Authors Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison answer questions about their new book Never Evers (Chicken House).
What is your new book about?
It’s a dual-narrative book, like our first book, Lobsters. it is about a boy and a girl from different schools who go to the same ski resort on a school trip. they are a bit younger than the Lobsters protagonists—Year 9, so 13 and 14 years old. The girl, Mouse, has been kicked out of ballet academy and is back at her old school, facing up to the friends she left behind two years ago. The boy, Jack, and his friends see the trip as their best chance yet to finally kiss a girl.
Was it hard writing your second novel?
It was quite tough. That cliché about second novels was, for us, definitely true. For Lobsters, we never thought anyone would ever read it, so there was never any pressure. But that all changes when you know that what you are writing will be published.
Did you notice any difference writing a younger teen novel after Lobsters, which was Young Adult?
Firstly we had to get rid of all swearing and sex references, which was quite difficult for us (mainly for Tom). We tried to inject more of a sense of adventure, which we thought (slightly) younger readers would go for. We also felt it needed to be pacier than Lobsters in order to keep younger readers hooked.
How do you co-write your books? Do you ever disagree?
We usually meet up initially to figure out a basic plot, and do a very rough sketch for what is going to happen in each chapter. Then we go away and write chapters by ourselves, emailing them back and forth. We meet up again to read the chapters out loud, tweak the dialogue so it sounds realistic, add jokes, that sort of thing. We don’t disagree that much, actually - usually only when one of us thinks a joke we have written is funny and the other thinks it isn’t.
Ellen and Ivison's Never Evers is released on 7th January 2016.