I would like to thank Suki Fleet for taking the time to talk to us about their Harmony Ink Press release This is Not a Love Story. Watch for our review soon. There is also a giveaway, so stay tuned for that.
1. Your latest release is This is Not a Love Story from Harmony Ink. What can you tell us about it?
At it’s most basic, it’s a love story about two boys struggling to survive and stay together as they try to find a way off the streets of London.
I guess it’s unapologetic in that it doesn’t shy away from the reality of living on the streets. I wanted to create a viseral experience for the reader, seeing life through Romeo’s eyes, all his loves and his struggles. Whether or not I’ve suceeded is up to readers to decide 🙂
2. Tell me a little more about how you came up with the title.
I admit the title may be bit of a misnomer in a way, as this is a love story.
My inital inspiration (and this was for Part One of the story which was originally a novella) was to write a very vauge Romeo and Juliet esque story, except I didn’t want it to end in tragedy…so the title came from it NOT being a love story like Romeo and Juliet’s and it sort of stuck and now it fits in lots of ways.
3. This is Not a Love Story is not an easy story to read. What inspired you to write it?
Years ago now, I saw a teenager curled in sleeping bag in an alleyway, crying. People were just stepping over him as if he wasn’t there. I went to get him a sandwich and a hot drink from a cafe at the end of the alleyway, but by the time I came out, he’d gone. I’ve thought about him a lot over the years, wondered what happened to him and wished I’d just gone over to talk to him rather than buying him food, as that, perhaps, would have been the best thing to do. I’ve always hoped he got off the streets and to a better place, but so many teenagers don’t.
I wanted to write a happy ending for such an awful situation. A real but happy ending. An ending where the protagonist had choices and he was in control of them, opening the world up before him.
And I guess I don’t think it should be an easy read (it definitely wasn’t an easy write!), and perhaps that won’t make it as popular as a warm, sweet story but it’s not easy for those kids who live their lives on the streets for real. It breaks my heart.
4. What is next for Romeo and Julian?
Well, I have a novella length story for Crash (one of the main secondary characters who is very close to my heart) written, and it does feature other important characters from this story 🙂
As for whether there will be a sequel, I have lots of ideas but I wouldn’t want to write something for the sake of it. Plus, I have no idea whether people would want to read more from me. Sometimes the inspiration just punches you in the gut though, and if that happens there will definitely be another.
5. If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?
Ah, well I myself am an apiring writer (and I can’t imagine ever not aspiring to be better), so the advice I give to myself is to keep going even when you don’t think you can. To keep going over your writing, re reading it, hearing it in your head, until you’re happy with what you’ve written, until you’ve written something ‘you’ want to read. Be true to yourself.
6. What book do you keep by your bed?
My kindle has all my favourites 🙂
Harper Fox is always on my re read list.
7. Do you read your reviews, and if so do they influence the way you write the next book at all?
When I used to write on fictionpress, yes, I read them all. I liked that way of interacting with readers. I wrote and published on that site because the reviews made it worth it.
But being officially published is different, and I’m a little scared to read the reviews (though I do love it when people send me little messages telling me how much they enjoyed my book). All I want for this book is that it means something to someone. This story is very close to my heart, and maybe when I’m not so new to all this I’ll have thicker skin 🙂
8. What’s the best thing you’ve ever had someone say about one of your books in an email or review?
Well, I was really, really honoured when someone told me they would be using my story to help the kids they work with at a drug treatment facility to open up.
And when people have told me they see homeless people differently, that they notice them more after reading, then that makes me feel I’ve achieved something.
9. What is next? What are you working on?
I have a short story I wrote for the M/M group on goodreads (Love’s Landscapes) called Metronomy coming out very soon. That one was a step in a completely different direction for me!
I have a novella coming out with Dreamspinner in Oct/Nov called Skeleton- it’s a little suspenseful and a lot sweet.
I have a lot of stories in progress–one with an autistic MC which a lot of people have requested that I finish. And I have a few stories I want to edit up for possible submission. Love story is perhaps the darkest story I have ever written.
10. Where can readers find you on the web?
From the Publisher:
A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title
When fifteen-year-old Romeo’s mother leaves one day and doesn’t return, he finds himself homeless and trying to survive on the streets. Mute and terrified, his silence makes him vulnerable, and one night he is beaten by a gang of other kids, only to be rescued by a boy who pledges to take care of him.
Julian is barely two years older than Romeo. A runaway from an abusive home, he has had to make some difficult choices and sells himself on the street to survive. Taking care of Romeo changes him, gives him a purpose in life, gives him hope, and he tries to be strong and keep his troubles with drugs behind him. But living as they do is slowly destroying him, and he begins to doubt he can be strong enough.
This is the story of their struggle to find a way off the streets and stay together at all costs. But when events threaten to tear them apart, it is Romeo who must find the strength within himself to help Julian (and not let their love story turn into a Shakespearean tragedy).
About the Author
Suki Fleet currently lives in the heart of England. Her childhood was quite unconventional and she spent some time living on a boat and travelling at sea with her family. Since she was very small she has always dreamed of writing for a living, but though she has written original fiction online for years and encouraged many new writers to keep going and follow their author dreams, it is only recently she got the courage to make her own dream a reality and actually send something off to a publisher.
By day she runs her own business selling fabric (her second love) and juggling family commitments, by night she weaves the stories that the characters in her head dictate. These stories often start with pain or longing but always end with love.
Suki has kindly offered an eBook copy of This is Not a Love Story to 1 lucky commenter.
Contest ends 4 May 2014 @ 11:59pm CST. Must be 18 or older to win. Void where prohibited.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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