Friday, July 9, 2010

Blog Tour: Alice Kuipers, author of Lost For Words

Please join me in welcoming Alice Kuipers, author of Lost For Words. Alice is making the blogging rounds to drum excitement for her latest novel, and I'm happy to welcome her to The Book Owl. Alice Kuipers was born in London in 1979. She studied at Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan Universities. In 2003, she moved to Saskatoon, Canada, where she now lives. Life on the Refrigerator Door is her first novel.

1. Please describe your new novel in 50 words or less.
All Sophie wants is to forget the tragic events of last summer. Problem is, her world is falling apart - her mum is crazy, her friends hate her, and she can't stop thinking about Emily, or about Dan... Sophie has to face her terrible past, but she doesn't know how.

2. How did you write a story of this kind? What was your inspiration for the book?
Lost For Words was a difficult book for me to write. It's all about dealing with loss and facing up to your worst nightmares so it took me some time to know how was the best way to tell it. In the end, I wrote the book as diary entries. Each entry gives an insight into Sophie and her life; slowly as she writes, she begins to face up to her past.

My last book, Life on the Refrigerator Door, was written in notes. I like having space between the words for readers to fill with their own imagination, so it was a natural step to write Lost For Words with lots of room for a reader to fill in the blanks. Sophie is recovering from something so terrible that she has to fill in the blanks too. For me, the inspiration was the idea of a character who was starting to fall apart - lovely, damaged Sophie. I wanted to know why she was struggling so hard, and so the book was born.

3. What is the significance of the cover? It's absolutely gorgeous!
I love the cover too. Thanks! The girl on the front has blonde hair and dark eyes and is, we discover, Sophie's sister. She is turning away because she is lost to Sophie - like so many things in Sophie's life.

4. Everyone reads classics in high school English. Which ones did you love? Which ones should students never be forced to read?
I don't think anyone should be forced to read anything ever. I remember reading Of Mice and Men in my high school English class and loving it, but I know my best friend didn't feel the same. She was put off reading for years and years because of our English classes and I think it's wrong to turn teenagers off books. My advice to readers is to read widely and to read things they might not have thought they would like - yes, the classics, like Austen and Bronte and Dickens and Shakespeare and Chaucer and the Russians, but also novels about vampires and murders and romance and outer space. Every time you read a book, you live someone else's life. The more you read the better.

5. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I travel all the time. I'm in Antwerp in Belgium right now, sitting in my hotel room, looking over at some gorgeous old buildings which house a shoe store and a cafe. Tomorrow I go to Paris and then to London. I've been travelling as much as possible since I was eighteen and I went away for a year backpacking on my own. The planet is a big, beautiful place and I'm lucky to have seen as much of it as I have. So, in answer to your question, I guess today I'd like to go to the city centre in Antwerp (as I'm already here) and maybe go to an art gallery. Rubens lived here so I might get to see his house today, depending on my baby who might prefer the zoo!

Thank so much for joining us Alice!

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