The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Eve Ainsworth

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The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Eve Ainsworth

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Summary: Jill's cheeks ached when she read The Blog of Maisy Malone, so we were really looking forward to a chat with her when she popped into Bookbag Towers.
Date: 11 January 2013
Interviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy

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Jill's cheeks ached when she read The Blog of Maisy Malone, so we were really looking forward to a chat with her when she popped into Bookbag Towers.

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

Eve Ainsworth: That's a really interesting question. To be honest. when I first wrote the book, I never had a specific reader in mind. Much like a blog, I imagined that anyone could dip in and find points of interest. Initially, I see a younger version of myself - a teen who is unsure of their place in life and has started to question the world around them and gets irritated by a lot of things they see. I can imagine older readers picking up the book, intrigued by the voice, perhaps, and wanting a lighter read that has some serious undertones.

But right now, if I picture my reader - I hope to see someone smiling. A wry smile. A smile that tells me that they understand, they 'get it' and above all else, they enjoy it.

  • BB: What made you choose a blog as your vehicle for Maisy Malone?

EA: I love blogs and have done for a while now. I think they are fantastic way for individuals to voice their opinions freely. Maisy is an opinionated girl. I didn't want her views locked away in a diary, it didn't suit her. I wanted her to be on her own platform, venting her frustrations. I had to weigh up whether the concept could work - for example, would a teen really chose to express their confidential life fully on a blog? But that's why I decided she should have a pseudonym, that only a few of her close friends would know about. I hope that this creates an interesting dimension.

  • BB: You never told us Maisy's REAL name? Not knowing is killing us! Could you whisper it to us now?

EA: Ha ha. It will be revealed.....but not yet.....;o)

  • BB: Will we ever meet Maisy again?

EA: Oh yes I hope so, I really think Maisy deserves another outing. I've already had people asking me when the sequel will be, which is really lovely and tells me that she is working as a character.

I always hoped that Maisy could work as a series of books. There are several life events that she is still to experience both directly and indirectly - not to mention the world events that she needs to document in her own 'Maisy' style.

  • BB: The book has a great many political references, especially concerning the difficult future faced by the young. Received wisdom says that teenagers today are less interested in politics than their predecessors. We don't agree. We think party politics are less important to them, but politics generally are as important as ever. What do you think?

EA: I agree. In my view, politicians are totally detached from the real issues facing teenagers today. Our younger generation face an uncertain future and will only grow more frustrated if their voice is not heard. The ladder of social mobility and prospects enjoyed by the older generations has been gradually withdrawn. As I work directly with teenagers I find it quite worrying how early they face issues such as depression, poverty and addiction. I'm hoping that this situation will change as hearing their collective voice is so vital. If we continue to ignore their voice, we will damage several generations.

  • BB: Do you enjoy blogs yourself? Writing one? Reading them?

EA: I love blogs. When I was pregnant and during the early stages of being a mother I really found a passion for them. There is a true community out there and it encouraged me to start my own. Unfortunately, writing means I do not keep it updated as often as I would like but I would like to change this in 2013. More recently I read many writing blogs, review blogs and young adult blogs. It is a fascinating world, hugely supportive and provides fantastic opportunities to get your opinions/views/thoughts out there, no matter how irrelevant or nutty (and believe me, I've read some nutty ones!)

  • BB: Where and how do you write?

EA: I work full time and have two young children, so I have to squeeze in the time where i can. I quickly learnt to sacrifice my TV and write mainly in the evening (I have no idea what's happening in Eastenders now! Is Den still alive?). I write on a small desk in my dining room, usually with a cat sat warming my feet. I try to make myself write 1,000 words a day, it doesn't matter if its just nonsense - I just write anything. Giving myself that discipline usually means I get there in the end.

  • BB: What would be your desert island book?

EA: Am I allowed to take my kindle, or is that cheating? Hmm, the lack of power source might be a problem I'm guessing? In that case the Chronicles of Narnia would be my choice. It's a childhood favourite and I can be swept away in that comforting fantasy land, hoping my Prince Caspian will come and rescue me.

  • BB: Which three books should every teenager read?

EA: Forever, by Judy Blume - best book on relationships that there is (in my eyes) L Shaped Room - Lynne Reid Banks - an eye-opener for any older teen into life as a unmarried mother in the days before the pill. Any of the Adrian Mole books - funny, satirical and just as relevant now as they were back then.

  • BB: What's next for Eve Ainsworth?

EA: I have just finished my second novel, The Art of Kissing Frogs. The partial for this was shortlisted for the Greenhouse Funny Prize and I'm currently looking at routes for publication. I am also working on a third novel about girl gangs and deception. Above all, I just want to keep writing and hope that people continue to enjoy what I'm doing.

  • BB: We're sure at they will, Eve and thank you for talking to us.

You can read more about Eve Ainsworth here.

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