HG: Which character, if any, did you relate to?
SMW: It has to be heroine, Storm. She’s angry and feels abandoned, and I felt that as I wrote her. But Storm has a big heart and a strong sense of ethics and I hope that comes through.
HG: If you were to enter the trials, what would your motivation be?
SMW: Food! I will admit to being a complete food lover. I’m not particularly sporty. The chances of me completing any of the trials is less than slim, but, if you were waving chocolate at me I would probably have a go.
HG: Comparisons to books like Hunger Games and Jurassic park are inevitable despite your book’s unique storytelling and plot. Are comparisons something you embrace as a writer?
SMW: I am so flattered by those comparisons. Nowadays people only think of the Jurassic Park film, but the book by Michael Crichton is fabulous, so atmospheric and I hope I’ve captured a little of that in mine. As for the Hunger Games, I read all those books, I loved the fight-to-the-death element. So, yes, I’m happy with comparisons!
HG: You are able to write with two distinct voices for both of your main characters; was there a process behind this?
SMW: No. I’m very methodical. I just wrote it in alternate chapters. I found it easy as both characters have very different motivations.
HG: Who would survive longer in the Trials; Katniss Everdeen or Alan Grant?
SMW: Nope! That’s completely unfair. You can’t make me choose between them. Can I go for Chris Pratt’s character in Jurassic World instead please? Owen Grady looks like he could survive just about anything with that twinkling smile. Can I be controversial though and say I might send a raptor after the heroine…
HG: Going to go all Sherlock on you now. If you were to give your fans three, individual and unrelated, words as clues for the next book, what would they be?
SMW: The title of the next book would have to be one of them: (TO BE REVEALED this weekend on #SundayYA!) It speaks volumes!
The other two I would choose are mystery and surprise. They’re going to venture into some unexplored territory and get a few shocks along the way!
HG: Normally, this sort of book would have readers clambering for your back catalogue of books. Being your debut novel, everyone will be a little disappointed and be itching for that sequel. What 3 books would you recommend while they wait?
SMW: One I’ve already mentioned Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. Love, love, love it.
The other two are YA. Warcross by Marie Lu and Invictus by Ryan Graudin. Read both of these books this year and just loved them.
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