Thursday, 22 December 2016

Author Interview: Kim Askew and Amy Helmes

Photo courtesy of Kim and Amy

It is getting so close to Christmas, and so as an extra treat I have an interview with TWO authors today!

Kim Askew (left of the picture) and Amy Helmes (right of the picture) are authors of the new 'Twisted Lit' novel, Puck, and they have kindly agreed to be interviewed by me!

1. Hi girls! How are you both?

We’re doing well, thanks, and we’re excited to talk about the latest offering in our Twisted Lit collection of YA novels!

2. What inspired you to write Puck?

Our first three novels — Tempestuous, Exposure and Anyone But You — were inspired by Shakespeare plays. (“The Tempest,” “Macbeth,” and “Romeo and Juliet,” respectively). We wanted our fourth book to be a modern twist on “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” because not only is it it arguably the most beloved of Shakespeare’s comedies, but Puck is one of the playwright’s most iconic characters. 

3. Why did you focus on Shakespeare's plays?

Shakespeare’s fingerprint is everywhere in pop culture, from the movies 10 Things I Hate about You and Grease to TV series like “House Of Cards” and “Westworld.” His plays really capture the drama and emotion of the human experience, and they lend themselves perfectly for reinventions. In Puck, we were inspired by the trouble-making fairies who wreak such unprecedented havoc in the forest in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Yanking the story into the 21st century, we decided that a rehabilitation wilderness camp for juvenile delinquents would give us the perfect framework. It all fell into place from there.

4. Can you briefly tell us what Puck is about?

It’s the story of a 15-year-old girl who lands at DreamRoads, a wilderness camp for troubled kids in the wilds of Utah. Her fellow campers include a famous pop star with a diva attitude, a geeky, “fish out of water” math whiz, and a surly gang-banger with a chip on his shoulder. The program’s steely director aims to break Puck, but she knows that every adult has a breaking point, too. She’s determined to defy this realm of agonizing nature hikes and soul-sucking psychobabble — even if that means manipulating four lovestruck camp counsellors and the director’s dim-witted second-in-command.

5. Describe Puck! What kind of character is she?

She’s our most kick-A$$, controversial heroine yet. Having been seemingly chewed up and spit out by the foster care system, she’s guarded, hostile, even whiny, at times. She also lies, which can make the reader’s experience with her tricky indeed. On the other hand, she’s fiery, funny and lovable. We wouldn’t have her any other way.

6. Have you got any other Shakespeare retellings in the works?

We both sort of have a weakness for brooding hot guys, so “Hamlet” is on our list of plays to tackle, as is the sisterly drama that’s so rife in “King Lear!”

7. Sell us the book! Why should people pick this up RIGHT NOW?

If you enjoy John Hughes movies like The Breakfast Club, you’ll love taking the journey with our modern-day “brat pack,” whose attitude and antics will surely keep you guessing!

Thank you so much Kim and Amy! Good luck with your future books.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the post, I love retellings - I'll have to check out these books!


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