Thursday 20 June 2013

The Day I Met Sophie McKenzie and Candy Harper

Two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be invited to a blogger brunch at Simon and Schuster. If you are not familiar with the term blogger brunch, then basically this is what happens. We get to look at all the new books being published before meeting some of the lovely authors published by Simon and Schuster and every time we get to go home with a very generous goody bag!
On this occasion, we were looking at the books that would be published between now and Christmas in the YA age bracket, which I will show in another post later this week, as I wanted to spend this post talking about the two authors I got to meet.
I’m a huge fan of Sophie’s books and this was the first time I’d actually had the opportunity to meet her. Sophie presently has two books due to come out with  Simon and Schuster. Casting Shadows, the third book in her YA contemporary romance quartet, which I absolutely love, is due out in July. The series follows the tempestuous relationship of Flynn and River and it is a very gritty and realistic read highlighting a lot of teenage issues and situations they are involved in.
The book Sophie was mainly there to talk about was Split Second which is her new standalone novel due out in September, that has similarities to Blood Ties, so expect a fast paced thriller. The book is set slightly in the future and deals with a terrorist attack that results in a bomb going off. Sophie wanted to create a book that looked at how the UK might react if we continue  politically and economically along the route we are presently on. For inspiration, she felt she only had to look at the situation occurring in Greece to help her write the book. Sophie stated, that nothing that occurs politically in the book hasn’t occurred somewhere in the world. It was a very difficult book for her to write and there were times she thought she wouldn’t finish it. Luckily for us, she did! And quite frankly, I can’t wait to read it!
When I spoke to Sophie afterwards, it was a bit of shock to find out she knew who I was! She kindly told me that she often reads my blog and we had the above picture taken on her Iphone which Sophie then tweeted!  Sophie was a delight to talk to and very down to earth. If you haven’t read one of her books yet, you seriously need to get hold of one.
Candy Harper might  be confusing you slightly if you are looking at this picture and recalling her at a book event with a different name. Well that’s because Candy Harper is also known as C.J. Harper, author of The Disappeared, a very British dystopian YA novel, with shades of George Orwell about it.  The reason for the name change is because her second book with Simon and Schuster is completely different from her first. Have A Little Faith is full of Candy’s natural humour which is so evident when you meet her. Aimed at a younger audience than her first book, the main character has been described as having a similar voice to Georgia Nicholson from Louise Rennison’s tween series. Though Candy insists that Faith is a lot nicer than Georgia.
Faith is one of those 14 year old girls who always seems to be in trouble. She blames a lot of it on her teacher. Candy said she wanted to write something funny after the seriousness of The Disappeared. In fact, the first draft of The Disappeared had a lot of humour in it, which she had to take out as it didn’t suit the tone of the book. Candy read a few pages from the book and I can tell you now – it is hilarious! I’m looking forward to reading the whole book.
Two fabulous authors in real life with seriously awesome books coming out this year.

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