Today, I’m thrilled to be introducing Saci Lloyd, author of the Carbon Diaries series, Momentum and, her newest release, Quantum Drop. I am a big fan of this self-described “activist”, and think her ability to address serious, global issues in her novels should not only be lauded, but emulated.
Oh, this book came from a lot of different angles. At the heart of it, for me is an exploration of the way human beings live on the planet. I’m fascinated by our strange minds, how we make up insane systems and then live by the weird rules we made up. No other animal does this. I also wanted to write it from the point of view of a bunch of very extraordinary ‘ordinary’ young people. Anthony is named after the Belle and Sebastian song – Lord Anthony – and the lines ‘Anthony bullied at school, get your own back now you are cool’ are an essential part of how I perceive this character.
Your YA novels incorporate serious, real-life issues into them (climate change, the financial crash) – do you consciously set out to tackle these themes, or are you just inspired by current events?
I’m drawn to write about the big issues of the day. What could be bigger than climate change and the financial crash that bankrupted us all? I’m also enraged on behalf of the younger generation, that they’ve had their future world messed up by shortsighted politicians and corrupt financiers. Sometimes I wish I was drawn to writing about goblins, but I just can’t do it somehow.
Quantum Drop was one of the first books I’ve read in a while to be narrated from a boy’s point of view. What made you opt for a male POV and how was it different to writing the Carbon Diaries?
Anthony felt very natural to me. He’s a pretty sensitive soul in his own messed up way, so it wasn’t like I had to create some super macho figure. Having said that, I did interview a lot of boys before starting to write – as I wanted to make sure I was getting the tone right. Anyway, I really enjoyed it, Anthony is very real and alive to me in exactly the same way that Laura Brown is in the Carbon Diaries. That’s when you can tell if a character is working – when they start to act up and invade your mind off the page. Anthony and Laura were both a total pain in the ass.
I feel like the teenagers of 2012 are more “plugged in” than any other generation – technology is just so natural to them. Do you think these teens will have a different appreciation for Quantum Drop than the rest of us?
The pace of technology is speeding up all the time. When I first wrote Momentum and Quantum Drop I used to have to wave my arms a lot while I explained how a visor or a laser beamed onto a retina might work. Now I just point to Google glass and it’s easy. The next stage will surely be some kind of hook up to the optic nerve. Terrifying really, when you think how dumb we are with our little screens. No, but seriously, I don’t think there’s anything to be worried about with technology as long as it’s us using the tech and not the other way around.
Final question: what’s next on your agenda? Do you have any other books in the works and, if so, what will they be about?
Yeah I do. I’m working on a novel called 50% Banana, set in a parallel earth run by Californians. It’s a comedy. I’m really enjoying writing it.
OK – that sounds awesome. Thank you for answering my questions, Saci! Check out my review of Quantum Drop here.