Recently, I got the chance to interview Laura Wood, the author of A Sky Painted Gold. The amazing Kimi at Waterstones Deansgate gave me this opportunity and I am so grateful. I love having the opportunity to interview authors and then bring the question to the blog. It is so interesting to meet the author of a book you have loved reading.
Let’s get on with the questions!
L = Lois
LW = Laura Wood
L: What inspired you to write A Sky Painted Gold?
LW: Lots of different things I suppose. The idea of the setting came from my real love of Cornwall and my family being from there so I knew it very well, so I kind of knew I wanted to write something set there. Then it was kind of like a mood piece really all the bits of it just sort of came together to make this nice story. So, I knew about the setting and St Michael’s Mount which is where the Cardew island is based on. Then I knew I wanted to set something in the 20’s because I always think that it such an interesting and exciting time and I always really love reading things or watching things set in the 20’s, I also knew I wanted to write a romance, so all these different strands came together in a really nice way.
L: What made you decide to set A Sky Painted Gold in the 1920’s?
LW: I think the 1920’s are brilliant and one of the reasons is that I think something that is really interesting is that when we read about the 1920’s now we think about it as being this sort of quite fragile time and I like that it gives the writing that sort of fragility. It kind of does a lot of the work for you in that. I also think there is an interesting tension between that and young people in the 1920’s. We talk about it as being the interwar years but they didn’t know that they were in the interwar years. They didn’t think of themselves as occupying that sort of space. For them it was the first world war had ended and thing were kind of in this weird euphoric world and there were ripples of what they were dealing with. Then there was a euphoria about that period passing and they had no idea about what was coming next. So, I quite like the idea of setting a young adult book there because it had that already built in, the feeling of tension and it is nice I think because the reader has a kind of dramatic irony because they know more about what is to come than the characters do.
L: After writing Middle Grade books what made you decide to write a Young Adult book?
LW: I don’t think it was a conscious decision. I think it was just something that I had already always been interested in. When I write my Middle Grade books I think I write them for either my niece and nephew or for me when I was that age. Hat I would have loved at that age because I was a really big reader, I mean I still am but I’ve always been a really big reader. So, I think when I am writing Middle Grade about what I would have enjoyed reading about when I was around 10. But with the YA I just wrote what I wanted to read now, it was the most self-indulgent thing ever! So, that was kind of the difference I suppose.
L: what was the last book you read?
LW: Ermm, oh my god when people ask you about what you’ve read your mind just goes completely blank. What have I just read? Oh! I just finished I’ve got an early copy, this is the first time I’ve used my author connections in any real meaningful way and I’m so proud of myself. I’ve just read the third book in the Alison Goodman Dark Days trilogy, which I love. It is the conclusion and I was so excited that I got to read it early, I think it comes out in November. But it is brilliant.
L: Who is one author dead or alive that you’d like to meet?
LW: I’d love to meet George Eliot. I wrote about her for some of my thesis and she is such an interesting person. So, I’d really love to meet her.
L: What is your favourite bookstore and why?
LW: My favourite bookstore probably was the Waterstones in Canterbury which is where I used to work but it is closed now. They had two Waterstones in Canterbury so now they’ve closed one down and have just one massive one. But I used to love it there so much and I met all my friends there and started writing there. It is so special. I didn’t know when I took that job, it was just a part time job I had whilst I was at university and I worked in the children’s department. I had no idea how dramatically it would shape my life, I met my boyfriend there, that was 10 years ago, I met lots of my best friends there. I started reading all these books and started writing seriously and talking to people about writing.
L: It is weird, I just came into to Deansgate Waterstones being a book blogger and met Kimi and that was it I was part of a massive book family.
LW: Yeah, it is so amazing. It was the best job I had for so many years for so many reasons but like when I think back now to 10 years ago when I got that job I had no idea at all how big a deal it would be.
L: What other books would you recommend to fans of A Sky Painted Gold?
LW: So, definitely I Capture the Castle, it is one of my favourite books of all time and I love it so much. I really love the way it is written and I really love the narrative voice in it and it is a really big inspiration for me. But also, Eva Ibbotson’s Young Adult books I think are really lovely and have the same sort of feel about them. The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy which is a brilliant book.
L: How would you describe A Sky Painted Gold to people who have never heard of it before?
LW: When I first pitched it to Scholastic, I pitched it as I Capture the Castle meets The Great Gatsby which is kind of the line which they have taken with it. I just think that is so funny because I said I want to write this book and it is going to be like I Capture the Castle meets he Great Gatsby and obviously, they were like oh yeah that sounds amazing. Then I was like it does and now I have to write it, oh god! But I think that’s the neatest way of summing it up.
L: Where do you like to write?
LW: Everywhere, but the best place, I’ve just done brilliant writing on the train, anywhere where I can’t do anything else and I haven’t got loads of distractions. I like to go to coffee shops and stuff to write so I am focused on that.
L: Desert island book?
LW: Either Eva Ibbotson’s A Company of Swans or something by Georgette Heyer probably.
L: Drink of choice?
LW: A rusty nail!
L: *pulls an incredibly confused face* What?!
LW: Which is a whiskey and Drambuie over ice with a bit of orange peel in it. Whenever I go over to my Mum and Dad’s my Dad loves making cocktails for people and he makes it and it is so strong and I have one and I am very happy. So, that is my drink of choice.
L: Hogwarts house?
LW: Well! I always considered myself a Hufflepuff but I was sorted into Gryffindor and I as so convinced it was wrong so I did it again with a different email address and was sored into Gryffindor again so I’ve accepted it now. But I don’t know if that’s the most Hufflepuff thing in the world to be like oh well I guess if that is what you think! It must be true! So, god knows!
L: Day or night?
L: And last one are you working on anything currently?
LW: Yes, I am, I am working on so much stuff. I’m working on a new Middle Grade series and a new YA book that is coming out next year!
L: Thank you!
Be sure to check out Book Depository using my link here: Loisreadsbooks
Until next time,