Today on the blog, I’m really pleased to welcome Eleanor Wood, debut author of Gemini Rising,which has been published by digital publisher, Carina UK.
I love movies almost as much as I do books (and music and clothes and sandwiches – but that’s beside the point right now). It’s pretty obvious that movies were a massive influence on the writing of Gemini Rising. There’s even a scene in which the main group of characters watch The Craft, Heathers and The Crow at a sleepover – which kind of spells things out.
I find it easy to picture the story as a film. In the Hollywood version, I’d love to see The Sisters Fanning as Elyse and Melanie (OK, I know they’re not actually twins but they’ve definitely got the right vibe), and Ezra Miller as Jago. Most importantly, my sister Katy Wood would have to have a part somewhere, as she’s an actress – maybe as Miss Webb.
However, the main thing I picture is a very particular aesthetic and it’s not strictly speaking my own: it’s Sofia Coppola’s. Just as I wanted to get across that cloying claustrophobia of school and female friendship, combined with the bursts of excitement of going out to gigs and drinking in the park, her films have the same feeling.
I first saw the Virgin Suicides when it came out in 1999 – when I was roughly the same age as the girls in Gemini Rising. It was a time when I became obsessed with cinema and many of my still-favourite films came out – Buffallo 66, Amores Perros and Battle Royale (as well as Cruel Intentions and 10 Things I Hate About You). Maybe that’s why Sofia Coppola’s films still always look to me like being 17.
She’s got form in creating beautiful book adaptations (The Virgin Suicides), and from her first short film (Lick The Star) to her newest (The Bling Ring, which I can’t wait to see) she’s always had that same knowing but slightly teenage sensibility. In all her films she gets the important details spot-on – the soundtracks, the fashions, the tiny visual details (I still love that bit in Marie Antoinette when you catch a glimpse of her pink Converse trainers amid the period drama).
In my dreamiest imaginings, she is the perfect person to bring the world of Gemini Rising to life. The dark happenings in teenage suburbia, casual evil in school uniform, gothic happenings on sun-bleached summer days – but then also eating donuts with your little sister and crushing out on the hot boy next door...
How far would you go to fit in? Sorana Salem is ok with being not quite bottom of the pile at her exclusive private school. Until the mysterious Johansson twins arrive unexpectedly mid-term. Hypnotically beautiful and immensely cool, magnetic Elyse and mute Melanie aren’t like the school’s usual identikit mean girls. Soon Sorana’s sharing sleepovers and Saturday nights out with the twins. But their new world of Ouija boards and older boys might not be as simple as it seems. And the dark secrets that they share could be about to take Sorana down a path that’s impossible to turn back from… -
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