At the launch event for the Dutch version of TLODB, Eenzaam en Extreem Ver Weg, I Skyped in and did my first ever live Q&A with readers. I was really looking forward to it and it was actually pretty awesome to get to “meet” the bloggers who had read my book and answer their questions.
What I wasn’t completed prepared for was how hard the questions would be. Or perhaps just how hard I would find it to answer them without the kind of thinking time I usually require.
I’m not known for my fast reactions. I even failed the Spanish “physical fitness to drive” test twice for having too slow a reaction time (a fact which is made more astonishing by the fact that the examiner then told me that nobody had ever failed it before). I think this is also the reason that, while I can read and write in Spanish pretty well after seven years in Spanish speaking countries, I still can’t speak it very well. My brain just doesn’t work quick enough to provide the right words when I need them.
And this is exactly what happened to me at the Q&A. Questions I’ve been asked before were pretty easy to handle but the totally new ones utterly floored me in the pressure of the situation. Don’t get me wrong they were GREAT questions – I just really wish I could have done them justice. Here’s a couple of the ones I found particularly hard to answer on the spot, plus the answers I WOULD have given had I had time to consider my responses:
Q: If you were an inhabitant on Ventura – would you accept your arranged marriage or would you rail against it like Seren does?
My answer (with thinking time): It depends. I’m #teamdomingo so I think if I’d got matched with Dom I’d be like – jackpot! But seriously, I think if I was put in the position that Seren is in, where she has this accidental brush with real love, I would find it just as difficult as she does to put that aside and sacrifice something so precious in favour of doing my duty. I’m a firm believer in freedom of choice and free will, and I think being able to make my own choices, and my own mistakes, would be worth a lot of trouble to me.
Q: Many people think there are hints of a love triangle in the book – is this where the series is going?
My answer (with thinking time): A lot of readers have asked me about this and I guess I can see where it comes from, especially with the way the book ends. I don’t believe in spoilers, so I won’t commit to this fully, but I will say that, even though they are done quite a lot, I am still a fan of the love triangle. They’re great drama if they’re done well and the dynamics of the relationships are believable. Having said that, the last thing I would want is for the Ventura Saga to be predictable, so you’ll just have to wait and see on that one. (Actually this answer is pretty similar to my off-the-cuff response, so maybe I did better than I thought!)
Q: If you could take one of your characters and put them in another YA book, which one would it be and why? (This is a particularly interesting question, but SO HARD!)
My answer (with thinking time): I would probably take one of the characters that I didn’t feel I got to spend enough time with, but who interested me, like Jonah, or maybe Ronaldo or Annelise. It would be fascinating to give them a second chance at life in a new setting and see how they would develop. As for what book I would put them in, it would have to be completely different – maybe something contemporary or fantasy, just to give them the chance to go in a different direction and put them out of their comfort zone.
If you want to know what my (possibly slightly rubbish) answers were on the night, plus some fairly decent answers that I managed to come up with to different questions, follow this link to watch the video from the night itself.