Friday, 18 November 2016

Bill Condon and 'All of Us Together'

All of  Us Together

Today I'm delighted to welcome author Bill Condon to 'Promote Me Please' to talk about his new book, 'All of Us Together'. To find out more, I asked Bill five curly questions

Q: All of Us Together is an evocative title, giving a feeling of family loyalty and warmth. Does this relate to the content of the book and if so, how?

A: It’s rare for me to come up with a title before finishing a book, but this time I had the title in my head right from the start. It very much sums up what the book is about. The O’Casey family faces all manner of trials but they overcome them by sticking together, and tackling them head-on. I had the great good fortune of having loving and kind parents. They are the models I used when creating the mum and dad of this story.

Q: What was the original inspiration behind the book All of Us Together?

A: As with many of my ideas that eventually become books, this one lay dormant in my subconscious for more than fifty years before I acted on it.
Most of what I write is constructed, at least in part, on events from my own life. I hadn’t written anything substantial for four years and thought I’d run out of material, but then I remembered the stories my parents used to tell me regarding their lives in the Great Depression. The more I thought about setting a story in that period, the more it appealed to me. My previous novel for younger readers, The Simple Things, was also born out of events from long ago. I based it on things that happened to me when I was thirteen.

Q: All of Us Together is set in our past. How do you think modern children relate to stories set in this period?

A: I don’t know for sure, but I hope that if the story is well written, they will like it. One outstanding example of a well-written story set in another time is Morris Gleitzman’s Soon, which takes place in WW2. It was awarded CBCA Book of the Year for Younger Readers this year. There are four other titles in the series, with one more to come, so obviously the books are highly successful and kids enjoy them.

I think the same rules apply no matter when you set your story. In no particular order, I think the writing has to be stimulating, easy to understand, exciting, funny, and for me, as honest as possible. You can never be boring or repetitive. The words a writer chooses must make the reader think and feel, and leave them wanting more.

Q: How much extra explanation did you need to do to support readers of a time that was not their own?

A: In the case of my book there was no support needed – at least I hope that turns out to be the case. The O’Caseys aren’t very far removed from any family living in Australia today. Occasionally they talk a little differently, and of course, they don’t have mobile phones or computers, but to me that doesn’t matter. This is first and foremost a family story. I’m sure the children of 2016 and beyond will readily relate to it.

Q: If you pretend you are an enthusiastic reader who has just found this book, what would you write to a friend when urging him/her to read it?

A: I’d tell my friend that I liked this book because it was funny in places, as well as being a bit sad sometimes – the way real life can be. I’d say it was exciting and interesting, and it taught me a little bit about the Great Depression of the 1930s, without it being any kind of boring lecture. Finally, I’d tell my friend he should read it because it would make the author really, really happy.

Thanks Bill! Now, to get hold of a copy, click this link

Bill Condon
To follow the blog tour...

18 November Clancy Tucker 
19 November Sally Odgers 
20 November Sandy Fussell
23 November Elaine Ousten
24 November Melissa Wray
25 November Susan Whelan
26 November Romi Sharp

Promote Me Please blog is associated with Affordable Manuscript Assessments

It is open to anyone with a family-friendly creative endeavour to promote. Comments are welcome. To read other interviews at Promote Me Please, choose from the menu on the right of this post.

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