Do you write anything other than prose? What is your favourite form?
I also like to write articles for various publications, including a news and culture magazine that I run. I love both these forms of writing but I suppose I do find fiction a bit lighter and more free, if that makes sense. There are no huge constraints on fiction, and you don’t have to nervously fact check everything. Haha.
Do you write for adults as well as young people? Why/why not?
Yes, I love to write for all!
How did you get into writing for young people?
It came about through Wattpad. It is an amazing website that mixes storytelling with social media. I realised quite quickly that the main readership here was younger adults, and so I adapted my book for them. It was originally going to be a little grittier and more mature, but I’m honestly really glad it turned out the way it did!
What’s great about it? What’s bad about it?
Nothing is bad about it, but what’s been great is revisiting all those teenage emotions. It is a really fun, exciting time, but also you can get a little too swept up in things if you’re not careful - especially when one meets a hot stranger out at sea, right?
What are some of your favourite YA books? Are they like yours?
Well, I absolutely love True Blood, and found that inspiring.
What’s your favourite novel – if you HAD to choose?
‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ by Khaled Huseini always come to mind. It was such an amazing but heart-breaking story about women in Afghanistan over recent decades. And no – the name for the Salt Kisses books did not come from this book! Haha. They are definitely two very different stories.
I found the setting in A Thousand Salt Kisses really intriguing – where did you get your inspiration?
Thank you so much! My main inspiration for the whole series was from the setting itself! I visited the mystical Westcountry where the books are set. Many a mermaid is said to be spotted from its cliffs, and you can see why! It also has a real new-agey vibe to it, which is in keeping with the books.
Crystal and Llyr were both really lovely characters – where did they come from?
Thank you, again! I think Crystal is a mixture of people I know – and just basically a typical young London girl. Llyr is also bits and pieces of various people. I took those bits and pieces and tried to make the perfect package!
Why did you make Llyr a merman? Where did his family history and kingdom come from?
I was just really interested in the idea of an underwater colony, and what that all represents. It probably is the only place on the planet where you can truly escape the human world, although of course the mers in the book are still affected by our actions. So that was why I wanted him to be mer. The mer in the books originate from a Celtic tribe of humans cursed by a witch to the seas. The kingdoms and family history are all revealed in the later books.
I liked the portrayal of Crystal’s Dad’s environmental concerns and felt this was a non-threatening way of introducing issues like this to younger readers. Was this intentional?
Yes, it was. These are issues very close to my heart!
What are you working on now?
I am working on the second book ‘A Thousand Salt Kisses Later’, due out in September, and also a bunch of articles for my mag, also due out in September. So life is crazy busy right now!