Chaired by Claire Armstead
Claire described Charlotte’s novel as being very much a novel about the private life of children. Charlotte described how she found it horrific to be a teenager. We all think that there is a key to being a teenager and when we find the key everything will be ok. However there isn’t a key, we just stop caring about the key. There are Hungarian aunts and grandmothers’ present within the novel, this was done mainly because her maternal grandparents are Hungarian and she wasted to writer about her grandparents because she missed them.
Fayette’s novel is centred round the idea of deception. She paints family life as being built on white lies, there is a duality to this. The grown ups are telling the children to always tell the truth but they themselves are telling lies left and right. There are two sides to the lies Ivy tells, she just really wants to be liked by people. It is all about what is going to get people to like her? Fayette started her novel through NaNoWriMo, this is the idea of writing the basic first draft of a novel in a month. She had two days to come up with the character of Ivy before she started writing and mainly pulled the story out of thin air.
Both novels are set in 1980s, what were you doing in the 1980s?
Charlotte was a teenager during the 80s and finds it easier to write about things she knows. She has to be able to imagine herself as the character in order to write as them. Charlotte stated that she doesn’t want any texts or emails in her novels. By putting these in a novel, it really dates a novel. She is a fan of twitter but thinks it misses the point. You can get a hold of anyone on a mobile and by doing this you will miss a lot of drama.
Fayette was a kid in the 80s and didn’t have the luxury of having time to research the setting of the book. So she used her childhood backdrop with fictional elements to it.
Time for some audience questions
Fayette mentioned how she thought of her main character in two days and then took 5 years to write the novel. How long did it take you Charlotte?
There is a lot of detail in the novel and Charlotte has been thinking about this novel her entire life. The world of her novel, is the world of her grandparents.
How easy did you find it to plot your novels?
Fayette stated how she finds it very hard to sit down and write and also that she hates plot. She finds the idea of plot like pulling teeth. There is plot in the book but that plot had to be created, she plotted on index cards as you are able to physically move the plot around. A third of the plot was thought of before writing and then you get to the point when you run out of train tracks but you have to get putting the tracks down before the train falls off the cliff.
With that a very interesting hours discussion was brought to an end.