Interview with S.C. Ransom, author of
“Small Blue Thing”
A little while ago I reviewed S.C. Ransom’s debut novel, “Small Blue Thing” and she was kind enough to answer a few questions I had about her writing process, what inspired “Small Blue Thing” and what she is working on next. Read on, and if you have any questions for S.C. Ransom, write them in the comments!
Can you tell us a little about Small Blue Thing?
Small Blue Thing is a romance for teenagers. The story involves Alex, an ordinary girl, a strange bracelet which she finds in the mud at the edge of the River Thames in London, and Callum, a soul caught in a terrible half-life who she can speak to when she’s wearing the bracelet. She soon realises that she loves Callum, but she’s not sure if he truly loves her or wants to use her to escape from his life of misery. Very soon she’s fighting for her life.
Some writers have daily routines they stick to when working on a project. What is a day in your writing life like?
I have another full time job as a headhunter, so my writing is done every day on the train into London and back, and then catching up at weekends.
What was the most difficult part of the writing process for Small Blue Thing? What about the easiest?
Finding the time is always a challenge! What was also difficult at first was accepting the suggested changes to my manuscripts, but I’ve got used to that now. The ideas come quite easily to me, and I find it quite straightforward to weave new threads into the stories and tie them up later. My husband is great at coming up with new twists for me too.
Since this book was written as a birthday present for your daughter, Ellie, did you ever fear that she could either be your harshest critic (as most teenagers are) or greatest supporter when she read Small Blue Thing for the first time?
I knew she would like it, as the original version was so personal to her, but I was nervous when she started lending it to her friends. They have all been brilliant though, and their support helped persuade me to see if I could get it published.
Has your son ever asked you to write a book for his birthday? And if so, what kind of story would you write to appeal to his literary tastes?
No! I think I’ve missed the opportunity to write one for him now. He’s nearly sixteen, and enjoys a lot of crime thrillers, and I’m not sure that’s my thing. I think that the next one I do will be directed at both boys and girls though, so I’m sure he’ll read it.
The Dirges are interesting characters, ones that steal happy memories from mortal humans in order to function “normally.” Was there a particular inspiration that sparked the concept of the Dirges?
I wanted a group which was sinister and dangerous, but I was bored with vampires and werewolves and the like. I couldn’t think of anything I knew which fitted the criteria I needed, so I made them up! That way I didn’t have to follow any expected rules or behaviour, either. I could make them do whatever I wanted, which is great fun.
Why did you choose a silver and blue bracelet as the “conduit” between Alex and Callum?
Ellie loves blue, so it would appeal to her. I have a silver bracelet with a small blue opal, so I had that in my mind but made it much, much bigger and ornate, the sort of thing you would just love to find in the mud.
If Small Blue Thing were made into a feature film, who would you choose to play Callum and Alex? Why?
Lots of people have asked this! Ellie would like to play Alex herself, and her top choice for Callum would be Alex Pettyfer, as she thinks he’s one of the most gorgeous men on the planet. I rather like the idea of Ben Barnes.
What subjects would you like to see more of in today’s Young Adult fiction market?
That’s a very good question, and I’m not sure I can answer! I read very little YA fiction before I started writing Small Blue Thing, and I’ve been working so hard on writing the rest of the trilogy that I haven’t had a lot of time to read. I have a huge pile of books that I’m really looking forward to diving into later this year.
Can you tell us about some of your favorite books and authors?
Before I started writing I used to read a lot on my daily commute, and I read a huge selection of things; thrillers, crime, romance, classics, science fiction – you name it, I read it. One of my recent favourites was The Time Traveller’s Wife, and I read every Harry Potter book as it came out. I do like the Twilight series too.
Do you have any interesting stories about the writing of this book that you would like to share?
When I decided to write Ellie a book, I knew I needed to find a decent amount of time to get it done properly. So instead of reading on the train every day I started to write. Small Blue Thing was mostly written on my BlackBerry, and at the end of every journey I emailed it to myself. At the weekend I took the patchwork of files and tied them all together into a story. So when people tell me that they would love to do something like this but they are too busy, I tell them to look at their day. I found an hour – just 30 minutes each way – and now I have a book on the shelves of lots of the bookshops in the UK.
Did you listen to music a lot while working on this project, and if so, what kind of soundtrack would Small Blue Thing have?
The title of the book is from the Suzanne Vega song of the same name, which is one of my favourites, so that would have to be the title music. Unfortunately I find I can’t concentrate on writing if I have music playing, so I write in silence. I can even get distracted if people on the train are talking, but luckily most British commuter trains are very quiet places.
Do you have plans to write in a genre other than paranormal fantasy/romance in the future?
I’d like to try writing something which was appealing to both boys and girls, but I’m not sure how good I would be at it. I guess I’ll just have to try!
Can you tell us a little about your other writing projects and what you are working on right now?
Right now I’m writing the final book in the Small Blue Thing trilogy, Scattering Like Light. I’m really looking forward to tying up all those loose ends.
Is there anything you would like to say to your fans and potential readers?
Thank you so much for reading my book! I feel immensely privileged that you want to explore the world which I’ve created, and I look forward sharing more secrets with you as the story unfolds.
Special thanks goes to Sue Ransom and the entire team at Nosy Crow!
“Small Blue Thing” can be purchased via Amazon.co.uk as it is not currently available in the U.S.
Photos Courtesy of Nosy Crow