Hello everyone and welcome to my stop on the #Wishbones tour.
Today I interview Virginia McGregor about her latest title Wishbones. Looking at our exchange, you will find a little insight of what went into writing it. Issues close to many of us and sometimes very difficult to talk about.
1) Could you summarize what Wishbones is about in one sentence?
A young girl’s mission to save her mother’s life.
2) Obesity is hard enough to tackle in real life, how did you find the challenge to make it accessible to the YA audience and why did you decide to do so?
Both in my adult and young adult fiction, I like to focus on strong contemporary issues that have a resonance in our lives. Obesity and eating disorders are increasingly common, especially in the Western world. My feeling is that they are more psychological than physical and this is something that I explore through Feather’s mother. I believe that fiction develops our understanding and empathy for those going through difficulties; fiction also makes helps us feel more understood when we are struggling. This is particularly important for young adults who often feel very alone and misunderstood.
3) How did you come up with the role reversal between Feather and her mum, where the child ends up with the responsibilities of an adult?
First, through my own experience. When I was thirteen my parents went through a messy divorce which left my mother broken both physically and emotionally. Overnight, I went from being a child to an adult: I was the only one there to care for her. I know that there are children all over the world who have to care for sick parents or relatives and that this puts a huge burden on them. It’s also something I explored in my first adult novel, What Milo Saw, in which a nine year old boy looks after his great-grandmother.
4) Tell us 10 things we don’t know about you.
1. English is my third language: German was my mother tongue, then I learnt French. I moved to England when I was four.
2. I wear my husband’s socks.
3. I love custard: the thick, gloopy yellow stuff that comes in the Birds Eye tin. Which you can’t get in America where I’m living right now, so I’m going slightly crazy. Aid packages welcome!
4. I celebrate my characters’ birthdays.
5. I’m soppily romantic.
6. I believe I was an elephant in a past life.
7. I get grumpy when I can’t write.
8. I love giving my characters– and my daughters – unique names. My two little girls are called Tennessee Skye and Somerset Wilder. Life’s too short to have a dull name!
9. I love the rain more than the sun.
10. I love walking: it helps me to write better.
5) Where is your favorite writing spot?
I love to write in coffee shops or their equivalent. I’ve currently found a lovely spot in Concord, New Hampshire, where I currently live: it’s a juice bar run by a friend and the staff are wonderful and don’t mind me sitting there all day with my notebooks and laptop.
6) What is your favorite book of all time?
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje.
Thank you Virginia :).
And now for the #Giveaway…you know what to do.