6 Questions with Non Pratt

We asked Non Pratt, author of the YA Book Prize 2015 nominated novel Trouble, six questions about  being a writer and her favourite books!

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If you've not yet read Trouble, why not read our apprentice's review - click HERE to give it a read.

 

1) What was your inspiration for writing this book? “I’ve always wanted to write about teens getting up to the sorts of things I was most curious about when I was a teenager myself – getting drunk in the park and hooking up with people – and the judgements surrounding it, but I think I was sorting through my sock drawer when I heard a report about teen pregnancies and it occurred to me that society judges pregnant teens more than any other. That sparked the idea for Hannah and as part of that line of thought, came Aaron and I started writing the first few chapters of Trouble.”

2) What were the main challenges that you faced when writing this book?
“My memory has a remarkable way of altering reality and looking back, my brain is convinced that Trouble just flowed from brain through my fingertips and into my computer. That obviously isn’t what happened, but the only big sticking point I can remember is that I started the book without knowing what Aaron’s backstory really was – I had a vague idea rather than a fully realised one. Throughout the editing process I rewrote that section of the book until I couldn’t see straight. That was hard.”

3) As a child or teenager, did you want to be a writer and if so, is it as you expected? 
“It’s funny, I know that I did want to be a writer – I’ve been writing since I was fourteen – but I sort of forgot about it after I started working in the publishing industry as an editor. I was still writing, but it was just for fun. When I got my book deal I was surprised by how many of my friends, especially those from university, told me that this was what I’d always wanted! I don’t think I ever got as far as imagining what it would be like, but if I could have seen the reality, I’d be very pleased.”

4) Who are the writers that have influenced you?
“I always say that music is what makes me want to sit down and get the word out and that I’m not directly influenced by what I read, but I’m starting to suspect I might be lying about that. I went through a patch of time (a long time ago) in which I was obsessed with Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads and having re-watched some the other day, I was struck by how my love of those monologues has filtered into the way I write, choosing a close first person narrative that feels a bit like a secret being shared with the reader. I don’t think I write like anyone, but the things I most admire do shape the way I view the world and that’s no small part of the process.”

5) What's in your reading pile currently?
“A million and one wonderful new books that I can’t wait to read and yet wonder where I’ll find the time. I’m currently being completely charmed by Phil Earle’s first book for younger readers, Demolition Dad, which has heart and humour and fantastic illustrations by Sarah Oglivie. Next up is either Moira Fowley-Doyle’s debut The Accident Season which has a gloriously intriguing hook or David Owen’s Panther about a boy who, whilst struggling to deal with his sister’s depression, decides to hunt a panther seen roaming in his London suburb. It sounds incredibly dark and right up my street.”

6) What is your all time favourite book?
“The Knife of Never Letting Go, by Patrick Ness. I’ve never been so destroyed emotionally as I was reading this book. (The closest it’s come to happening again was when I read The Ask and The Answer. Ness has my feelings absolutely nailed.)”

Trouble is available in paperback for £6.99. If you'd like to order a copy of Trouble or of any of the books mentioned by Non Pratt, click HERE.