Keris Stainton Interview

Keris Stainton

interview by Shanta Everington

Keris Stainton’s debut young adult novel, Della Says: OMG! is published by Orchard. This fresh, funny novel touches on a range of contemporary issues relevant to teenagers, such as first love (and first time sex), sibling rivalry, wavering self esteem, and the tricky business of online social networking and privacy. Della’s over the moon when she kisses her long-standing crush at a party – but then she discovers her diary has disappeared...
When scans of embarrassing pages are sent to her mobile and appear on Facebook, Della’s distraught – how can she enjoy her first proper romance when someone, somewhere, knows all her deepest, darkest secrets?

"A fun delicious treat you'll want to eat up in a single bite!"
~ Meg Cabot, New York Times bestselling author

I caught up with Keris to talk about the book and her writing in general.

The Thousand Autumns of David Mitchell

Reader Logo by Jane Turley

He wears corduroy trousers, a dark green jacket and a pinstripe shirt. A grey and white scarf is wrapped for warmth around his neck. He speaks softly but clearly and pauses often, choosing his words carefully as he sets forth his opinions. The thought crosses my mind that maybe the scarf also acts as a shield; his modesty and quiet demeanour are all too apparent.

You’d be forgiven for mistaking this gentle, self effacing man for a university lecturer who retreats to his study to mark exam papers, occasionally sighing at the poor grammar of his students and making annotations in the margins. Yet he isn’t. He is one of the foremost writers of our generation, a man described as “One of the most brilliantly inventive writers of this, or indeed any country,” “A storyteller of genius,” and “An author of extraordinary ambition and skill.”

The man in question is David Mitchell.

Five Wounds - an interview with Jonathan Walker and Dan Hallett

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Following The View From Here's recent review of Five Wounds, An Illuminated Novel, written by Jonathan Walker and illustrated by Dan Hallett (see review), I took the opportunity to interview Jon and Dan.  What follows is a valuable insight into the collaborative and creative processes that helped shape Five Wounds and Pistols! Treason! Murder! - from initial concept through to publication.

How does a collaboration like this proceed?

Jon: Both of the books we have worked on so far are illustrated books or hybrid texts rather than conventional graphic novels, so I write a full

Five Wounds, an illuminated novel

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review by Paul

FIVE WOUNDS, An Illuminated Novel
written by Jonathan Walker
illustrated by Dan Hallett
published by Allen & Unwin
If book covers were still made with tooled leather, embossed and edged with gold leaf, and secured with a bronze clasp, then Five Wounds, An Illuminated Novel, written by Jonathan Walker and illustrated by Dan Hallett, would have such a cover.  Nonetheless, and with due credit to publisher Allen & Unwin, this is a book with an armorial binding of sorts – five heraldic emblems on the backstrip – richly illustrated endpapers, a midsection of quality plates on a vellum finish, coloured headers, a red ribbon page-marker, and... and all this without reading a word.  Skipping a few pages to the dedication (“To whom it may concern”), I felt sure I was in for a treat, for here was an illuminated novel – something more lavish than a graphic novel perhaps – that promised both adventure and playfulness.

Meg Rosoff Interview

Reader Logoby Jen


The View From Here Interview:
Meg Rosoff

Meg Rosoff studied at Harvard University and at Central St Martins in London. She started writing novels after a career in advertising. Her first book, How I Live Now, won The Guardian Award (2004), Michael L Printz Award (2005), Branford Boase Award (2005) and was shortlisted for the 2004 Whitbread Awards in the children’s book category. She has written a further three novels, as well as three books for children.
You are a successful published author and a Mum. Which came first and how do you make the two jobs work together?

My daughter was born when I was 40 and I published my first novel at 47, so I guess she came first. I don’t think of either one as a job, exactly – they’re both huge parts of my life, and I just do what every other harassed over-committed person does, I don’t pay quite enough attention to either one.

The Big Clean

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by Judy Darley

Mum’s gone mad again. That’s why I’m sitting in the tree house. It’s just a few planks of wood nailed together, but it feels safe up here. When the wind blows the branches creak and I imagine I’m on a boat sailing far away. We had an astronomy lesson at Scouts today, so I can use my telescope to navigate by the stars.

Dad’s not home yet, but when he gets back from work I know he’s going to go mad too, not in a crazy way, like Mum, but in a shouty, angry way.

He hates it when Mum gets like this. I wouldn’t mind her madness so much if it wasn’t for the way it makes Dad so cross. Sometimes when she’s mad Mum’s magic to be around. The usual rules disappear and life becomes a game. I never quite know what to expect. Right now though, she’s busy digging up the garden and filling the house with soil. She’s doing it ever so thoroughly, sprinkling a fine layer of earth over every single thing and making the whole house smells damp and dusky, like a cellar. She calls it “the big clean”.

Read More at The Front View

Getting a Publishing Deal

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Here's the third installment of our Writers' series using that classic writers' guide and wholly remarkable book, The HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Packed with advice from poetry, how to pitch a book and dealing with the improbability of getting published this book has it all.

This week we punched in the search term, "Getting a Publishing deal" into the guide.

This is what we got...

Vicky Roberts joins TVFH Crew

A big welcome today to our latest member of the crew, Vicky Roberts, who joins us as one of our book reviewers.

Vicky studied English literature and language at Loughborough University and loves the "comfort, escapism, joy and immense satisfaction from reading a good book."

Her first review is due in June when she cuts her teeth on The Hundred Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais.  With an eye and appetite for a great novel, Vicky will bringing us frank and insightful reviews - that is when she's not busy following her other passions teaching gymnastics and tap dancing!

Photo : Max-B

Fact into Fiction

by Laura Nelson
Photograph: Julian Povey

I’ll make a confession. Some of the richest material for my fiction comes from my own real life experiences.

The night I helped carry home a drunken man lying in my street, the colleague who told me that her brother wanted to be a woman, the barrister who let me read his notes for a case. It’s all precious fodder for my short stories and novels.

But there’s a predicament. Indeed, several of them.

The very fact that these things happened to me presents a variety of difficulties.

Understanding Publishing

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Well here's the second installment of our series using that classic writers' guide and wholly remarkable book, The HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Packed with advice from poetry, how to pitch a book and dealing with the improbability of getting published this book has it all. Thought Stephen Kings' On Writing was the book to help you? Think again, it's rubbish compared to HitchHikers. I mean it's printed on paper for goodness sake whilst Hitchhikers is an electronic book easily uploaded into that lovely ipad you've just bought. Mind you, On Writing is good for starting fires, throwing at your cat and holding down your coffee table in zero-G. (Stephen King's books are not affected by gravity - scary! Try it next time you're in a lift.)

This week we see what the guide says about the power base in a Publishing house. So when we enter "Publishing Board" into the guide we get ...

Inauspicious Friday

Reader Logo by Renita D’Silva

Friday began inauspiciously when I burned the rice that I can cook in my sleep. It ended when Rob announced he was leaving. After he had packed an overnight bag and left, pulling the front door gently closed behind him, I stood in the empty kitchen, breathing in the familiar smell of the untouched lamb curry I had cooked for supper, interspersed with the faint whiff of smoke that lingered; and, despite the fact that I had thrown away the burnt saucepan used to cook the rice, opened all the windows and run the extractor fan.

“Did you burn something?” Rob had asked, sniffing the air as he walked in.

“Can you still smell it?” I laughed, flinging myself into his arms.

Gently, but firmly, he pushed me away.

“Shall we sit down? I want to talk.” Something in his tone made me wary and my heart still.

Issue 23 of The View From Here on sale Now


Save up to a massive 25% off the individual cover price. Click here for details.

Gorgeous, Eye Catching, Coffee Table Worthy! The View From Here - The Best of the Best in the new and emerging literary scene!

Issue 23 on sale with our interview with Paul Theroux only available in the printed edition. Paul's many novels include Blinding Light, Hotel Honolulu, My Other Life, Kowloon Tong, and The Mosquito Coast. Many of his books have been made into films and he is the father of Louis Theroux and Marcel Theroux.

How to Sell your Novel

Reader Logo by The Lone Ranger

Well I'm back with a series to help all you writers out there. I'll be using that classic writers' guide and wholly remarkable book, The HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Packed with advice from poetry, how to pitch a book and dealing with the improbability of getting published this book has it all. Thought Stephen Kings' On Writing was the book to help you? Think again, it's rubbish compared to HitchHikers.

First off if we enter "How to sell your book" into the guide we get ...

The Broken Ballerina - William Falo

Andrey hurried toward the border crossing when he saw the lady approaching him.

“Wait,” the lady called out.

He didn’t want to stop, but she grabbed his bag spilling the contents onto the ground. The test tubes shattered causing him to turn around and glare at her.

“Do you know what you done?” He said, picking up the wet bag.

 “I’m sorry. It’s just water.”
He saw the image of a small casket being carried to a grave, while water samples remained untested in the room he shared with the Romanian girl. The false reports would state that the Transylvanian village ignored his warnings.

“That’s water from the Dniester; it needs to be tested for Moldova to have a chance to enter the EU.”

He realized that the woman lived in Transnistria, and probably hated Moldavians.

“Never mind.” He turned and passed the guardhouse that the Russian soldiers occupied.

“Please take me to Chisinau,” she said and fell to her knees.


“They are having auditions for the ballet,” she said.

A young girl walked toward her and reached up for her hand. She looked like a little ballerina and it caused the memory of the little girl to return. They buried her with a small music box that she coveted.

Read More at The Front View

Rabbit Writer -- FREEDOM!

Panic in the next episode.

Sorry about being a day late. Finals and all that. Anyway, any guesses as to how this will turn out?

And this is why W.C. Fields said never work with animals or children.

Reader Logoby Naomi 'Brigid' Gill