Today we welcome UK author Non Pratt to BookMuch as we continue on the Remix Blog Tour! We’ve asked Non the hard-hitting questions (not really) and got some pretty controversial answers (not really).
Non is the author of Trouble, and her new book Remix is about boys, bands and best mates. Kaz is still reeling from being dumped by the love of her life… Ruby is bored of hearing about it. Time to change the record. Three days. Two best mates. One music festival. Zero chance of everything working out.
Monday August 3, Loony Literate
Tuesday August 4, Diva Booknerd
Wednesday August 5, Fictional Thoughts
Thursday August 6, Imaginary Misadventure
Friday August 7, Book Much
Saturday August 8, Genie in a Book
What would your ultimate festival line up look like?
The first billing would be The Living End in an early afternoon slot in the punk tent – I’ve seen them about five times (they don’t actually come to the UK that much) and their crowds are some of the best I’ve been in, I love singing my heart out to West End Riot and dancing like I’m ten years younger. After that I’d like a bit of downtime at one of the super-small tents where I’d find Jeremy Redmore (formerly of NZ band Midnight Youth) singing an acoustic set, before heading over to the main stage in the early evening for New Found Glory – more sweaty happy dancing, but with a bigger crowd so you could get a really good sing-along going. I’d finish the day in one of the tents watching Andrew MacMahon singing to an over-swollen crowd, but feeling like every song was written for me.
♫ WEE-EE-EST EEE-ND RIOT♫
What’s the best festival you’ve been to?
I’m a creature of habit and I’ve only ever been to Leeds and Reading festivals (which are the same festival on the same weekend running over two different sites). I’ve been about five times and whenever I look back, my experiences seem to merge into one perfect memory. I think the best is probably the year I went with my boyfriend and our friend Jo, who had an old VW camper van. I can’t really remember that many of the bands (although the line up included New Found Glory, Fenix TX, Weezer and Incubus), but I remember smuggling beer into the arena under our baggy trousers, conducting a blind-baked-bean taste test and wearing our bags as hats!
Do you see yourself as being more like Kaz or a Ruby?
Ruby is everything I wanted to be as a teen: she’s sparky and confident and flirtatious, someone that people are drawn to. When I was writing her, she got the clothes I wanted to wear, the music I was into and the ex-boyfriend I sort of fancied for myself. Kaz is more like the teenager that I was – and the adult I grew to become. She knows who she is, but she isn’t sure of her value to other people, she assumes that most people would rather be talking to someone else other than to her. In the last few years I think I’ve started robbing some of Ruby’s characteristics for myself, but I’ll always be a Kaz at heart.
Do you like to put real life experiences into your books and create characters based on people you know, or do you prefer to completely create people and situations?
A bit of both. Some of the things that happen to Kaz and Ruby have happened to me, like bumping into your ex in an arena of 80,000 people, having a stranger offer you comfort when you can’t find you friends and in my first book, Trouble, Hannah’s pregnancy symptoms were almost identical to my own. Having said that, I borrow from real life, but my characters turn these events into something new once I start writing about them. I might have a lot in common with my characters, but ultimately, they’re created from scratch.
Authors often speak of characters appearing in their imaginations and hounding them until their story is written, have you had a similar experience? How do your ideas come to you?
I’ve not experienced this. Despite the fact that I see myself as a character-led writer, I’m actually more drawn in by a hook than a voice. Only once I’ve got the set-up do I start wondering what sort of people will get involved. Trouble was sparked by listening to something on the radio that merged with all the Teen Mom programmes I’d seen on TV and I got to thinking about how easy it is the think there’s only a ‘certain type’ of girl who falls pregnant so young. Remix came from a desire to write about how first relationships can impact on friendship – the idea came to me during festival season, so that’s where it stayed!
What are you working on next?
My third book is called Truth or Dare and is about two teens: Claire and Sef. Claire is considered a coward by everyone at school after fainting (instead of diving) off the top board in the swimming baths, whereas Youssef – Sef – will do anything for a dare. When they find out that the local residential hospital where Sef’s brother lives is under threat of closure, the two team up to raise money by challenging each other to play truth or dare and posting the videos online, inviting their followers to copy them. As the dares escalate, Claire starts to wonder if it’s less about saving Sef’s brother and more about saving Sef himself…
Non Pratt grew up in Teesside and now lives in London. After graduating from Trinity College Cambridge, Non decided to work in children’s publishing. Since then she has worked at Usborne as a non-fiction editor and fiction publisher at Catnip. She now writes full-time. Find out more about Non and her books by following her on Twitter @NonPratt.
Remix is available now in all good bookstores.Your local bookshop