Interview: Alice Oseman
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Alice Oseman is the 21-year-old author of the young adult novel Solitaire. She is also an English student at Durham University.
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You are a university student and an author. can you tell me how you juggle your studies and your writing?
I'm actually terrible at this! I'm known for writing essays the night before and barely ever turning up to lectures. Juggling writing and studying is extremely hard and I'm guilty of usually putting writing first. I just try and take it a day at a time and somehow I meet my deadlines!
Solitaire was your first novel which you wrote at the age of 17, how does it feel to become an author at such a young age?
Very lucky. I managed to find the right literary agent at the right time - not every author is so lucky. I'm truly grateful and amazed every day that I'm fortunate enough to be in this position so young.
Where did you get your inspiration from for Solitaire, did you used to play pranks on your classmates at school?
No, I was never a pranker! When coming up with Solitaire's plot, my general thoughts were 'what is an interesting yet realistic thing that could happen at a school?' And my mind went immediately to pranks. With Solitaire, my primary concern was the characters and character development - that's what I was most inspired to write. The plot was almost incidental.
What reactions do you get from people when they find out that you are an author?
Usually surprise - people don't expect you to be a published author at this age! People are also usually interested in how I managed to become an author, since it's not something many people know about.
You have another novel coming out in Spring 2016, Radio Silence, could you tell me a bit more about that?
Frances, a highly academic sixth former with one goal - elite university - meets Aled, the creator of her favourite YouTube channel, and starts to question everything she thought about her future.
With Radio Silence I wanted to explore a few things that I didn't look at in depth in Solitaire - the main ones being school stress, the pressure placed on young people to succeed academically, and the confusion education can cause on one's perception of one's identity
What comes first for you, finding the time to write or concentrating on university work?
Definitely finding the time to write. It's what I love.
What advice would you give to young aspiring authors who may feel too scared to put their work out there?
You have absolutely nothing to lose by putting your work out there. You can never succeed if you don't try.
Radio Silence is available for pre-order on Amazon where you can also purchase other works by Oseman.
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