAWAY WILL RUN UNTIL JANUARY 12, 2011. GOOD LUCK!!!
EVEN MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR: