Interview: Soulmates by Holly Bourne (September 2013 YA debut release)

Today we have author Holly Bourne on the blog. Holly debuts her YA novel, Soulmates via  Usborne Publishing, later this year. I am looking forward to reading Soulmates it sounds like a great YA book! Read on for Holly's interview where you can learn more about Holly and her novel Soulmates! Comments welcome!

The Author: Holly Bourne 
I write for young people for a living. I’m a journalist for a charity-run website called which basically helps you with any possible problem you can imagine having between the ages of 16-25. I love it – it’s like being an online agony aunt! Before that, I was a news reporter for two years on a local newspaper.
I live in London. It is my lifetime dream to spend just one day living in a musical. And I have a famous Grandpa – Larz Bourne. He was a cartoonist who created the character ‘Deputy Dawg’ and wrote all the stories. This may mean nothing to people under the age of, like, 40 though.
Writing- How you got into writing?
Writing was thrust upon me by being somewhat dim at every other subject at school. Science baffles me, I only know about four capital cities, but I was always able to put words together in a way that made people want to read them.
I studied Journalism at the University of Sheffield, where I also edited the student women’s magazine, Stiletto. After graduation, I got a job on the newspaper. I was eerily good at getting people to talk to me as a journalist, but eerily bad at dealing with it. I sometimes used to do a little cry in the loos when anything bad happened to anyone because I felt sorry for them. Not the making of a hard-core news journalist! So I started writing ‘Soulmates’ around my deadlines as a way of getting away from all the constant unhappiness – and it kind of went from there.
The Book
Soulmates by Holly Bourne (Releases September 1st 2013 by Usbourne publishing)
Heres the blurb:
A cynical 17-year-old called Poppy falls in love with a guitarist, Noah. Every so often two people are born who are the perfect matches for each other. Soulmates. But the repercussions of soulmates getting together are huge and, unbeknown to Poppy and Noah, they are being watched by a secret international agency responsible for separating them.

Poppy and Noah will soon have to decide whether to stay together and potentially end the world, or live without love for the rest of their lives.

Inspiration behind the book:

I started writing it during the Twilight phenomenon, when there were whole sections of bookstores dedicated to ‘dark romance’ and you couldn’t swing a hamster without knocking a doomed-love story off the shelf. I found it really interesting that we’re so drawn to this idea of love only being really exciting if it’s FORBIDDEN. Soulmates is all to do with this notion that true love apparently has to be difficult in order to still be considered ‘true’. It can’t be calm and steady if it is to be knee-shattering. I think this is an interesting desire we have in our personal relationships which perhaps isn’t particularly healthy. I liked playing with the idea that meeting your true soulmate could be the worst thing ever!

Soulmates doesn't release until September 2013. How is it feeling in the run up to the release? Have nerves started to kick in?

It still feels unreal. I’m scared it’s a massive hoax and a Jeremy Beadle-alike is going to jump out of a bush, waving a hidden camera and yelling “GOTCHA”. But mostly I’m just impatient and excited for people to finally get the chance to read it. If just one reader – who isn’t an immediate family member – thinks it’s good, then I’ll be a very happy bunny.
Can you describe your protagonist Poppy in less than 140 Characters?

Poppy Lawson is a dry, witty teenager who doesn’t believe in happily-ever-after and falls in love against her better judgement.

You’re an award winning journalist. How has the transition from journalist to novelist been? Was it a natural progression?

I think lots of journalists like to think they have books in them. Writing is a real craft – and journalism is such a good way to hone that craft, as you have to be so quick, and yet so choosy, with your words.

What’s so great about writing novels is that you don’t have to wait for stuff to happen before you can write about it – you just make it up. It’s a lot less reactionary. You’re a bit more in control, which I’m finding I prefer. I love both jobs though. As long as I’m writing words and people are reading them, I’m pretty chipper.

If you could encourage readers to pick up Soulmates later in the year what would you say to them?

It’s not just any love story. If you want to read a romance which really gets into the guts about what it means to be in love – ripping apart the cliché from the reality – then pick it up. Plus, you’ll fancy the pants off Noah. Trust me. I fancy him and he is the figment of my own imagination.
Some bookie questions:
*Favourite genre and why?

I really don’t have one. I’m all about the story. If I care about the characters and think the premise is unputdownable, then I’m sold – whatever genre it falls into.

*Favourite YA author and why?

There are so many I love! OK, I’ll go with Kate Cann as I devoured all her books when I was growing up. She has a brilliant knack for creating really unlikable side-characters who are also utterly believable, which is hard! Plus she gives young readers just enough rude bits too.
* Favourite 2012 read and why?

Without a doubt, Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein. It’s a slow burner, but BY GOD, by the end of it half your soul will be bleeding out onto the pages as you marvel at just how amazing it is. It’s beautiful, it’s horrendous, I still think about it most days, plus it’s all about girls kicking serious arse in WW2, which makes me joyful inside.

* A book series you love and why?

The Georgia Nicolson series by Louise Rennison is the best series my brainbox has ever had the honour of reading. My friends and I grew up reading them to an almost obsessional degree. They’re just so funny! They totally show just what lunatics girls are when boys aren’t about. We still all use lingo from the book. Despite being adults now - and wearing suits and saying important stuff in meetings - a friend will still text saying ‘I’ve got the Cosmic Horn!!’ or ‘It’s so nippy noodles today’. LOVE them.
Thanks to Holly for the interview and to Usborne publishing for setting it up!
What do you think of Soulmates? I personally can't wait to read it!




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