7 Questions

with Patrice Lawrence, author of Indigo Donut

1.Why did you want to become an author? 

I have always written stories to articulate my world. I never thought I could be an author. I was lucky that teachers at school encouraged me to write, but I had no idea that someone like me could be an author.

2.Your books win prizes left right and centre (#GOALS)  Does that add any pressure to your writing? 

 I felt pressure with Indigo Donut, but hopefully what it does is enable me to write at my upmost best and not be complacent.

3.You're Italian and Trinidadian which equals AMAZING FOOD! What are your favourite dishes to eat? 

My biological father was Guyanese but I was brought up by my Italian stepdad. He worked in English hotel kitchens in the 70s and makes a great traditional English roasts and steaks. My mum's pillau (rice with beans and meat) is good and she cooks wonderful Italian food.

4. What is your top tip for a newbie author?

Don't judge yourself by other people. Find your own voice and write what you want - as best as you can.

5. Who's your favourite character Marlon or Indigo? 


6. Do you have a favourite YA author? 

I don't have a favourite at the moment  

7. What or who inspires you to write?  

I want to create worlds around marginalised people and those that get boxed in with stereotypes.  I also want to write books for and about the witty, diverse and creative young people I meet every day.

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Katherine Webber



Gillian McAllister



with Gillian McAllister, author of Everything But The Truth

1. Why did you want to become an author?

I never had a moment where I decided to become an author. It was just always something I wanted to do, unthinkingly, from the moment I picked up a novel. And it's the best job in the world. 

2. Tell us about your new book No Further Questions

No Further Questions is about who you entrust to take care of your child. Martha trusts her sister, Becky, to look after her child for two nights, but the child dies, and the police think it's murder. It's the story of the trial that will determine both sisters' fates.  

3. What is your favourite boxset at the moment? 

I actually am a bit rubbish at watching television, to be honest. I thought I would watch more once I went part time in my day job but alas, I spent all of my free time reading and writing! (Quite happily, I might add). I did really enjoy Keeping Faith recently.  

4. What is your top tip for a newbie author?

Write often, every day if possible. It's so easy to get caught up in the ancillary aspects of writing—social media presence, researching agents... but the fastest path to publication is bum-on-seat writing every day. Painful, but true. 

5. You're a Sunday Times Bestselling author—does that add pressure when writing a new book?

I don't feel pressure from my readership or publisher. Writing is still the solitary activity in the spare room that it's always been, one that I only speak about to my father, my boyfriend and my agent, Clare Wallace at Darley Anderson. I feel immensely privileged to have been launched by Michael Joseph, Penguin as a bestseller. You only need to wander around your local Waterstones to get a true sense of the scale of publishing, and there are only ten bestsellers a week. So mostly I feel hugely lucky. I'm not going to lie and say I'm super chilled in my first week of sales figures, though!

6. If you had a superpower what would it be?

Definitely invisibility. All that eavesdropping...

7. What or who inspires you to write?

Culture, I think. Good books. Art. Creative people. I recently saw a man in Tesco who had sewn up a tiny rip in his jacket and he inspired an entire character.



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Patrice Lawrence




with Katherine Webber, author of  Only Love Can Break Your Heart 

1. Why did you want to become an author? 

I've wanted to be an author since I was very young, but I didn't admit it and seriously start writing till I was 19

2. How many series of Sam Wu do you think you and Kevin will write? 

We've sold 3 but we'd love for there to be more! Ideally 10 in the whole series. 

3. What boxset are you obsessed with at the moment?

 I just finished binge watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend! And recently Kevin and I have started re-watching Planet Earth for inspiration for a new project...

4. What is your top tip for a newbie author?

 Don't give up! And read as much as you can. And remember you write because you love it. 

5. Who's your favourite character Wing or Reiko?

I can't choose a favorite! I love them both for different reasons. Wing will always be special to me because she made my author dreams come true, but I'm very protective of Reiko because I think it is easy to misunderstand her. 

 6. Is there a book you've read and wished you wrote?

 My favorite author is Laini Taylor, but I don't wish I'd written her books because then I wouldn't have the joy of reading them! That said, I do wish I had her mastery of language! More recently, I read and loved The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert and I would love to write something like that one day. 

7. What or who inspires you to write? 

My biggest writing inspiration is probably my Grandma Kay, who passed when I was 16, because she inspired me to always pursue my passions.