Monday 11 April 2016

WAITING FOR CALLBACK: 5 Minutes with Perdita and Honor Cargill

Hello, readers! Today, I am delighted to so be sharing with you an exciting author interview with you- with the amazing Perdita and Honor Cargill: the mother and daughter duo who have just published a FABULOUS new YA book- Waiting For Callback! The novel has been described as Geek Girl meets New Girl and I absolutely adored it- review coming next week!

Interested? Here's the blurb...

Geek Girl meets Fame meets New Girl in this brilliantly funny new series!
When Elektra is discovered by an acting agent, she imagines Oscar glory can't be far away, but instead lurches from one cringe-worthy moment to the next! Just how many times can you be rejected for the part of 'Dead Girl Number Three' without losing hope? And who knew that actors were actually supposed to be multi-lingual, play seven instruments and be trained in a variety of circus skills?
Off-stage things aren't going well either - she's fallen out with her best friend, remains firmly in the friend-zone with her crush and her parents are driving her crazy. One way or another, Elektra's life is now spent waiting for the phone to ring - waiting for callback.

 Can an average girl-next-door like Elektra really make it in the world of luvvies and starlets?

As the book was so fantastic I was really excited to get the opportunity to interview Perdita and Honor Cargill. Read the interview to find out where their inspiration came from, what it's like for a mother and daughter to write a novel together, and what the best thing is about being an author...

What inspired you both to write Waiting For Callback?

H: I’m like Elektra in at least one respect - I’m a total drama geek.  Most of my experiences were school plays but I did a tiny bit of professional too.  That gave me a real insight into the weird world of child acting and although no question it can be traumatic it is often a bit ridiculous. We used to joke about how it would be a good context for a funny teen novel and then on one frankly dull family holiday we just started.  Of course we had no idea how much work would be involved. 

How do you feel now Waiting For Callback is published? What was your publishing journey like?

P: Ok it’s exciting and surreal but right at this moment what I mostly feel is tired! The deadline for delivering book 2 is in a few weeks and we can’t really push the date because at some point Hon has to revise for her A levels (and yes I do appreciate that I sound like Elektra’s mum when I say this). I think we’ve probably had a pretty blessed route to publication.  The Literary Consultancy matched us up with our brilliant agent Hannah Sheppard (she read our manuscript for them) and our editor at Simon & Schuster is the multi garlanded Jane Griffiths who did amazing work getting more out of us.

H: (I can’t quite believe that she’s saying that she’s tired given I’m the one with the A Levels looming and coursework! Harsh.)  I agree that it’s surreal. I got an embarrassing amount of pleasure out of walking into Waterstones with a sharpie… I really enjoyed being edited, the pressure and challenge of turning new scenes around fast - it felt exciting.  I should probably confess that I failed miserably to pull my weight at copy edit stage but I’m dyslexic and I would have been worse than useless…

As a mother and daughter duo, what was it like writing a novel together? What was your writing process like?

P: So much easier than everyone seems to think it must be.  We never had a big discussion about how to do it; it just evolved in a way that we were both comfortable with.  After each mammoth (carb fuelled) plot gossiping session we’d identify a couple of scenes that needed done, allocate them according to enthusiasm (Hon always shouting for the most dialogue heavy bits because that’s her comfort zone) and then each go off and separately (i.e. as far away as possible) turn out a first draft.  Then we exchange and brutally edit until hopefully it’s pretty consistent.  

H: The whole collaboration thing can really easily seem cheesy but for us it worked, we have a really similar sense of humour and we had fun.  If we hadn’t we’d probably have quit. Actually no, we’d definitely have quit.

Would either of you say that you are similar to Elektra?

H: A few of her multiple moments of cringe and embarrassment are strangely familiar to me but no, it’s a bit of cliche but it really does feel like she’s real and doing her own thing. 

P: Hon loses her phone ALL the time and is very, very messy so that for sure is drawn directly from life.  

 What do you guys love about YA? 

We weren’t really thinking about YA or the YA market when we were writing, we just wanted to write a book that would make teens laugh and where they’d have lots of those lovely moments of recognition.  But it is an amazing part of the book market, wide and free and pacey.

Do you have any favourite YA authors who inspired you to write Waiting For Callback?

H: When I was about 11 Sophia Bennett published the first in the Threads series.  I got one of the beautiful special edition Giles Deacon covers and I loved that book.  But most of my reading experiences were on audio which meant lots of classics because they’re all recorded.  I loved Ballet Shoes.

P: Yes, I’d put Ballet Shoes as an influence too – it’s a great book and better for all the real moments when the burden of being a child professional is at its least glamorous.  We wanted to get a bit of that into our book.

What’s your favourite part of Waiting For Callback?

Tricky. We both love the Squirrelina scene because it’s mad and yet quite realistic - and any scene with Elektra’s extravagant and mildly inappropriate French step-grandmother Eulalie.  

Best part about being authors?

Well at the moment there’s all the excitement of publication but we both enjoy the actual writing, the building of scenes – just writing funny lines.  

H: Also it’s a much less stressful way to make money than babysitting.

Any advice for aspiring young writers?

H: Because of my dyslexia I feel quite strongly that young people with lots of good stories in their heads shouldn’t feel excluded because they’re not good readers or spellers.  There isn’t some scary literary bubble that you’re never going to be allowed to get inside, there’s a publishing business looking for people with great imaginations to tell stories.

P: Maybe have a go at collaboration?  People have different strengths, there is no shame in teaming up to get to something stronger.  And it’s a lot of fun. 

Sum up Waiting For Callback in three words?

Try – Fail – TryAgain (yes we cheated)

Thanks for appearing on my blog guys :)

Thank you for having us! x

Check out Perdita and Honor Cargill here:

Buy Waiting For Callback here:

Until next time :)

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