Hello everyone! Today, I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour for Patrice Lawrence’s new book, Eight Pieces of Silva. It’s a tense YA book that deals with obsession and a sisterly bond. In this interview, Patrice mentions her love for Orange Club chocolate bars (one of my favourites) and also how much she’s loved Six Of Crows (also my favourite), as well as some very interesting discussion about where the idea for Eight Pieces of Silva came from.
1) Where did you get the idea for Eight Pieces of Silva?
I was initially reading an extract of a book called Incurable Romantic and Other Tales of Madness and Desire by Frank Tallis. Talis is as a clinical psychologist and this is an anthology of some of the people he has worked with. The extract that popped up in the newspapers was about a married woman in her 50s who underwent a minor dental operation under general anaesthetic. When she woke up, she was obsessively in love with the dentist. After he moved his family way to Dubai, partly to avoid her, she kept a ‘shrine’ of items that reminded her of him.
I bought the book and a different story intrigued me even more. It was about a younger married man, relatively affluent, whose wife found out that he had visited a sex worker. It turned out that he had been visiting many sex workers and had seriously depleted his business’s funds. He would take the women for meals and even view flats with them. He enjoyed the power of believing they were falling in love with him.
I wondered – what would happen if obsessional love met an obsessional need to be the object of love?
2) Could you tell us a bit about a general writing day for you?
There isn’t one as I’m usually juggling different projects. My current day involves promoting existing books, researching ideas for new ones, working out how to tame my hair for videos, admin and reading 50 books as a judge for the Costa Children’s Awards.
3) Did you prefer writing from the perspective of Becks or Silva?
Becks. She was always the character who was going to tell the story. She was in my head long before I knew what the story was. She was always going to be black, working class, lesbian and Londoner. I knew it wasn’t a coming out story – that’s not my story to tell – but I wanted her to be in love. I knew that her family would never be ‘conventional’. Both as child or adult, I’ve always lived in families that other people didn’t ‘get’ – multi-ethnic, multi-hued, siblings related through only one parent or no parent at all. So that was always going to be the set up.
I wanted her to be a K-Pop fan, because it brings together people from different backgrounds and I loved the idea of friends trying to recreate that brilliant choreography. Also, my daughter made me watch THAT Rain video. I could only exorcise it from my head by writing about it.
Naturally, I wanted an excuse to delve back into as many Marvel films as possible. Black Panther is such a landmark! Oh, and to rewatch the Lord of the Rings films. Again. Extended version. (They’re my comfort films.)
4) What are some of your favourite writing snacks?
Orange Club biscuits and Brie. Separately. Lidl sell a really satisfying ginger stem cookie too, bt I haven’t seen them in stock for a while.
5) What are some books you’ve read recently that you’ve loved?
I’ve been listening to more audiobooks. I was blown away by Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows. The world-building – blimey! I’ve loved the proofs of A.M. Dassau’s Boy, Everywhere and Lisa Williamson’s The First Day of My Life. I bought Sharlene Teo’s Ponti a while back, but started it recently and could put it down. Although technically adult, the main characters are teenagers for at least half of it. It’s about unfulfilled dreams, female friendships, desire and a low-budget horror franchise.
Patrice Lawrence has asked everyone in the blog tour to include a clue vital to discovering Silva’s location in the book – be sure to check out everyone’s blog posts to gather your clues! Today’s clue is…
Thanks so much to Patrice Lawrence for an EXCELLENT interview! Eight Pieces of Silva is officially out tomorrow, so make sure you order a copy! My review of the book will be posted soon too, so keep an eye out for that!