We asked Sarah Crossan, author of Apple and Rain; The Weight of Water; Breathe; and Resist, about her new book One, about being a writer and her favourite books!
One is published on August 27th - why not read our apprentice's review - click HERE to give it a read.
1) What was your inspiration for writing this book?
“I have always been fascinated by twins – the idea of sharing a womb with another person and then so much of one’s childhood, adolescence and even adult life. I have marveled at how many twins remain firmly and devotedly connected to one another yet also manage to create distinct lives. When I saw a documentary in 2013 about Brittany and Abby Hensel, adult conjoined twins from Minnesota, who have been to college, trained as teachers, and travelled around the world, I marveled further. And despite the fact that I was working on another novel, I started to obsess on the subject and rather than using my time at The British Library for writing, I trawled the archives looking for every book, article, and essay I could find about the lives of conjoined twins through history."
2) What were the main challenges that you faced when writing this book?
“Gosh, so many challenges. I cried a lot for a variety of reasons, but the main challenge for me is always finishing a novel. I get ninety-five percent through a project and convince myself it’s horrible and will never get finished and even if it does get finished, it will be the Worst Book Ever! Thankfully I have friends who tell me to shut up and keep going!"
3) As a child or young teenager, did you want to be a writer and if so, is it as you expected?
“I’ve said this before, but I didn’t really think that people like me, ordinary girls, could be writers, so I decided that I would work with books but never entertained the idea of writing a book myself. It wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I seriously considered the possibility of writing, so I went back to university and did a creative writing masters degree. Even then I imagined writers were these aloof and spectral creatures, not really of this world. What’s nice about writing for teenagers is that the writers you meet are generally very down to earth and that helps make it all feel nice and normal."
4) Who are the writers that have influenced you?
“Every book I read influences me in one way or another but I don’t think I really understood the true power of words until I was seventeen and read The Passion by Jeanette Winterson. It’s a masterpiece I go back to again and again."
5) What's in your reading pile currently?
“I’m trying to read more plays. I saw a great documentary on Samuel Beckett recently and have his collected works by my bed – I haven’t read him since I was at university, so it’s been great to delve into that madness again. I’m actually just about to begin Tender by Belinda McKeon."
6) What is your all time favourite book?
“Too hard to choose just one. I love the following:
The Passion by Jeanette Winterson
Orlando by Virginia Woolf
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
When Mr Dog Bites by Brian Conaghan
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
By Grand Central Station I Sat Down And Wept by Elizabeth Smart
…and so many more."
One is available in hardback for £10.99 (£8.79 for William Brookes Students). To pre-order your copy from Wenlock Books, click HERE.