Today is my stop on the Lauren St John blog tour to celebrate her new standalone book, Wave Riders! I am lucky enough to have had the opportunity to ask Lauren some questions about her book, her writing and even for a recommendation!
“Twins Jess and Jude Carter live a dream life sailing from one exotic destination to the next with their guardian, Gabriel. But after Gabe vanishes and a storm smashes up their lives, they’re left penniless and alone. When a wealthy, glamorous family offer them a home, everybody tells them they’re the luckiest children in the world. But the Blakeneys’ stately mansion is full of secrets – secrets that seem entangled with the twins’ own fate. As they race to uncover the truth, Jess and Jude must confront their deepest fears. How do you solve a mystery when that mystery is you?”
Tell us about the brand new book, Wave Riders.
Wave Riders is about twins, Jess and Jude, who live a dream life sailing from one exotic destination to the next with their guardian, Gabriel Carter. But after Gabe vanishes, they’re left alone at sea. When a wealthy, glamorous family offer them a home, everybody tells them they’re the luckiest children in the world. But the Blakeney’s stately mansion is full of secrets – secrets that seem entangled with the twins’ own fate. As they race to uncover the truth, Jess and Jude must confront their deepest fears. How do you solve a mystery when that mystery is you?
What were the inspirations behind the story?
The idea for Wave Riders came to me out of the blue. First, the title popped into my head, then the whole story came to me. I had a really vivid image of the twins waking up alone at sea on the morning of their 12th birthday to discover that their guardian, Gabriel, has gone without a trace and that they’re all alone at sea. I knew next to nothing about sailing, so the first thing I did was sign up for a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) First Aid course, following by a five-day RYA Competent Crew course. It was scary but an amazing adventure. There’s no way I could have written the book without that training.
How is writing a stand alone different to a series?
I love writing both. The brilliant thing about writing a mystery series is that you can really get to know your characters and have fun putting them in different places and situations to solve crimes. But standalones are wonderful in a different way, because you can try out ideas and create a whole world for new characters. I adored writing about Jess and Jude, because their adventure takes them across the world, from the Virgin Islands to glamorous mansions and boarding school.
Which character was your favourite?
I loved my twins, Jess and Jude, and their Swiss Shepherd dog, Sam, equally, and I also have a huge soft spot for the librarian hero of the book, Ms Flowers.
What was your favourite bit of this book to write? What was the hardest bit?
My favourite bit to write was definitely the first chapter. The hardest bit was the chapter where Jess and Jude get caught in a storm at sea. Sailing is very technical and I wanted all of the technical bits to be as authentic and accurate as possible. I really wanted the reader to feel as if they were there, on the yacht, with Jess and Jude.
What’s your favourite thing about being author?
I love it that I get to have adventures or solve mysteries every single day, and that I can write at home, with my cats, Max and Skye, by my side. Reading mysteries and adventures brought me so much joy, fun, inspiration and comfort when I was growing up, and I’d love to be able to do that for young people now.
We always love a recommendation here! Is there a mystery/detective/whodunnit book you can recommend for kids and teachers alike?
I’d recommend Fleur Hitchcock’s Waiting for Murder.
A massive thanks to Lauren for answering my questions. Wave Riders is out now! Go treat yourself to a copy!
Check out the rest of the blog tour celebrating this amazing book!