Monday 21 October 2013

Tabitha Suzuma - Author Interview

Tabitha Suzuma, author of Forbidden, Joins me on the blog today to talk about her newly released book, HURT



At seventeen, Matheo Walsh appears to have it all. He is a champion diver and a hot prospect for the Olympics. He is a heartthrob, a straight A student and lives in one of the wealthiest areas of London. he has great friends and is the envy of many around him. And most importantly of all, he is deeply in love with his girlfriend, Lola. He has always been a stable, well-adjusted guy...

Until one weekend. A weekend he cannot seem to remember. All he knows is that he has come back a changed person. One who no longer knows how to have fun, no longer wants to spend time with his friends, no longer enjoys diving. Something terrible happened that weekend - something violent and bloody and twisted. He no longer knows who he is. He no longer trusts himself around people; he only wants to hurt, wound and destroy. Slowly, he begins to piece back the buried, fragmented memories, and finds himself staring at the reflection of a monster.

Tormented, Matheo suddenly finds himself faced with the most devastating choice of his life. Keep his secret, and put those closest to him in  terrible danger. Or confess, and lose Lola forever...

Tabitha Suzuma

Tabitha Suzuma Questions and Answers

1) What was the inspiration behind HURT and how long did it take you to write?

It took me seven months to write. The inspiration came from trying to find a subject that was in some way taboo, or that at least wasn't recognized or discussed enough (in my opinion) in modern society. It was also inspired by wanting to write about a guy who on the surface appeared to have it all - the complete opposite of Lochan in FORBIDDEN - but beneath the surface suffered from a different type of neglect. 

2) While you were writing, did your characters behave as you wanted them to? Or did they take over and take the story in a different direction to what you had originally planned?

I don't know if the characters took the story in a different direction. But I had a small epiphany which completely changed the second half of the book.

3) What was the biggest challenge you faced while writing HURT?

Putting myself in Matheo's situation and experiencing his feelings in order to convey them as accurately as possible. He goes through a lot - and the entire book is written from his perspective. The ending was particularly painful and the sex scenes were a challenge to write from a teenage boy's point of view!

4)What do you hope readers will take away from the book?

A greater understanding of the 'issue' (I can't disclose it without spoiling the book) and more awareness and understanding and empathy for others in general. Also an awareness that people who are rich and successful and good-looking and popular can sometimes be the most lonely and isolated of all. And being extremely talented at something - in Matheo's case a diving prodigy tipped for the gold at the next Olympics - is not neccessarily something to be envied. It usually requires long hours of practice, huge sacrifices in terms of socialising and just relaxing, nerves of steel, pressure from a coach, from fans and even from friends, and the constant fear of failure.  

5) Can you tell us about any of your new or future projects?

I'm not working on anything at the moment. I haven't been well and it's been a difficult year so far. But I would like to write something  set at a university involving a love triangle and psychological mind games - perhaps something along the lines of Donna Tartt's THE SECRET HISTORY

6) What was the best piece of writing advice you were given, back when you were still an aspiring author?

'No writing is ever wasted' by author and mentoor KM Peyton.

7) And finally, just to add in a bit of random - who is your favourite childhood villain?

Cruella Deville! She always cracked me up.

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