Thursday 28 November 2013

Project UKYA interview with Matt Whyman

Today, we have Matt Whyman, author of The Savages, talking to us about UKYA. Why? Because of Lucy's AMAZING Project UKYA which showcases all aspects of YA written in Britain. If you haven't already, you should totally go find the rest of the tour.

What is the most British thing about The Savages?
Everything from the opening sentence to the final full stop! The Savage family have strong roots in Russia, but Titus, Angelica and the kids are born and bred Brits with a sense of irony and sarcasm embedded in their genes. They’re terribly traditional, too, and value their meal times together. After all, the family that eats (people) together, sticks together.

What's the best thing about being part of the UKYA community?
I love the fact that every new novel is unique, rather than a carbon copy of a previous success. You only have to look at a bookshop table display to see this – no two jackets look alike, which makes it all the more enticing.

Who are some of your favourite people in the UKYA community?
I like everyone I’ve ever met to be honest. Right now, I’m a big fan of James Dawson and Julie Mayhew, and will always look forward to anything new by Marcus Sedgwick. Then there are the people behind the scenes in the publishing world – those who ensure the books get into your hands, and make the whole experience such fun. Emily Thomas and everyone at Hot Key, I’m looking at *you*

What does UKYA mean to you?
Books that rarely get reviewed by the national press but come out alive and kicking thanks to the publishers and bloggers committed to spreading the word.

Who should read UKYA?
Anyone. I’m not a great believer in setting boundaries when it comes to fiction, and certainly don’t write with an age-range in mind. My novels are about the experience of finding yourself and making your mark on life – often against all odds. This isn’t exclusive to teen readers. We’ve all been there.

How does UKYA compare and differ to YA from other countries?
I think we were first to kick against the concept that YA fiction should always aim to teach a moral lesson. If a character does something they don’t encourage at school, like sex or drugs, they shouldn’t always end up remorseful (or dead). It’s far better to just get inside their minds and aim to understand what makes them tick – even if their deeds are dreadful.

If you could only read UKYA book ever again, which would it be and why?

That’s a good question. I’d go back to the book that first made an impact on me, which is Lord of the Flies by William Golding – old school UKYA!

Anything else you'd like to say?
Sorry for talking.

Thank you, Lucy, for hosting this event and letting me take part! You should go read The Savages- I loved it. Matt can be found at his website, on twitter, and on youtube.  Lucy can be found on her blog and at Project UKYA.

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Thanks for taking time to read this!
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Nina xxx

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