Thursday, March 19, 2015

Interview with Tatum Flynn

I'm so ridiculously excited today to share an interview with Tatum Flynn, fellow Fearless Fifteener and one of the funniest writers I know. Her book, THE D'EVIL DIARIES (Orchard/Hachette) releases on April 2nd.

Twelve-year-old Jinx is hopeless at being evil. Which is a bit of a problem when you're Lucifer's youngest son. But when Jinx runs away from Pandemonium, the walled city he's lived in all his life, he bumps into dead girl Tommy - who's been sent to Hell for accidentally feeding her nasty uncle to a circus lion - and unearths a conspiracy that could up-end the entire underworld. 

Cue shenanigans involving carnivorous carousel horses, death-trap-riddled libraries and hungry quicksand. Now the fate of the realm rests in the hands of its most unlikely demon and a girl who shouldn’t be in Hell at all...

Preorder the D'EVIL DIARIES on Blackwell's and Foyles 
Add it on Goodreads

What is your writing process like?

Woken by cat trying to eat face.
Feed cat so cat will not eat me.
Coffee holy sweet nectar of the gods ok I feel better now.
Quick look at Twitter hang on where did those two hours go?
Open Word.
Curse Past Me for leaving characters at top of burning tower without escape route.
Decide I'd better check emails.
And see if I've missed anything on Twitter.
Switch off internet.
Let cat in.
Shout YESSSS at figuring out characters' escape route.
Write madly.
Let cat out.
Write madl--
Let cat in again.
Get stuck. Put on washing, take out rubbish, do washing up.
Halfway through washing-up, figure out plot point.
Leave dishes in sink and run back to book.
Write madl--
Cat yodels angrily. Realise it's dinner time.
Leave characters drowning in quicksand and go to watch Gilmore Girls.

What drew you to write middle grade?

My favourite things are adventures and laughing. You get more of these in middle grade than anywhere else. 

Do you ever get writer's block? Any tips to get past it?

Writer's block for me manifests not so much as not being able to write, as not *wanting to* because the story isn't exciting me as it should. And it's always because the book's taken a wrong turn. There's a scene that doesn't need to be there, or an extra character I haven't yet thought of who does, or perhaps I haven't quite nailed the voice yet, or the main character hasn't got a good motivation for doing what she's doing, etc. Of course, knowing that doesn't necessarily mean I automatically know how to fix it, but it stops 'writer's block' being this immovable object in my way.

Did you base your characters on anyone in particular?

Almost all of my characters have a bit of me in them, but Loiter - the Patron Demon of Sloth who, naturally, is a three-toed sloth, and who would merrily spend all his time lounging in a hammock sipping margaritas and reading Calvin and Hobbes if he could - may have a bit more of me in him than the rest.

What other projects do you have coming up?

HELL'S BELLES is out January 2016 (Btw even though there's a sequel coming, THE D'EVIL DIARIES can be read as a standalone and doesn't have any huge cliffhangers! Promise). I'm about to dive into another MG fantasy about another unusual family, this time featuring funny ghosts rather than demons. Plus I'm involved with the fabulous Womentoring Project which provides free mentoring to female writers who couldn't otherwise afford it, and I'll be opening up to a new mentee shortly.


Tatum Flynn lives by the sea in England with a cat called Friday and too many hats. She has a soft spot for the word ‘ramshackle’, and a vagabond past which involves piloting lifeboats in Venezuela, playing poker in Las Vegas, shooting rapids in the Grand Canyon and almost falling out of a plane over Scotland. Her debut, THE D’EVIL DIARIES, will be out from Orchard/Hachette on the 2nd April 2015, with a sequel, Hell's Belles, to follow January 2016. Find her on Tumblr (sometimes) and Twitter (far too often).

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