Tales Q&A with Kim Curran
Today, 31st March 2015, marks the release day of the third book in the Shift Series – Delete by author Kim Curran . I am very excited to have been sent a copy of both this book and the first two in the series Shift and Control.
I am over the moon to be part of the wonderful, fun packed blog tour to celebrate the release of Delete and for my stop on the tour I am honoured to have the wonderful Kim Curran answering all my questions…with some interesting answers!
Delete (Shift #3)
The country is at war. Beset by enemies within and without. And all because of the decisions changed by one boy, Scott Tyler. In this ravaged alternative reality, Scott hardly recognises himself. He’s a war hero, a leader of a unit of Shifters and maybe the only one who can prevent the country’s frail defences from crumbling.
But all Scott wants to do is find a way back to the world he knew, without losing the girl he loves. With every Shift he makes, Scott edges closer towards oblivion. With no one to trust – not even himself – how much is he willing to risk to get home?
Publisher – Xist Publishing
Date Published – 31st March 2015
Pages – 352 pages
Format – E-book
Category – UK YA, YA Sci-Fi
Hi Kim. Welcome to Tales Of Yesterday. Thank you so much for featuring on my blog as part of the Delete blog tour…I am very excited and thrilled to have you here!
Delete is the third book in the Shift series with Shift being the first and Control being the second book in this fab series!
In Shift Scott Tyler is a ‘Shifter’. And that means he has the power to undo any decision he’s ever made.
At first, he thinks the power to shift is pretty cool. But as his world quickly starts to unravel around him he realises that each time he uses his power, it has consequences; terrible unforeseen consequences. Shifting is going to get him killed.
In Control he discovers he is not like other teenagers. With a single thought he can alter reality around him. And he can stop anyone else from doing the same.
That’s why he’s so important to ARES, the secret government agency that regulates other kids like him: Shifters.
In Delete the country is at war. Beset by enemies within and without. And all because of the decisions changed by one boy, Scott Tyler
What inspired you to write the story of Scott Tyler?
The idea for Shift came to me one day when sitting on top of the bus on the way home from work, thinking about all the decisions I’d made in my life and all the decisions everyone makes. At the same time, I was thinking about a book I’d just finished on quantum physics. And the idea hit me: what if you could change your decisions the way light changes from wave to particle. And Shift was born.
However, why I chose to tell that story through the eyes of Scott Tyler, a teenage boy, is a strange one. Scott just appeared in my head as soon as I had the idea of Shift: an awkward, insecure young man who wanted nothing more than some excitement in his life. The whole idea for Shift is about wish fulfilment – having a second chance at all the mistakes you’ve made – and I wanted it to be about a normal, average, even slightly loser-ish kid who’s spent their whole life wishing for something else. I love writing about ordinary teenagers in extraordinary circumstances, and Scott is as normal as you get!
Can you tell us a bit about the trilogy Shift, Control and Delete?
The books follow Scott’s life from when he discovers he’s a Shifter – a teenager with the power to change any decision he makes – through his training with ARES, the government department set up to control and regulate the power, his working with ARES and then,
In line with the titles, Shift sets up the world and introduces the reader (and Scott) to the brain-twisting concept of Shifting, Control is Scott coming to terms with his powers and while trying to control them they ultimately control him. And finally Delete takes us into an alternative history, where one of Scott’s decisions has had global consequences and is about his desperate attempts to return to the reality he knows.
What inspired the titles for the books?
The title Shift came to me before I even knew exactly what the book was going to be about. And then I decided to have a bit of fun in playing with keyboard commands. The three together (Shift + Control + Delete) is a small clue to what Delete is about.
If there was one thing you could do with a single thought what would it be?
Teleport. I would love to be able to transport myself to anywhere in the world with a thought. If mostly because it would mean I wouldn’t have to face the hell of commuting any more.
If you could change / delete any decision you ever made what would it be or would you not want to tamper with time? How do you think that decision would have an impact on your future self?
I’ve given this question a huge amount of thought over the past few years. There are lots of alternative realties I’d like to explore. What would have happened had I gone to Oxford like my teachers wanted? What if I’d left the job that was making me miserable rather than sticking it out for a few years? But each and every decision in my life has led me to where I am now. And as I’m pretty happy with my life now, I have to make peace with all the mistakes I’ve made.
If you could cast your characters in a big Hollywood film adaptation who would you choose?
When I first started writing Shift I had Logan Lerman in mind for Scott and Chloe Moretz for Aubrey. But they’re both too old now, so I’m not sure.
Do you have any suggestions? 🙂
I think those are fab choices Kim…why dis they have to grow up so quick! 🙂
Growing up who inspired you into writing? Are there any Authors or books that inspired you?
Like most writers, I started out as a reader. I was a huge fan of Dahl as a young kid and then went through a phase of reading mostly mythology as a teen and then on to fantasy books such as Neil Gaiman’s and Terry Pratchett.
For years, I put aside the idea of being an author and focused on being a copywriter (someone who writes adverts). But the hunger to tell my own stories never went away. When I came to write my own book, it was authors such as Anthony Horowitz and Charlie Higson who inspired me.
And more recently, authors such as Patrick Ness, Meg Rosoff, Andrew Smith and Tanya Byrne.
What do you think makes a good story?
Wow, good question.
There are loads of different things that make up a good story. But I guess there are three main things that hook me as a reader. A great character you care about. A gripping central idea that intrigues you and makes you want to read on. And being surprised. I love stories that don’t work out how I expect them too.
Are there any recent works or authors that you admire or books you wish you had written?
Apart from the obvious, Harry Potter so I could now live in a castle in Scotland, there are books with brilliant ideas that have been perfectly executed that make me want to be a better writer. Books such as The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North, Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith, the Chaos Walking Series by Patrick ness and everything Lauren Beukes writes.
I love collaborating and miss it terribly when I’m writing on my own. I’m currently writing a script with Laura Lam and working on a project with author and comic artist Emma Vieceli. But the list of authors I’d love to work with would take too long to write!
When starting a new book or idea what does your writing process look like?
I’ve found I’ve settled into a pattern with the last four books I’ve written, which looks something like this:
Write the first draft, often long hand, dumping ideas down in a messy continuous forward motion. I don’t stop to redraft or fix problems, I push through to the end, even skipping scenes and sections if I don’t know what should happen. This is what I call my vomit draft. It’s messy and ugly, but at least the beginning of the story is in there, somewhere. Then begins the process of trying to turn that hot mess into something resembling a book. Filling in the holes, spotting the plot issues and starting to breath life into the characters. Then it’s read, re-write, repeat, for what feels like seven years, till I have a draft I’m ready to share with people. Once I get their feedback, there’s some more rewriting and when I’m truly sick of the sight of the book is when I think it might be ready to be edited.
What is your favourite part of the publishing / writing process and the least favourite part?
My favourite parts are first draft and first edit. The former is pure delight of creation and the latter is when I start to get a sense of how the book can be better. My least favourite are draft five thousand (or however many I go through) and the week leading up to publication. During both of those phases, I can mostly be found shaking under my desk.
Recently I asked some lovely UKYA authors their thoughts about does music influence their books or their characters. Did music have any influence in Scott Tyler’s story?
I was just talking to Lou Morgan about this very thing. She and other writers I know choose one or two songs that become the sound track to their books, in that the book they’re working on shares similar resonances as the songs. It’s something I’m going to try in the book I’ve just started writing. But as for the Shifter books, the main influence is that I used to listen to The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s album It’s Blitz on repeat while commuting to and from work to block out the noise of my fellow commuters. And there’s one scene in Shift that came directly from the song Heads Will Roll, even if I didn’t know it at the time of writing.
Are there any exciting plans for the rest of 2015 or 2016?
I have just finished writing a new book although I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do with it. And I’ve started writing something which is very different from my previous work – although still YA. Right now, I’m in a process of taking a step back and working out what kind of writer I want to be in the future. So no exciting plans as of yet. But if I hear of anything, I’ll be sure to let you know. 🙂
Thank you so much Kim for taking the time to answer these questions and feature on Tales Of Yesterday. It was an honour to have you! 🙂
Why not add Delete to your Goodreads wishlist – here
About Kim Curran
Dublin-born Kim Curran is the award-nominated author of books for young adults, including Shift, Control and Delete.
She studied Philosophy & Literature at university with the plan of being paid big bucks to think deep thoughts. While that never quite worked out, she did land a job as a junior copywriter with an ad agency a week after graduating. She’s worked in advertising ever since and is obsessed with the power of the media on young minds.
She is a mentor at the Ministry of Stories and for the WoMentoring Project. And lives in London with her husband and too many books.
To find out more visit www.kimcurran.co.uk
Goodreads – Kim Curran
There is a tour-wide giveaway going on with the tour!
All three books in the Shift Trilogy
Delete Blog Tour
Want to checkout some more reviews, guest posts and more about this fab book? Visit the rest of the tour stops to see what everyone thought!
Tuesday 31st March
Wednesday 1st April
Thursday 2nd April
Friday 3rd March
Saturday 4th March
Sunday 5th March
Have you read any of the books in the Shift series? Has this post persuaded you to check them out? If there was one thing you could do with a single thought what would it be? I would love to hear from you! Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this post or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy ?