Probably the most exciting thing (other than getting a proof copy of Wolf by Wolf) was that I got a few moments alone with Ryan Graudin to conduct a mini- interview. I kept it short out of respect for the other bloggers (and that I couldn't think of that many questions). I also didn't have the forethought to record the interview so everything is going to have to be paraphrased.
To tie in with the giveaway, most of the questions are about her previous book The Walled City.
Were there any parts of the book that you found particularly emotional to write about?
Yes. The scenes in the brothel with Mae Lin and Ambassador Osamu were particularly difficult. At times she found herself physically reviled. Some of the things that Jin had to go through were hard to write about, but nothing was as hard as Mae Lin.
Were there parts of the book that you embellished to make the story work better?
A lot of names were changed for the book, including not using the name of the city that The Walled City was based on. The Brotherhood are symbolically the Triad. She tried to keep checking the facts as much as she could, but it was hard to keep everything accurate. There were things that she got wrong in drafts that she hadn't even thought about (such as the fact that cicadas cannot grip bamboo wood as it's too hard). She also change a lot of names during the process because she found they weren't Cantonese.
One instance where she took creative license was the fact that she wasn't sure if Jin could really get to the city on her bike as it's a long way, but as it works best for the story, she kept it in.
Alternatively, was there anything you didn't include?
She was careful not to make things too graphic as she wanted to impact on her readers rather than shock them.
Also, as she knew a lot of women are constantly going through the things Mae Lin goes through, she made an effort to be careful with what she was writing.
I asked her if there was anything she wanted to say about Wolf by Wolf.
She found it hard to find the right niche for it as she hasn't seen much alternative World War Two literature in YA before, especially ones involving the supernatural elements that she included. She spoke about the American tag line "Inglorious Bastards meets Code Name Verity" which she hadn't seen or read respectively. She also talked about the X-men similarities.
Giveaway - Signed Copy of The Walled City
- UK entries online. Sorry guys! But I can't afford international postage!
- Will end on 2nd of May (two weeks from now)
-I'll probably throw in some origami bookmarks.