Book Nerd Interview
She finished her first novel, Hunting Lila, just before they left the UK, wrote the sequel on the beach in India and had signed a two book deal with Simon & Schuster by the time they had reached Bali.
A third book, Fated, about a teenage demon slayer, was published in January 2012.
Watch this space for more young adult thrillers coming soon!
You can find Sarah on facebook and at www.sarahalderson.com or follow her blog atwww.canwelivhere.com
No, not during my childhood. I didn’t discover writing until I was 30. After I finished Hunting Lila however, I knew there was nothing else I wanted to do but write.
Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
Storytelling has been used since ancient times in every culture to pass down history, wisdom and traditions. I think people like to be transported beyond their own reality. We like to live vicariously. My daughter is 6 and most of her knowledge is gleaned from books. It helps her build empathy, seeing the world through others’ eyes.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
If you get sued don’t worry, it’ll be good publicity. (I’m not sure this is good advice, but it did make me laugh).
In your new book; Losing Lila, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it and why they should read your novel?
I’ve actually published three books since Losing Lila, and have another book coming out in August!
I write really, really fast. Losing Lila is the sequel to Hunting Lila. If you like action, delicious hot boys, kick ass girls, heart-stopping romance, with a little danger thrown in (and NO love triangles), then this is the book for you. I’ve been so lucky that the fans of Hunting Lila loved Losing Lila. I think because Lila grows up in it and starts to really come into her own. Plus the romance between her and Alex blossoms in special ways ;)
For those who are unfamiliar with Alex, how would you introduce him?
Well, Alex, how can words do justice? He was very much my dream man. My muse if you like was the actor Alex Skarsgard. I saw him in the brilliant Generation Kill and fell in love.
My Alex is 21 and a Lieutenant in the Marines. He’s intelligent, sensitive, intuitive, protective (without needing to be macho). He thinks strategically, has a lot of heart, and his first instinct is to protect Lila. I wanted my lead guy to not be the one with the special power (Lila is) but he does know how to shoot a gun and he is quite Bourne at times (the opening chase scene in the book, over the rooftops of Mexico City, is one I really want to see on film one day). Did I mention the ice-blue eyes and six pack also?
I was also very wary of creating a male lead who was over-protective or violent or controlling in any way. Hate those guys. What is it with girls falling for that?
What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Lila?
To trust my instincts and just write; to let the characters speak and act for themselves without forcing the plot.
Why do you feel you had to tell this story?
I was so involved with that set of characters, perhaps as it was my first novel. After I finished Hunting Lila, even before I had a publishing deal, I knew I had to keep writing, because their story wasn’t finished.
If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I would introduce Lila to Ren, who is the main character in my next book The Sound (out in August). Funnily enough, I will be writing a short story with them both in it! Ren doesn’t have any special powers, except funny one-liners, but I think the two of them would really get on.
What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
This year has been really busy. I published the two sequels to Fated earlier in the year (Severed and Shadowed) as well as a short story about Ryder & Amber (two characters from the Lila series) for World Book Day in March.
The Sound is out in August and I think it is my best yet. It’s set in Nantucket, a little island off the east coast of America, and it’s kind of Gossip Girl meets The Killing. I wanted to call it ‘How not to fall prey to serial killers, prepsters & bad boys’.
When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
Mummy, did you eat my chocolate?
You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
Live your passion. If you don’t, you’re not really living. You’re just existing.
Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?
My husband. Or my best girl friend.
What’s your most missed memory?
The smell of bonfires and late autumn.
What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
The 1960s in New York please.
When was the last time you cried?
Yesterday I cried twice; once with laughter, watching The Thick of It (a BBC political satire), and once in the car driving my daughter to school. We were talking about the Second World War and the Battle of Britain. I love history and I grew up with my grandparents recounting stories of their lives during the Blitz. I feel a great responsibility to pass on this history to the next generation so they know that people died to allow them to live freely. It’s why I get mad when people don’t exercise their right to vote.
What are you most passionate about today?
Good question. If you mean today, today, then it would be about teaching young Balinese how to ride their motorbikes safely and what the point of a helmet is (I live in Bali and the driving standard here is awful – think 8 year olds driving motorbikes with chickens, dogs and five siblings hanging off the back). But in general, at this point in my life, my passion is for empowering girls around the world; I want every girl, no matter where she’s born, to have access to education and to be able to make informed choices. That’s my life goal.
What is the one, single food that you would never give up?
Chocolate, sushi, coffee.
Where can readers stalk you?
@sarahalderson on Twitter
Lila is definitely a YA heroine that carries many likable attributes. The character goes through a leap of growth in this book and finally takes control of her life instead of everyone safeguarding her. Her determination will have her risking everything, including her family and her relationship with Alex. The special bond she has with Alex is endearing and very emotive to read through.
Readers will find it easy to be enthralled back into the story. The adrenaline rush that Alderson had delivered is back at full force. The Unit seems to be indestructible but with the support of Alex, Lila finds reassurance that her ability will overcome it. Desperately trying to stay one step ahead of the Unit, Alderson provides the right measure of excitement and surprise waiting at every turn of the page. The writing style leads a nicely paced story that keeps every moment thrilling. The reunion of all these unforgettable characters is just one aspect that readers will enjoy. The ending is composed of a pleasant surprise and proves that with these two books, a third one will definitely be a book that many readers will look forward to.