Today 2017 debut author is Alice Broadway. Alice is the author of Ink, which is published by Scholastic in February. Ink has already attracted a lot of attention. Here's Alice to tell us more about her debut.
How are you feeling about your debut this year?
It depends on the moment. I’ve been so excited about people getting to read Ink and so proud and thrilled that it’s actually happening. But then, I’ve also been feeling desperately nervous and as though I’d like to hide! I’m not terribly brave or confident, and it’s been a real challenge to not get too scared!
Have you seen the book cover and how did it make you feel?
I felt like I had been completely understood! It was amazing to see Ink in real life and I just knew that Andrew Biscomb, the book’s designer at Scholastic, had completely ‘got’ the feel of the book. It’s a beautiful, atmospheric cover and I am incredibly lucky to have something so special.
How does it feel to have your name on a book?
So good! I remember being on a beach in December when I was about seventeen and I wrote ‘Alice Broadway’ in the sand. I told my friend that I would write a book one day, because my name would look really nice on a cover. He laughed. (We’re not friends now).
What advice would you give to unagented and unpublished authors?
Get a piece of paper and write on it: ‘I am a writer’ and then believe it. You are a writer no matter how many people get to read your work. The best advice I can give is to be brave and keep going with writing, reading other people’s words and submitting your work. But remember that you started writing because you love it – don’t let that joy get stolen.
What did you do when you found you were going to be published?
My lovely agent, Jo Unwin, rang me but I was really ill and had no voice. I just kind of croaked and wheezed my excitement and then went back to bed. Not quite the glamorous champagne-popping moment I’d imagined. But all along the journey from finishing a manuscript, to getting an agent to publication, there are so many moments of joy – I’ve been trying to learn to celebrate each one.
How has your life changed since getting a book deal?
I thought what would really change is that I would completely believe I was a good writer, but sadly the insecurity hasn’t vanished! The biggest changes have been feeling like I can justify the time to write and the amazing experience of working with an editor. Genevieve Herr, who is my editor at Scholastic is absolutely brilliant and I have learned so much from her about how to craft a story and create characters that really work. I hit the jackpot when I got to work with her.
Summary of Ink
Every action, every deed, every significant moment is tattooed on your skin for ever. When Leora's father dies, she is determined to see her father remembered forever. She knows he deserves to have all his tattoos removed and made into a Skin Book to stand as a record of his good life. But when she discovers that his ink has been edited and his book is incomplete, she wonders whether she ever knew him at all.
To find out more about Alice Broadway: