5 Questions with S D Everington, author of BOY RED
To celebrate the release of Boy Red, the Euterpe blog caught up with the novel’s author S D Everington, with some revealing Q&A.
1) What kind of reader were you as a young adult?
As a teenager at school, there was a huge distinction between the books you had to read and the books you wanted to read. The first time the two coincided for me was To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, which we studied for our GCSE English Literature exam. I was right there with Scout and the whole character cast. It is such a thought provoking, engaging book – a real ‘must read.’ That was the first time a book I read at school touched me. Other than that, it was the Judy Blume books that were doing the rounds at our school. We thought Forever was so illicit!
2) Why do you like writing for young adults?
I am drawn to writing for young adults as there are so many themes and topics that resonate with this audience. That sense of being on the edge of change and being open to the world excites me. Plus there is less literary snobbery in YA fiction – less of a distinction between literary and mainstream work. I particularly like the idea of writing young adult books that appeal to both genders and to bigger adults too. J That’s what I attempted to do with Boy Red.
3) What inspired you to write Boy Red?
Boy Red, like all my writing, was inspired by a series of unconnected real happenings that got under my skin and worked their way into a story. For various reasons, I became quite preoccupied with the whole nature v nurture debate, and what makes a person who they are. Red, the 16-year-old protagonist, faces this issue head on when he discovers that the man he thought of as his dad is not, in fact, his biological father. I know it sounds corny but Red just started talking to me one day and telling me his story and I was compelled to listen until I found out the ending.
4) What would you do if you weren’t a writer?
In fact, I do many other things already! I am also a teacher and a charity worker. For me, the idea of being a ‘full-time writer’ is strange. I think you need diverse experiences to write; you need to have a rich life, not sit at a computer all day, every day! If I didn’t have writing as a creative outlet, I’m sure I would find another medium, maybe visual art or food art. The urge to create is always there! Maybe in another life, I could be an inventor!
5) What advice would you give to young people who are interested in becoming writers?
Go for it! You don’t need anyone to tell you that you are A Writer. You are a writer as soon as you put pen to paper and write. Read lots and write lots. It’s as simple as that. When people say they want to become a writer, they often mean that they want to get published. That’s a whole different ball game. The publishing industry can be fickle, difficult, demanding. But there are some wonderful independent publishers around, just like Musa Publishing, and perseverance and good writing usually pay off eventually!
Link to Boy Red on Musa