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Monday, July 12, 2010

Fab Five Questions with Alice Kuipers, Author of Lost for Words

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. Lost for Words recently released in May 2010.

Lost for Words is a story about Sophie, a young girl struggling with the tragedy of her past. Can you tell us a little more about the book, and perhaps share with us a favorite line, scene or passage from the book?

When the book opens, Sophie is angry and scared and traumatised but refusing to accept these things. She insists she's fine even though everything at school is weird with her friends and everything at home is even worse. Her therapist - who she hates - gives her a notebook and tells her to write it in. And so Sophie does. As she writes, she realises she has to think about the terrible events of last summer. And she has to remember what happened to her sister.

There is a scene in the novel where Sophie goes to the house she used to live in with her mum and sister. For me, there is something curious and compelling about houses characters have lived in... the same goes for houses I used to live in. They feel so much part of my story, and they may even look the same from the outside yet inside they are completely changed by time. I guess Sophie is like that house she used to live in. She looks the same from the outside but is completely changed by what's happened to her.

What three words do you think best describe your novel?

Vivid. Engaging. Real.

Can you discuss what was the hardest aspect of writing Lost for Words, and conversely, what was the easiest?

The same scene was both hardest and easiest to write. It is the scene where you as a reader find out what happened to Sophie and her sister. It involved a lot of research. I read and listened to upsetting stories. I wondered how to get the tone right. I didn't know how to start. And then when I got to typing it out, the words flowed. The research, although difficult, had helped me be able to write the scene the best way I could. In the end, I was pleased with how it turned out.

If you had to attach a musical score to your novel, what songs do you imagine playing during prominent scenes?

At one point in the book, Sophie and Emily put on an old Suzanne Vega album as they sit on the roof waiting for the sun to come up. I guess that album, played on repeat just like they play it that night, would be the best musical score for the novel.

What can we look forward to reading from you next? Any upcoming projects or new series in the works?

Yes, I've just finished writing my next novel Forty Things I Want To Tell You. I'll send it to my editors when I get up the nerve. And I'm working on my website which is full of writing tips for those of you who are emerging writers yourselves. It will have an app for the iPhone which I've been writing the content for. All that and looking after my new baby. Very busy!

Books by Alice Kuipers

Life on the Refrigerator Door
Lost for Words (The Worst Thing She Ever Did -UK version)
Bomb(Harper Collins May 2011)


Bethie said...

Sounds like a good read. I am now so curious as to what happened to her.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Awesome post!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to read the book! Just by the description, I am captivated. <3 It seems like such a raw story that makes you truly contemplate about your life and what has previously happened to you.


beth said...

I can't wait to read this.

Jessy said...

I haven't heard of Lost for Words before, but I will be on the lookout for it.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a really awesome book!!

Emma said...

This looks like a great novel. Nice interview!

Kristina said...

I can't wait to read the book! I know how gratifying it is to put a lot of hard work and research into a book, and then when the time comes to write it down, the words come automatically. It was easy to connect with the author on that level. I eagerly await getting to read this book, while listening to an old Suzanne Vega album, as well. :)