I am very pleased to welcome Julia Forster to Novel Kicks and her blog tour for her debut novel, What a Way to Go. Hello Julia, thank you so much for joining me today. Can you first tell us a little about your new book, What a Way to Go which was published last week by Atlantic Books and how the idea originated?
It is lovely to be here today to talk about What a Way to Go. Thank you for having me.
The novel is a coming-of-age tale, set in the east Midlands in 1988, told by twelve year-old straight-talking Harper. Her parents, Mary and Pete, divorced when she was little, so she divides her time between her Mum’s rented house, which is being sold from underneath her, and her Dad’s mouldering cottage in a sleepy Midlands village. It’s a bittersweet tale about growing up and discovering some surprising home truths along the way. Harper’s a resourceful kid with an old soul, an infectious sense of fun and a sideways glance on the adult world around her.
The idea originated when I was successful in getting a £1,000 bursary from Literature Wales to pay for six months of nursery fees in order to begin a novel. When I started, I had no plan for how to approach it, no characters and no plot. All I had was a blank page. The idea originated when Harper’s voice exploded out of the blinking black cursor on the very white page about half way through the bursary period. The two of us got on like a house on fire. What a Way to Go is told in the first person and in the present tense, so there is an immediacy to how she narrates the story. It is very much a voice-driven piece of work.
The book features 80s music. Which 80s pop song best describes you?
That is definitely the hardest question that I shall be asked in the entire blog tour, Laura!
I created a Spotify playlist as I wrote the book and I listened to it a lot as I wrote. However, it isn’t one from this playlist which I would like to choose. I would pick ‘Solsbury Hill’ by Peter Gabriel.by