Lucy Christopher is the author of Stolen and Flyaway. She has lived in both Wales and Australia, where she pursued being a nature guide and an actor, among other things, before finding her calling as a writer. Currently living in Wales, Lucy spends much of her time lecturing, blogging, and reading books (when she’s not writing, of course). To learn more about Lucy, visit her website at www.lucychristopher.com.
1. Nature and teens seem to be intrinsic parts of your novels so far. What is the connection you feel between the two?
I think there are loads of connections between nature and teens. Firstly, it’s a question of space … when you’re a teenager, there aren’t all that many places you can go to hang out, or to be private with your friends or your boyfriend. Natural spaces, such as the local park or woods, are often used as social spaces for people growing up. I know they certainly were for me. So there’s that. I also think there’s a subconscious connection between the ideas of growth and wildness and with the process of being a teenager. The wildness of a natural space often works well as a writing metaphor to express the wild, loneliness of sometimes being a teenager. In Stolen, Gemma’s growing appreciation of the natural world around her directly leads to a growing awareness of herself and an understanding of her place in the world.
2. Your book Stolen has a lovely, cinematic feel to it. Having tried acting first, how do you relate to the idea of the ‘writer as actor?’
Interesting question! I think I do approach my writing very much from the perspective of character – for me, character is more important than anything, and when I have my character right, my plot seems to flow much easier. This focus on character and character-led stories may well have been inspired, or helped along by, my time as an actor. I spent quite a lot of time learning about Stanislavski’s method, and perhaps that focus on character motivation helped too.
3. Who would you identify as some of your strongest literary influences?
Definitely John Marsden! John is a fantastic Australian writer for teenagers and his books inspired me hugely to read, as well as write, when I was a teenager and beyond. I love his series of books entitled ‘The Tomorrow Series’. In terms of others, probably also the magnificent (adult) writer Tim Winton with his clever and evocative use of language, and the beautiful and lyrical David Almond.