Today it is my absolute delight and honour to be included in the Fleur Ferris WRECK blog tour. When WRECK was mentioned earlier in the year at Penguin Random House’s YA night, I knew this book was going to be epic and when I read an ARC earlier this month I was absolutely blown away by how compelling and equally terrifying the novel was. So without further ado, I give you all the one and only FLEUR FERIS!
During this time, Fleur sometimes saw the darker side to life while working for a number of years as a police officer and a paramedic.
She now lives a more settled lifestyle on a rice farm in Southern New South Wales, with her husband and three young children.
Fleur’s colourful and diverse background has given her unique insight into today’s society and an endless pool of experiences to draw from.
Welcome to The Never Ending Bookshelf Fleur Ferris.
Hi The Never Ending Bookshelf. Thank you so much for having me and for such great questions. I really enjoyed answering them.
For those who haven’t had the chance to read it yet, could you give us a quick pitch on what readers can expect from WRECK?
WRECK is a fast-paced thriller about eighteen-year-old Tamara who has unknowingly stumbled across something that throws her life into danger. Tamara has to work out who is chasing her, why, and how she’s going to stop it.
Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration for, and creative process behind, WRECK? Was it the characters that first spoke to you or did the narrative come to you fully formed?
I drew inspiration from a number of sources when coming up with the plot for WRECK. Whenever I heard of the discovery of a floating note at sea I wondered how long it had been floating for, how far it had travelled, who sent it, were they still alive, what did the note say. Often the discovery of these notes made world news and sometimes the sender, or members of their family, were tracked down. These stories got me thinking… What if the floating note wasn’t a wonderful discovery? What if it revealed something sinister? What if the person who found it was unknowingly thrust into danger simply because they had possession of it, simply because they had seen it? What if the note indicated or revealed something someone wanted concealed? For the discoverer, it would be as unfair as it was random and they would be completely blindsided by what was coming.
Instantly, my protagonist, Tamara, came to life in my mind. I knew where she lived, that she was the girl-next-door type of girl, excited by her goals and aspirations and about to move out of home and commence university. But instead of chasing her dreams she is running for her life.
What inspired you to first starting writing? Have you always wanted to write?
I have always been a writer, even as a child. I have journals right back to when I was eight years old. In 2003 I wrote a short story and it was published in Woman’s Day. This sparked me to write more. Over the years, while I was a police officer and paramedic, I wrote novels that I never let anyone read. I knew in my early twenties that one day I wanted to be a published novelist but it wasn’t until I had children and left the Ambulance Service that I focused on writing for publication.
When and where do you write? Do you write on the computer or are you a pen and notebook writer?
These days I usually write during the day at home or in the library. I always write on my laptop computer.
When you sit down to write a new story, have you planned the story out or are you more likely to ‘fly by the seat of your pants’? If you do plan, how much planning goes into your writing?
I usually have a solid plan in my mind before I start writing. Sometimes my idea has been brewing for a number of years and I already know my characters and the main plotline. However, the subplots happen on the keys, while I’m writing and at times I don’t know what’s going to happen until it’s on the screen in front of me.
Wreck is your third published novel for young adults. Because of that, have you found this book easier or harder than any of your previous book to write?
WRECK was more difficult to write than my first two books, but that was because it has two points of view and runs over two different time lines, not because it was my third published book. I started writing WRECK as the reader would read it, swapping from Tamara’s voice to Williams’ voice, however, their voices started to sound the same. I stopped doing that and then wrote two separate thriller stories, one from Tamara’s point of view, and the other from William’s. I then had the task of cutting those stories and pasting them together so the reader received the right information at the right time so the story made sense and maintained tension and pace.
WRECK is a dual part narrative, with half of the narrative focusing of a tragic boat accident five years earlier and the other half dealing with the contemporary suspense elements from that fall out. The use of the alternating chapters between the two moments in time was really intriguing to read and I really appreciated the move away from ‘typical’ flashbacks. Did you deliberately set out to write the book this way or was it something you stumbled on during the writing process?
Structuring WRECK this way was a conscious decision before I started writing it. When I start a new book I put a lot of thought into structure and discuss my ideas with my publisher. I sometimes write a number of different openings before I’m satisfied I’ve got it right. I sent the opening chapters of WRECK to my publisher and asked for her input. We both agreed for WRECK the alternate voices and differing time lines would be an effective way of telling the story I wanted to tell.
All of your books dive deep into the human psyche and feature ordinary everyday people being caught up in the most harrowing and terrifying events. Do you ever feel the pressure to up the ante from the previous book?
I don’t feel pressure to ‘up the ante’ so to speak, but I do hope my books will improve as I gain novel writing experience. I do hope each book is better and/or different in some ways than my last. When I start out writing a new book, my sole focus is to write the very best, most compelling, mystery thriller story I can write, the mystery thriller story I’d like to read.
What’s your favourite aspect of writing?
Writing the first draft.
What is your most hated aspect of writing?
Proofreading the final draft.
Do you have an advice out there for aspiring authors?
Do what it takes to improve you manuscript (MS) and preserve, persevere, persevere.
Research the industry to find the person most likely to like you work and shoot like an arrow to that person.
To get published three things need to happen.
*Please note this is only my opinion*
The right manuscript must land on the right desk at the right time.
So the equation is:
Right MS + Right Desk + Right time = Getting Published.
It’s so hard to line up these things, but please know it’s possible and that you can do it.
And lastly, what are you working on now?
I am working on my 2018 release. It is another action-packed, mystery thriller for young adults and I’m so very excited about it!
Tamara Bennett is going to be the first journalist to strictly report only good news. Finished with high school, Tamara is ready to say goodbye to her sleepy little town and part-time job at the local paper. O-weeks awaits, which means parties, cute boys and settling into student res with her best friend Relle. Things take an unexpected turn, however, when she arrives home to find her house ransacked and her life in danger. What is this mysterious note? And why does it mean so much to one of Australia’s most powerful media moguls? Caught between a bitter rivalry and dangerous family secret, who can Tamara trust? Or should she trust herself?
WRECK officially releases on the 3rd July, and can be pre-ordered at the following retailers:
To learn more about Fleur Ferris, visit the following social media sites:
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