books

Interview – Rosanne Rivers

09/05/2015

As part of our Meet the Author special, we have Rosanne Rivers, author of After the Fear, here for an interview where we try and uncover some of the many things that inspired her to create her dystopian world.

1. What was
your favourite childhood book? Did it inspire you to start writing?

My favourite book were The Wind Singer by William Nicholson and Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian. Once I turned 11, I grew up with the Harry Potter series and without a doubt they inspired me to write, as the first thing I ever wrote was Harry Potter fanfiction!

2. Where a
person writes is very individual and suited to their personality. Where do you
spend your time writing?

I don’t
have a specific place. Right now I’m writing this in the garden as it’s a rare
sunny day, but I pretty much wrote the whole of After the Fear from my tiny
balcony in Birmingham. I used to put my coat and scarf on, make a cup of tea and
write till my fingers went slow and achy from the cold! For some reason, that
atmosphere was conducive to writing a dystopian novel: looking out over a
crowded but beautiful city with my breath turning to mist around me.

But
essentially, give me a laptop and a drink and I will write anywhere.

3. Lots of
authors are now choosing to self-publish, and many readers are choosing ebooks
over physical copies. Where do you see the future of writing and publishing
heading in the future?

Great
question! I’m not sure I’m the most well-informed to answer, but I’ll try. I
think whether you’re self-published or traditionally published, authors need to
spend more time promoting themselves now. Readers have SO many books to choose
from, you should be willing to put the effort in to show readers why they could
choose yours. Social media platforms like blogs and Twitter are becoming more
important to connect you, as an author, to your readers. I might be being
naive, or maybe just hopeful, but I don’t think physical books will ever become
extinct to ebooks. There are benefits to both and I hope they will continue to
work alongside each other like friends!

4. With all
the current human rights violations and conflict in the world, how do you come
to focus on just one element of this in your dystopian novel?

After the Fear’s subject matter developed naturally from what was happening around me at the time. When is was writing (2011) we were still in the recession, Facebook seemed to be invading its users’ privacy more and more, and there were riots right outside my door in Birmingham. According to the news reports at the time, another city near me, Coventry, was considering installing CCTV cameras which activated upon trigger words. All these things made me imagine a future Britain where things continued down this road – where would it lead?

5. Are there
any other human rights issues that you would like to write about in a dystopian
novel?
Lots! I would love to show everyday sexism in a society reflective of our own, i.e. a society where women are supposed to be being treated as equals to men but yet there are still so many everyday incidents which prove that they’re not treated that way. When I write about issues in my books, I don’t try and give the reader an ‘answer’ to them, but if a reader sees parallels between my words and the world around them, then great. 

Thank you so much for all your amazing and interesting answers – we’ve loved having you on the blog.

Thanks so much for having me. I’ve loved answering these thought-provoking questions!

Make sure to enter our giveaway to win one of 2 signed copies of After the Fear by Rosanne.

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