Interview with Savita Kalhan
1. In between writing and reading, what do you like to do?
Both writing and reading involve a lot of sitting down, so I try to get to the gym most days. I also have an allotment and grow my own vegetables, and there’s always a ton of digging and weeding that needs doing! I love tennis and play as much as my creaky knees allow me to!
2. Describe your novel Twitter style. 140 Characters or less. GO!
The Long Weekend - a tense thriller about two boys who are abducted by a psychopath. This book will get inside your head and under your skin
3. In the Long Weekend, Sam and Lloyd make a wrong decision and are abducted after school and find themselves fighting to survive. Many people in the real world can go through a situation like this, and I think we usually tiptoe around these subjects. Nobody wants to imagine what could happen. What made you go into this subject and make it a novel?
A frightening warning went round the local schools about a man trying to get kids into his car. Something about it struck a chord with me. It’s actually scarily easy for a kid to make a mistake and get in the wrong car given the right circumstances. As I began to think about it, the main two characters of the book appeared, and I knew I had to write their story. I did keep in mind the fact that younger teenagers might pick up the pick to read, so much of the tension and the scary stuff is not explicitly described. I’ve heard readers say that imagining it actually makes it even more scary...
4. Would you say it was hard to write this book? And if so what was the toughest part?
Much of the book was very easy to write because I had Sam, the main character, inside my head. His voice propelled the story forwards. Yes, there were some hard bits to write. In The Long Weekend there are some difficult scenes, heart-breaking scenes, that were hard to write. The toughest scene was when Sam is hiding under the bed. I won’t say any more about it...
5. What have you seen that readers take from your book? What do they learn or what impression do they end up with?
That all depends on the age of the reader. Younger teenagers read the book like a thriller: some of them don’t even realise the full significance of what has happened to Lloyd. That’s fine because they still take so much away from the book – about loyalty and survival, and about thinking before they are invited inside a car that isn’t driven by one of their parents. The book is actually far scarier for older teenagers, young adults and adults. They know what has really happened and they find it devastating. But whatever the age of the reader, they all devour the book – usually in one sitting, and that makes me really happy!
6. What makes The Long Weekend different to other thrillers?
There are very few thrillers published for teens and young adults, fewer still with serious themes of abuse at their core, and even fewer where the book is a thriller that can read by a very diverse group of people, from the very reluctant secondary school reader, to young adults, to older adults, and parents. It crosses all boundaries and age groups and 99% of its readers have said that they would highly recommend it! I’m not going to argue with that.
7. Since Valentines Day is coming: Name a YA book you have a crush on (or character)
Ooh, that’s a really hard one! There are two characters that I’ve had a crush on – Conal and Seth MacGregor from Gillian Philip’s Firebrand and Bloodstone. I highly recommend you check them out!
8. Between You and Me, what’s in store for the future?
Lots more books, I hope! I’ve got a couple of things in the publishing pipeline, but I can’t say anymore about them just yet. You’ll have to watch this space...
Or follow me on Twitter @savitakalhan and check out my Facebook page for news http://www.facebook.com/pages/
I’ve got a website too – http://www.savitakalhan.com
This is the first time I use Rafflecopter, so lets see how it goes :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The Long Weekend by Savita Kalhan
Published by Andersen Press
Published by Andersen Press
The Long Weekend book trailer
The Poet, a short story by Savita Kalhan
Published in Even Birds are Chained to the Sky, by Fine Line Publishing