Thursday 3 August 2017

Q and A with Siobhan Curham

Tell it to the MoonToday I have a very special guest: Siohban Curham is here to answer a few questions about her books The Moonlight Dreamers and its sequel Tell It To The Moon, which is out today! You can check out my review for The Moonlight Dreamers here.

Take it away Siobhan!

1 – Might be an obvious start but why focus on female friendship in The Moonlight Dreamers?
Mainly because I’m such a fan of female friendship and I wanted to create a series that celebrated the great things that can be achieved when women or girls come together to support each other in being true to themselves and pursuing their dreams. I also wanted to create something that challenged the culture of bitchiness and comparison that’s encouraged in certain parts of the press and media. That being said, I didn’t want to paint some rosy-tinted world where nothing bad ever happens. In both The Moonlight Dreamers and Tell it to the Moon certain friendships are tested and challenges need to be overcome.

2 – Were there any inspirations, real or fictional, for the girls’ characters?
I was inspired to create Rose’s character by observing the way the kids of celebrities are flung into their parents’ spotlight. It can be hard enough growing up in the relative privacy of a non-celebrity world, but when your parents are famous and you end up becoming famous as an extension it must be really hard. Through Rose I wanted to show the negative side of the celebrity bubble. I was inspired to create Maali for two reasons, firstly, to try and offer some ethnic and spiritual diversity – there seem to be very few religious characters in YA fiction – but I was also drawing upon some of my own personal experiences as a hopeless romantic! With Amber I wanted to create someone who doesn’t want to squeeze herself to fit into any of society’s so-called norms. Someone who likes dressing in vintage men’s clothing and is pretty much asexual. But it was equally important to me to not make too big of a deal of this – as I don’t think it is a big deal. I wish everyone was free to live and dress exactly as they wish, without being judged. And Sky is probably the most like me, with her hippy lifestyle and love of writing.

3 – Other than Oscar Wilde, what books do you think the girls should or do take inspiration from?
I would say that they’d take inspiration from Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clariss Pinkola Estees. And any books that celebrate female friendship, like The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.

4 – Was there a book that made you want to write?
As a child the first book that made me realise how powerful words and stories can be was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – I cried my eyes out when I thought Aslan had died. As a teen, reading The Catcher in the Rye made me realise how powerful a character’s voice can be. And, as an adult, I was really inspired to finally begin writing by an author called Lisa Jewell because I loved the characters she created and how the worlds of her books are so vividly drawn they’re almost characters in their own right.

5 – Finally, what did you dream about as a teenager?
Apart from a brief spell when I wanted to be a forensic scientist – after becoming hooked on a TV show called Quincy – I’ve always dreamed of being a writer. Sadly, when I got to university to study English Literature and Screen-writing as part of that dream, I had a crisis of confidence and dropped out. Coming from a poor background on a council estate I didn’t think I had what it took to be a part of the middle class world of writing. Thankfully, I proved myself wrong and I’ve now written twenty-three books – under my own name and as a ghost-writer. This is why I feel so passionately about encouraging young people to dare to dream – I don’t want them to make the same mistake I did.

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