Here's something to put a bounce in your step. As part of her Emma Hearts LA blog tour, we're delighted to welcome author Keris Stainton to We Sat Down. She's fresh and she's fun. Just perfect for a spring day. And it's our first time hosting a blog tour stop too - yippee!!! Keris' is the author of Della Says: OMG! and Jessie Hearts NYC. Her new book, Emma Hearts LA, is published this month by Orchard Books.
Keris: I wanted to write a book with a bit of a bolshy main character and Emma – the best friend of the MC (main character) in Jessie Hearts NYC – kept popping into my head. So then I knew I'd have to send her somewhere and I thought LA would be a good contrast to New York, really take her out of her comfort zone.
Little M: How long did it take you to write this book?
Keris: I wrote the first draft during NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month – and then there was a LOT of rewrites and redrafting. I think from start to finish it was probably five months.
Little M: What ages do you think it will suit?
Keris: Anyone from 12 on will enjoy it, I hope.
M: First New York, now LA. Why did you choose these locations for your novels?
Keris: I chose New York because I'm obsessed with it and I really wanted an excuse to wander around the Upper West Side on Google Streetview and call it work. LA was the opposite – I didn't have any love for it, couldn't even really imagine it as a real place, didn't even particularly want to go. But then I was lucky enough to be able to make a really short trip to research the book and I totally fell in love with it.
|Emma Hearts LA by Keris Stainton|
M: Where was most of Emma Hearts LA written? Is there a particular chair in a particular coffee shop that you think could be auctioned in the future?
Keris: Ha! The original draft was written at home, but the rewrites, copyedits and edits were all done in my local Starbucks. I actually thank them in the acknowledgements because I spent a lot of time there and not very much money.
M: Did your parents ever move you to someplace you didn’t really want to go?
Keris: My parents emigrated to Canada in 1966 and then moved back to the UK when I was four months old. As a teenager, I resented that because I thought I would have had a much more interesting and exciting life in Canada!
M: You say you’d like to fly. So would I! Have you ever taken part in an airborne extreme sport/activity?
Keris: I haven't. I'm too chicken, I think. I saw a video of sky surfers years ago and it made my heart race – it just looked like the most incredible, inspiring, life-affirming thing – but I can't imagine ever doing it myself. Would you?
M: Ooh no, I'm chicken too. I'll just wait for my wings to grow :)
M: Have you ever managed to complete a Rubik’s cube successfully?
Keris: No! And it was a terrible source of disappointment and frustration. My sister claimed she had, but it turned out she'd peeled all the stickers off, the big cheat.
M: It’s the Spring Bank Holiday. Do you have a favourite season and why?
Keris: I love Spring. New beginnings and rebirth and everything. I love cherry blossom and the huge lavender bush in my garden. I love Autumn too though, for the back-to-school feeling.
M: Do you still keep a diary?
Keris: Not a paper one, no, but I blog and tweet and facebook, so barely an experience – barely a thought! - goes unrecorded :)
M: If you were writing an autobiography, what title would you choose?
Keris: Ooh. Hard question! How Oprah Changed My Life? I'm rubbish at titles.
M: What question would you like to have been asked but weren’t? And what is your answer?
Keris: When I interview people, I ask: Russell Brand or David Mitchell?
Answer: Please don't make me choose.
Thank you Keris!
Emma Hearts LA, is published this month by Orchard Books.