YA Feature: Introducing YA author Gina Blaxill

This week on Reading Away The Days YA feature is author of Pretty Twisted, Gina Blaxill. Please show Gina some love by commenting on this interview and checking out her book, Pretty Twisted!

A little about Gina:

I always wanted to write! I read so many books when I was younger that there was nothing left for me to read in the library so I decided to make my own stories up. These were about all kinds of things – schoolgirls, families, a lot of fantasy. I wasn’t so great at building fantasy worlds though I loved making characters, so I decided writing something set in the here and now would be a good idea, and Pretty Twisted was born.

I was definitely inspired by Agatha Christie (who wrote loads of fantastic crime novels which you may have seen on TV) and also Tamora Pierce (she was the writer I wanted to “be” growing up).

About Pretty Twisted:

Pretty Twisted is a crime thriller for teens told from two points of view. Londoner Ros is 14 and feeling like she’s losing her best friend, who has started hanging out with a bad crowd. Jonathan is 16, lives in the country and is worried about starting sixth form college, especially as his pretty girlfriend Freya has just moved to London. Before they meet randomly online Ros and Jono are living completely serpeate lives, but through the course of the book things end up getting awfully tangled up – and events take a sinister turn when Freya disappears, seemingly without a trace...

Where did you get the idea for Pretty Twisted?

After reading a lot of teen fiction I noticed that the Internet never seemed to play a big part in any plots, which struck me as strange considering it’s such a big thing for anyone growing up now. So I thought about how I could use the Internet in a book and had the idea of telling a story about two people who only knew each other online and how their lives could end up colliding.

I like the cover of Pretty Twisted it is eye catching, however a little creepy with the girl peeking from behind the wall LOL. Who designed it and how much say did you have in the process?

The lovely people at Macmillan (my publishers) took care of the design work. I had no idea the cover had actually been finished until it popped up in my inbox (which nearly gave me a heart attack as you can imagine!). So I didn’t have too much say in it, but I’m not complaining because I love what they came up with – especially the colours. Actually a few friends thought the girl on the front was me!

Why should we read Pretty Twisted?

It’s different to a lot of the books you’ll find right now. Lots of those are fantastical, or thrillers that wouldn’t happen in the real world, but Pretty Twisted is a really real book. It’s set in the here and now, the characters are ordinary teenagers, and the things that happen in the book could happen to anyone... which in my opinion makes things much scarier and real! It also has a bit of everything – friendship, romance, thrills, mysteries and the everyday things we all have to deal with.

Are you currently working on any other projects at the moment?

Yes! I’ve just finished a first draft for my second novel which is also a crime-thriller for teenagers. Can't give you too many details right now but like with Pretty Twisted it's told from the perspective of a girl, Sophie, and a guy, Reece, who are friends with a slightly complicated relationship. I'm very excited about it!

Quickfire questions:

Summer or Winter? Winter – though I may just be saying that because it’s been too hot for me recently!

Night or day? Day

Movies or Music? Music

Fiction or Non- Fiction? Fiction

Favourite colour? Green (with purple a close second)

Favourite destination? Home!

Favourite book? I’ve several favourite books but if I slightly bend the question and say a series, it would be Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness quartet.

Favourite place to write? My local Caffe Nero

If you where stranded on a desert island what three things would you miss?

Definitely my family, the Internet and nice food.

Thank you to Gina for the interview!

You can find Gina via Twitter (@GinaBlaxill) and visit the Pretty Twisted page at MyKindaBook http://www.mykindabook.com/Books/Pretty-Twisted where you can see behind the scenes videos and some of the Pretty Twisted artwork!

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