Good morning everyone!
Today, I have the utter joy of shining the spotlight on one of my favourite YA authors: Laura Steven. She’s popped along to answer a few of my questions, and I am so honoured!
Laura has written a whole host of incredible books, and if you’ve not read any, I recommend you get on them!
What was your favourite part of writing the book?
The dark horror elements! It was the first time I’ve written something in that kind of gothic horror wheelhouse, which I so dearly love. I grew up on the Goosebumps books, then graduated to Shirley Jackson and Stephen King, so it really felt like a homecoming. I actually hadn’t intended for Lottie to be possessed (she was just supposed to investigate the murders!) but that whole storyline flowed out of me so organically). And writing an immortal cat was just very fun.
Which character would you love to write another story from?
I adore Hafsah—one of my favourites to write—but I don’t think her story is necessarily mine to tell. I’d love to do a prequel novella with the original Society members… hard to say more without getting too spoilery!
Is there a scene/character you had to edit out of the book that you wish people could see?
No, everything I cut was cut for a reason, but I do want to release a bonus short story sometime soon, because I have this really vivid and fun scene in my head of Alice and Lottie at Edinburgh Christmas Market right after the book ends!
What advice do you have for budding writers?
Unfortunately, there’s no shortcut to putting in the hours. There’s no magic bullet—no particular course you can do, or craft book you can read, or beat sheet you can follow. You only get better by doing the thing over and over and over again, and by filling your creative well with a LOT of other art—whether books, TV shows, movies, video games, graphic novels or paintings. The act of trying to decode why you love (or hate!) something makes you a better craftsperson. I’m currently writing my fourteenth book, and I’m only just starting to feel like I know what I’m doing!
Also, the work is the reward. Not the book deals, not the TV adaptations, not the sales figures or good reviews or literary awards. Before all of that, it’s just you and the page. And if you don’t love it on some fundamental level, it’s going to be very hard to keep going when the other stuff dries up. (Things got heated when I said this on TikTok, but I really believe it! You should enjoy writing at least SOME of the time!)
What’s next from you?
Definitely some more dark academia with horror vibes, and most likely a classic retelling made sapphic. Maybe at Carvell, maybe elsewhere. I’m also working on an extremely ambitious supernatural love story that transcends time, fate and gender (the big three, lol). Stay tuned!
Can you recommend a book you’ve read recently that people will love?
I’m currently reading and loving What We Harvest by Ann Fraistat. It’s like Burn Our Bodies Down meets The Devouring Gray—and it’s the first zombie book I’ve EVER liked! I’m also really excited for With Fire In Our Blood by Kat Delacorte, which is out next month. It’s an Italian gothic retelling of Romeo and Juliet, with a bisexual love square. Need I say more?
A massive thanks to Laura for taking the time to answer my questions! If you want to check out my reviews of Laura’s books, you’ll find links below:
Society for Soulless Girls
Thank you so much for stopping by!
Have you read any of Laura’s books?
Which one is your favourite?
Which of Laura’s characters would you most like to meet?
Talk to me in the comments – I’d love to know that there are other Laura superfans out there too!!