As some of you may know, I am currently writing a lower/middle grade novel and last weekend I went to a Write Mentor weekend lead by the wonderful Emily Critchley. I learnt so much and have been fired up to write on average 700 words a day since.
This blog, therefore; is for the older reader. So something for the older siblings.
I interviewed Emily about her book.
How did your book come about?
I knew I wanted to write a humours novel about a modern, dysfunctional family. At first, I thought I might write from the perspective of the different family members. I began with Lou. I knew that, at thirteen, she would be the youngest family member of the Coulson family. Lou’s voice was so strong, and her observations on those around her so interesting, that I decided to write the entire book from her perspective. When I started, I didn’t even think about whether I was writing young adult fiction or not but it was suggested to me that teen readers might be able to identify with Lou. The novel encompasses such themes as bullying at school, divorce, friendship, coming out and acceptance of difference. Notes on My Family has been published with two covers – as contemporary fiction and as a YA novel.
What do you think readers learn from your book?
I think readers learn that it’s okay to be different. The book is a comedy and doesn’t take itself too seriously but there are some more serious issues beneath the humour. The novel is about accepting those who are different and who think differently from us. The reader is able to see the world through Lou’s eyes. It was important to me, especially knowing the book would be read by teens, that readers were left with a sense of hope. And as Lou’s art teacher says, ‘It’s the people who are different who make the difference.’
And a little bit about your journey.
I’ve always written and wanted to be a writer. As a child I wrote stories and plays. When I was a teenager I wrote a lot of bad poetry (who didn’t?). I studied creative writing at university including an MA at Birkbeck and completed two practise novels before writing Notes on My Family. I’ve also always been a voracious reader. I think you have to be if you want to write.
If you’d like to learn more about Emily or follow her on social media, here are her handles.
My website: emilycritchley.com https://www.emilycritchley.com
Twitter: @EmilyMCritchley https://twitter.com/EmilyMCritchley
Insta: emily.critchley https://www.instagram.com/emily.critchley/
Facebook: Emily Critchley author https://www.facebook.com/emilycritchleyauthor/
I have got my G13 a signed copy of this book so we will update the blog with her review when she has read it!
Show us pictures of your older siblings enjoying their favourite book!
Love Kat x