Hello, it’s Isela here! I’m joined today by Alice Broadway, debut author and soon-to-be trilogy genius! The first book of her trilogy, Ink, makes you rethink the concept of tattoos and how people choose to express themselves when no secrets are hidden. Ink will have you obsessed and dying for book number two, titled Spark and coming out later this year. Now let’s get to the interview!
Isela: How did you come up with such a unique idea for your trilogy?
Alice: Daydreaming. I read or heard someone say that a good way to get ideas for stories is to pursue your peculiar passions. I am fascinated by Ancient Egypt and I remember one evening sitting down and wondering how life would be if we related to death in the way the Ancient Egyptian culture did. It got me thinking about honouring the dead, preservation of that person's life and story and one thousand daydreams later I had a world of tattoos and skinbooks.
Isela: Are you inked yourself?
Alice: I am utterly un-inked. I feel like such a disappointment! I absolutely adored the chance to research the world of tattoos and the incredible artists who create them. I'm obsessed, but maybe I am a bit like Ink's main character, Leora, who just can't settle on a tattoo design to commit to for life.
Isela: My favorite character was Obel! Who's yours?
Alice: Oh, I'm so glad you liked reading Obel! I am very fond of him. I relate a lot to Leora's uncertainty about herself and her life and I love her friendship with Verity. I just don't think I can pick a favourite.
Isela: So I know being an author is awesome, but you're getting a new job today. Would you rather be an inker, a reader, a flayer, or a storyteller?
Alice: Oh MAN. Telling stories is in my bones, so I think I would love to do that. But could I perhaps have some work experience as an inker, just to see what it feels like to create a tattoo?
Isela: Sounds like a plan! I love the short fables in your novel. What inspired you to write them?
Alice: I'm very interested in the stories we tell ourselves that bring meaning to our lives - whether that is sacred texts, family history or our own personal spin on our life's narrative. I wanted to look at how stories can create the rules we follow. Also, I have always been a sucker for a myth or fable - I think in fairy tales.
Isela: I especially loved The Box! Such a powerful lesson for such a short fable! What's your favorite fable?
Alice: My favourite fable in the book is probably The Sisters - it's the origin story for how this community ended up committing their lives to their skin in ink. If you can be patient enough for the next book in the trilogy, there are more fables to come.
Isela: What do you hope readers take away from your books?
Alice: I'm a firm believer that once the writer has finished writing, the reader owns the book - they get to decide what it means and how they want to react to a story. I hope people who read Ink are entertained, diverted and that they remember it. I hope it brings more joy to the world. Anything else is a bonus.
That wraps up today’s interview with Alice. Don’t forget to order a copy of her book and to come back again next week, when Sasha will be chatting with fellow teen and acclaimed actress Bailee Madison about her debut novel, Losing Brave. See you then!