Laure Eve is a YA author I’ve been following on Twitter for ages. Last year she published her debut novel Fearsome Dreamer, a dystopian, romantic technofantasy, which I reviewed on the blog last month. Laure is a wonderful and funny person and I was fortunate enough to meet her at WFC last year. Today Fearsome Dreamer‘s sequel The Illusionists is published and I thought that would be a great excuse to ask her some questions in an Author Query. Check back for a review for The Illusionists next week.
Let’s start with the basics. Who is Laure Eve?
She’s a French/British hybrid with a penchant for the fantastical. She likes the kind of crazy shoes that make people ask her how she can walk around in them all day.
How would you introduce people to the world of Angle Tar?
I’d say, imagine if Napoleon won the war and turned Britain into a French colony. Then imagine if the British were rather resentful of that.
How much of your French roots show in your writing? Has being bi-lingual given you a different view of language?
It makes me want to play with language more, I think. When you’re stuck between two cultures as mixed-background people are, it makes you hyper aware of how important language is and how much we rely on it to convey exact nuances of complicated feelings or issues. It was one of the reasons White doesn’t speak Angle Tarain very well – I thought it would be interesting to explore his innate awkwardness when highlighted by the fact that he can’t communicate properly – what consequences could that have in a dramatic situation?
Life in the world of Angle Tar or perhaps better said outside of Angle Tar largely takes place in a virtual space called appropriately Life. This virtual space seems more real and is definitely more colourful than the physical version. What inspired Life?
All the virtual reality fiction I grew up with, really, like Neuromancer or The Lawnmower Man. It seems to be the way we’re headed, technologically, and that raises some very interesting implications for how we currently perceive reality – we’re very narrow in that viewpoint, but I think that’s got to change, and will, as our virtual spaces do.
Castle is a very mysterious place housing a very mysterious organisation. Why did you chose to keep Castle and its affiliation as nebulous as you did? Was it a conscious decision to save it for the second book or did you want to create a feeling of looming threat?
I guess I’m always more of a ‘reveal too much and you spoil the emotion’ kind of gal. With horror in particular, it’s always more scary for me if it’s unexplained, or you never see the monster. I wanted to leave questions to be answered in book 2, for sure, but I think you also come away from the end of book 2 still curious about the Castle. I hope you do. I think the best books still leave you wanting to explore their worlds further in your own imagination after they’re finished.
Are you Team White or Team Wren?
Oh dear, this is a hard question. Wren would be the unpopular choice, I think, but I feel a lot for him. Of course I do, I created him. And I think they’re actually quite similar, which is possibly one of the underlying reasons why they clash so much. I may do a cop out and say from Rue’s point of view, I’m Team White.
What’s next for you? Are you working on another Angle Tar book or something new? Any exciting con appearances coming up?
I’m working on something totally new, not set in the same world – something a bit like The Craft meets The Virgin Suicides. And I am Con Girl this month – I’m at Nine Worlds Geekfest on Friday 8th August on two panels, and I’m at Loncon 3 (this year’s Worldcon) at two panels and a signing on Saturday 16th August. I just recently did the inaugural YALC (Young Adult Literature Convention) at London Film and Comic Con and it was an amazing experience and a ridiculous success. I hope it comes again next year.
Is there something else you’re passionate about other than writing and books?
I’ve always been a bit of a hippy underneath it all – mindful of the environment, the impact we’re having on other cultures and our own world, and where we’re going as a species. It’s hard to feel like you have the time and space to be aware of this sort of stuff in our fast-paced consumer culture, but I’m making little changes at a time, from the kind of food I eat to how I shop. I find our general move towards this being a respected thing to do a good sign. When I was a kid, caring about the environment made you a ‘tree-hugger’, an object of ridicule. Nowadays if you don’t at least recycle you’re considered out of touch, and there are huge movements towards low-impact living. I like that. Slowly but surely.
As a book reviewer, I’m all about the book enabling; I can’t help but want to make people read all the good books out there. But I can always use help. What are your top recommendations of books we should look out for in the coming months?
This is a hard one. I’m so hopelessly out of touch with upcoming books as I just can’t seem to find the time to read a lot. I can give you a couple of things on my tbr that I’ve heard great buzz about: Clariel by Garth Nix because HELLO new Garth Nix. I’m very excited for The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon because The Bone Season genuinely surprised me with how much I loved it. My last recommendation is The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones, which I think has only just published. There’s a lot of excitement around that one.
Finally, I have to stay true to my roots and ask a librarian question to finish off with: Do you shelve your books alphabetically, by genre or do you have an ingenious system?
It’s boring old alphabetical for me all the way, I’m afraid! We have eight 6ft bookcases at home and still some books in boxes, so moving house is always rather stressful and alphabetical is just the easiest system for my brain to deal with ☺
Bio: Laure Eve is a French-British hybrid who grew up in Cornwall, a place saturated with myth and fantasy. Being a child of two cultures taught her everything she needed to know about trying to fit in at the same time as trying to stand out. She speaks English and French and can hold a vague conversation, usually about food, in Greek.
She is the proud owner of a degree in Creative Writing from Manchester Metropolitan University, has worked as a bookseller and, for one memorable summer, a costumed bear for children’s parties. She now lives and works in London in the publishing industry. Follow Laure at www.laureeve.co.uk or on Twitter: @LaureEve