If you have followed my blog and Twitter recently you will know how much I love the Slay series by Kim Curran! I recently got the opportunity to interview Kim Curran, who has just released the second book in the Slay series, Slay on Tour. I loved the second instalment in the Slay series and will be posting my review of it on Friday! You can find my review of the first book in the series, Slay, here.
This post is a part of the Slay on Tour blog tour! I am so excited to be a part of a blog tour for a book I love so much. Make sure you check out all the other posts in this blog tour!
I had a lot of questions to ask Kim after I had finished the book, here are those questions!
L: Firstly, please could you introduce yourself to the blog?
K: Hey, thanks for having me on Lois Reads Books! My name is Kim and I’m the author of six books for teenagers. I’m also a Creative Director of an advertising agency, where my focus is on youth marketing, so in both of my jobs I get paid to come up with ideas, which is the best thing ever! I was born in Dublin, but moved to London when I was eight and still live here now!
L: The 2nd book in the Slay series has just been released could you tell us a little about the Slay series and what it entails?
K: Slay is about a boy band who fights demons! It’s been described as Buffy meets One Direction. It’s action packed, with band playing and demon slaying, but at its heart it’s a book about friendship and family.
L: What was your inspiration behind Slay and where did the idea of a demon slaying boyband come from?
K: The idea for Slay came out of a conversation with one of my oldest friends. She is a big One Direction fan and I’m a huge fan of the TV show Supernatural and we were talking about how amazing both fandoms are. And literally, bang, the idea hit me: boy band fighting demons.
L: There is a lot of mythology mixed into both books in the Slay series, did you do a lot of research when writing in order to include this, or was it something you were already interested in?
K: I’ve always been a bit obsessed with demons and magic and mythology in general, but for Slay I did a lot more research into different views of demons and good versus evil from different cultures. I’d also spent 4 months travelling around Central America in 2011, where I spent most of the time exploring Mayan and Aztec temples and learning about the culture and their religions, which all flooded into Slay. For Slay On Tour, I wanted to set it in Japan, but I didn’t know a huge amount about Japanese demons beyond my love of J-Horror, so I did a lot of reading on that. Japanese demons are very different to the Judeo-Christian view of them, and many are more like what we’d call ghosts. A lot of them are also women who had been wronged, or had their hearts broken, so that was really interesting to weave into the story of Slay on Tour.
L: All the characters in the Slay series come from diverse backgrounds. Do you feel it is important to include diverse character in Young Adult books?
K: For me, I guess I think about representation rather diversity, by which I mean I write to represent the world around me, which is beautifully multi-cultural and diverse. I think it’s absolutely essential that as many people can see themselves in books, whether that is someone who represents their culture or their sexuality or their disability – especially for young people who are shaping their identity. Of course, as a white woman, I approached writing about some characters of colour with respect and I made sure I used sensitivity readers. But above all, the band, their manager Gail, and Milly, the cool geeky girl who joins them, appeared in my head as they are – it wasn’t an intentional decision to make them diverse, it sort of just happened that way!
L: Niv a member of Slay is deaf which is discussed a lot in the books, especially with Niv’s use of sign language. Do you feel it is important to be inclusive when writing not just Young Adult books but any books
K: I think when people talk about diversity, they often forget disability, which was something I wanted to readdress. As well as Niv being mute and talking in Sign Language, Gail is also disabled from her accident and at the end of Slay, one of the boys is also physical changed, which is something I explore in Slay On Tour. I was especially inspired by the Paralympic Games, which showed that people with disabilities could be just as heroic, just as awesome as people without disabilities.
L: What other books would you recommend to fans of the Slay series?
K: If you love the blend of action and mythology, you can’t go wrong with Rick Riordan’s books. Also demon slaying, Will Hill’s Department 19 series was a big influence for me. And for a team of young people working together, check out Jinxed by Amy McCulloch
L: Do you plan out your books in detail before writing, plan a little bit, or not at all?
K: I always know the beginning, middle and ending before I start writing seriously. I will plot out the main beats of the story and then have a rough chapter plan that I follow, but I like to keep enough flexibility to allow me to surprise myself while writing!
L: How were you introduced to writing?
K: I guess like most writers, my desire to write came out of my love of reading! But I first started writing stories when I was about eight and I had a bright red typewriter I would write stories about monsters (I remember one especially about a two-headed monster called Fluffy who was angry all the time because people didn’t take him seriously.) But I never considered being an author as a career till I was much older. I learned a lot of my craft of writing and plotting through my job as an advertising copywriter, which I have done for 20 years: when you have to grab people’s attention with only 5 seconds, you become pretty adept at getting to the point fast!
L: Where do you like to write?
K: I write anywhere and everywhere! I write on my commute to work, in my office at home and in the member’s areas of various galleries and centres. One of my favourite places to work is on the 6th floor of the Southbank Centre. Plus, a couple of friends and I go on a writers retreat to Skye in Scotland, which is where I wrote the lion’s share of Slay On Tour.
L: What are you reading at the minute?
K: I’m reading The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker, which is the Trojan War told from the point of view of the women of Troy.
L: Are you working on anything currently?
K: As I’m waiting to hear if there will be any more Slay books, I’m working on a new idea which I’m calling Roller Derby Girls at the End of the World.
L: What is your desert island book?
K: Gah! That’s an impossible question! So I’m going to dodge it by saying I’d bring a survival guide!
L: Will we be seeing more of Slay and their demon slaying antics in the future?
K: I would LOVE to write more and I have three more books planned. So, here’s hoping!
L: Thank you!
Be sure to check out all the other posts in the Slay on Tour blog tour! Thank you so much to Usborne and Stevie Hopwood for giving me this wonderful opportunity!