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 Ouidja
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…
and incredible ‘Gemini Rising’ was like to read. Was the idea for the plot
spontaneous or did the idea grow over time?
components of Gemini Rising were all there from the beginning – the girls’
school, the characters, the title, a lot of the big scenes. However, I tend to get overexcited and chuck
every idea I have at one story, so I had to cut a lot. I could probably write a couple of separate
novels from the storylines I abandoned.
For instance, the early drafts included a subplot in which Sorana got
caught up in Elyse’s crazy scheme to kidnap their favourite rockstar! I really want to write that one up, actually.
mention music a lot in ‘Gemini Rising’ and even created an imaginary band
(Trouble Every Day) that the twins and Sorana bond over (a band that I would
love to listen to!). Would you say music inspired and motivated you to write?
always had a huge influence on my life, and it always seemed very important to
this story. Similar to Sorana,
discovering music like Nirvana and PJ Harvey (still my all-time favourites)
literally changed my life. When I
started going to gigs at about 15, it was the first time I felt like I had a
real social identity – and suddenly it didn’t matter that I didn’t have a
boyfriend and couldn’t get into the pub!
I was a massive fan of the band Placebo, and Trouble Every Day are very
much inspired by that. While I was
writing, listening to songs from that time could instantly take me back to my
teenage self. Also I always love
references to music and pop culture in books – my favourite examples being Girl by Blake Nelson and Namedropper by Emma Forrest (and more
recently I love Eleanor and Park by
it gets darker and really pulls you into the mystery of the twins and how
Sorana is affected by them—that was my favourite part of the novel. If you had
to choose a moment of the book that was your favourite, what would it be?
my eyes is – not to spoil things for anyone – when Sorana and Elyse find
themselves running around outside by the river at night, barefoot and in pitch
black. As well as being an important
moment in the story, it definitely plays into those Gothic sensibilities that I
really wanted to evoke – it makes me picture things like The Lady of Shallot
and Ophelia, or The Virgin Suicides, shot like a creepy old movie.
point during the writing process of the book that you knew how it would end up?
ending – but when I started writing those final scenes, it all changed and I
wrote something completely different to what I had originally planned. It sounds super cheesy to say it, but the
ending really wrote itself; in the end, I didn’t feel like I had much to do
with it. It’s funny how that’s sometimes
the best way. However, the very last
line had been in my head all the way through and I’m glad I stuck with it,
because it really summed up what I wanted to say.
everyone wouldn’t want to write their own!
I’m always trying to persuade all my friends that they should write a
book. It’s lucky I feel like this, because
it’s pretty much all I’ve ever been good at!
have any plans for future books yet?
what to do with them! Some are for
novels in a similar genre to Gemini Rising, but some are for things that are
completely different. I’d also still
like to write some more stories based around Gemini Rising – as a reader, I
love it when books I enjoyed (like Delirium by Lauren Oliver) have extra
stories that you can get hold of, and I’d definitely like to have a go at
that. I’d also like to write some
non-fiction for teenage girls – based around music and riot grrl zines and that
sort of thing – and I really want to write a memoir. I just need to get them all written down!
It’s been a pleasure reading Gemini Rising and getting to
Q&A with the author herself! Thank you so much for answering my questions
and of course, for writing such a page-turner!