The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Keren David

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The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Keren David


Summary: Keren David's latest book is something of a departure - although she tells us that there are similarities. We couldn't resist asking her a few questions.
Date: 4 November 2011
Interviewer: Robert James
Reviewed by Robert James

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Keren David's latest book is something of a departure - although she tells us that there are similarities. We couldn't resist asking her a few questions.

  • Bookbag: When you close your eyes and imagine your readers, who do you see?

Keren David: I'm not sure, because I never do that. I started off writing for myself as I was at about 13, but now I suppose I see a load of assorted teens.

  • BB: I got hooked on your writing after reading When I Was Joe and Almost True, hugely exciting thrillers. While I enjoyed Lia's Guide... just as much, it's a big change in style for you. Which ones did you prefer writing?

KD: I think there are quite a lot of similarities - all the books are about contemporary teens in extraordinary circumstances, they all examine big questions and are character-driven. I suppose the Ty books are thrillers with an element of humour and Lia is romantic comedy with a dash of darkness. I found the Ty books easier to write, I seem to prefer writing as a boy.

  • BB: Do you listen to music when writing? If so, could you share with us

the soundtrack to any of your books?

KD: I don't, sorry to say - I'd love to, but the words of songs distract me when I'm writing. I had a Ty soundtrack for the gym full of commercial hip hop to get me in the mood for writing as Ty - Eminem, Black Eyed Peas, Chipmunk and Tinie Tempah. Claire and Ty's song is 'You Make it Real' by James Morrison - I think Claire would listen to it a lot, and Ty not at all.

  • BB: What did you write in your current manuscript to make your daughter call you a 'pervert'? I took a quick look at your blog and I'm intrigued!

KD: Haha...she didn't approve of a 15-year-old boy eyeing up a much older woman. One who is related to him. She has a point, I suppose.

  • BB: Again, looking at your blog, I see that you let a young girl shadow you at work recently. If you had the chance to shadow anyone doing their job, who would you choose?

KD: Oh my lord. I think if I spent a day shadowing Prince Harry I could get a novel out of it. Or Rafael Nadal. Or Jon Hamm from Mad Men. Or Ryan Gosling...Johnny Depp....mmm...George Clooney...

  • BB: If you could collaborate with another author on a novel, who would you choose and why?

KD: J K Rowling. I can add urban edginess and she can boost my bank balance.

  • BB: Having mentioned your blog a couple of times, and seen you on Twitter a lot, how important do you think the internet is to an author today?

KD: From a hard-headed marketing point of view, the internet offers fantastic opportunities to network and promote yourself and your books. From a human point of view, I've met wonderful people, been informed and entertained and - with the blog - had tremendous freedom to develop as a writer and journalist. But as a writer it is a massive distraction and I need to disable it to be able to write..

  • BB: Which book would you recommend to people who enjoyed Lia's Guide while they're eagerly waiting for your next novel?

KD: I loved Bumped by Megan McCafferty, a witty clever dystopia which imagnes a world where only teenagers can get pregnant. Wish Me Dead by Helen Grant is thrilling - and also features a girl in line to inherit the family bakery.

  • BB: What do you enjoy most about writing? What would you rather not do at all?

KD: I love it when all the bits are falling into place and I'm in love with the characters and the writing comes easily and quickly. I hate writing outlines and synopses.

  • BB: What's next for Keren David?

KD: Yesterday I started work on a new book - no idea if it will work or not. From January I'm going to be teaching the Writing for Children course of evening classes at City University.

  • BB: Sounds fabulous! Good luck with the book, and I'm very jealous of those people lucky enough to be learning from you - I wish I lived in or near London!

This interview was kindly given to us by the ever-generous Ya Yeah Yeah

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