One of my favorite authors, Clare Davidson has just published Shrouded Soul, the third title in her Hidden series. I have read and reviewed the first two, Reaper’s Rhythm and Broken Bargain, and I can’t wait to read the new chapter in this compelling and intelligent YA story. Clare has posted a snippet of Shrouded Soul on her blog to give you a taste of it. She has also graciously accepted to answer a question of mine regarding her writing.
Me: In your stories, you don’t shy away from topics that are somewhat controversial in YA literature, although they are an integral part in growing up, like sexuality, drug use, and depression. It is refreshing to read a story about teenagers who act like ones, not like the shallow, one-dimensional puppets society would like them to be. How do you keep up with a generation that seem to evolve at such a fast pace? Where do you get your inspiration for your characters?
Clare: When I started writing the Hidden series, I knew I didn’t want to shy away from topics that affect teenagers. Right from the start of Reaper’s Rhythm, the heroine, Kim, has to deal with grief, under-aged drinking, boys and bullying.
These are topics that often make adults uncomfortable. We don’t want to think about our children (not even teenagers) having to worry about them. We all like to think our children are perfect, that they’ll never be swayed to give into temptation and try something they shouldn’t, such as smoking or drinking. But if we shy away from these topics ourselves, too nervous to discuss them, where are teenagers going to get their education in these topics from?
School teachers? Yes, to a certain extent. In the UK, all pupils are given citizenship lessons, which include sex education, alcohol awareness and so on.
From their peers? Definitely. Whilst this can happen in a positive way, it can also happen in a negative way. I’m sure we all know how strong peer pressure can be. Most of us experience it on a daily basis, either in school, at work or within our friendship circles. Peer pressure is not age exclusive and depending on how firm we are within our own identities, it can be hard to resist.
Teenagers are going through a period of self-discovery. They are starting to explore who they are and what they want out of life. As a result, peer pressure can be all too easy to succumb to. The desire to fit in and be part of a group, rather than an individual is a compelling one.
Another place teenagers turn to is fiction, be it books, TV or films. They look for role models. Not perfect teenagers, but those who make mistakes and learn from them. They look for role models who are human, believable and whom they can relate to.
That’s what I wanted to achieve when I began writing Reaper’s Rhythm. I wanted Kim to be a multi-faceted character who makes mistakes. A girl who could be the reader’s best friend, peer, or daughter.
Kim is far from perfect. She makes mistakes. She does things she regrets. She unintentionally hurts others. But she learns and changes. She becomes a better, stronger person as the series progresses.
Will she be perfect by the end of the series? Of course not. None of us are and, to be honest, that’s what makes us beautiful individuals.
Shrouded Soul Blurb:
Keeping secrets. Telling lies. Kim is protecting everyone. Isn’t she?
Kim’s secrets are pushing Sophie away, whilst AJ’s fears are damaging their fledgling relationship. Kim tries to reassure him, but she knows he should be worried. He should be running. She keeps telling herself they can all have a normal life, free from the influence of the Baneem—but it’s the biggest lie of all.
The illusion Kim is clinging to is shattered when AJ vanishes. But he isn’t the only one put in danger by the information Kim is hiding. How can she defend everyone from enemies who keep growing stronger?
About the author:
Clare Davidson is a character driven fantasy writer, teacher and mother, from the UK. Clare was born in Northampton and lived in Malaysia for four and a half years as a child, before returning to the UK to settle in Leeds with her family. Whilst attending Lancaster University, Clare met her future husband. They now share their lives with their young daughter, their cats and Rukia the Finnish Lapphund.
Connect with Clare:
Mailing List: http://eepurl.com/zpjGf