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Monday, October 6, 2014

H2O Blog Tour {Author Interview}


I'm excited to have the H2O Blog Tour stopping by today with my fun interview with author Virginia Bergin...

H2O
by Virginia Bergin
10/7/14
Sourcebooks Fire

.27 is a number Ruby hates.

It's a number that marks the percentage of the population that has survived. It's a number that means she's one of the "lucky" few still standing. And it's a number that says her father is probably dead.

Against all odds, Ruby has survived the catastrophic onset of the killer rain. Two weeks after the radio started broadcasting the warning, "It's in the rain. It's fatal and there's no cure," the drinkable water is running out. Ruby's left with two options: persevere on her own, or embark on a treacherous journey across the country to find her father-if he's even still alive.


What three words best describe your book, H2O?
Scary, sad and . . . funny?!

Grab a copy of H2O and answer the following:
favorite chapter?
Well . . . I do love The Chapter of Shame, not just because there’s a really special kiss, but because I think it ends with a tiny glimpse of the true, inner Ruby – not the feisty (sometimes mean!) girl with a lot to say for herself, not the frightened girl whose mind is buzzing with jumbled memories, but a young human being with deep emotions who is capable of great love!

favorite page?
Argh! So difficult! Too difficult! I’m going to say the very first page because when I sat down to write this story, that’s when Ruby turned up. I had no idea what she was going to sound like, but she just opened her mouth and . . . then she wouldn’t shut up!

favorite setting/place in book?
The plastic polytunnel! I can just imagine her in there, surrounded by beautiful flowers as the deadly rain drums down . . .

flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 sentences teaser:
‘Simon, are we going to die?’
He didn’t answer for a bit, then he laid his knife and fork down. He said, ‘I don’t know.’

What inspired H20? How did the story come to be?
It started in 2007! I think I must have read an article about meteorites or astrobiology in a magazine called New Scientist (it’s a great place to look for inspiration) and wondered what it would be like if an alien life form got into our water cycle. I wrote a screenplay about it – my attempt at a Hollywood blockbuster! – but I shelved it because it lacked heart. Then, in 2013, a teen friend gave me a copy of The Hunger Games and said I HAD to read it. I thought it was brilliant and it made me wonder what it would be like if I re-wrote H2O from a teen’s perspective . . .

Can you tell us a bit about your heroine, Ruby? What makes her special and sets her apart from other YA heroines?
Ah, Ruby. I love her so! I really can’t compare her to other YA heroines because - shock horror! – I’m completely new to the whole world of YA. (I’ve got a lot of catching up to do!)

Ruby has only just turned 15 and in many ways I think she still seems pretty immature. I also think her self-esteem isn’t that great. I think she’s been hanging on to a lot of hurt from the past (when her parents divorced) and blaming the wrong person for it (her step-dad, Simon). And I think she’d go nuts if she heard me describing her like that . . . but under all her bluff and bluster I think she has a good, kind heart. (I also think she’s pretty funny. I like the way she sees the world - sometimes!)

But what makes her special - to me – is that she isn’t special. That is to say, she is special in the way that we all are – just by being our true selves. Ruby longs to be brilliant at something, but she’s already brilliant at being Ruby.

In H2O, Ruby must survive in a dangerous, new world...what would you say are the three most important things or skills one must have to survive in this world?
An umbrella? Just kidding! How about . . .
  1. THINKING
  2. COOPERATING
  3. QUESTIONING . . . that’s going to be really, really important in the next part of the story.

If you could borrow any character (from any book or movie or tv show) and make them Ruby’s BFF, who would you pick and why?
Obviously, Ruby needs to hang out with someone like Katniss Everdeen because of her bravery and her survival skills, but I’m not really sure how well they’d get on! (That would be such a fun fantasy story to write: When Ruby Met Katniss.)

Fill in the blanks:
I’m really awesome at making a fool of myself. Seriously, I’m really, really good at it.

I’m really embarrassed to admit that before I wrote H2O, the only contemporary YA book I had read was The Hunger Games.

The last great book I read was The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai. It came out in 2006, but I only read it at the beginning of this year. It is so beautifully written it is still my favourite of 2014.

If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by H2O, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?
I think it’d have to be called The Scary Planet. It would have an earth-brown chocolate cake with swirls of green and blue frosting speckled with tiny, fizzy, blood-red sugar raindrops . . . and when you bit into it, there’d be this glow-in-the-dark orange-flavored ‘lava’ goo that would splurge into your mouth. Yum?

Thank you to Aeicha for asking these tricky questions and for inspiring me to create what will surely be the cupcake hit of the century . . . and thank you to my publishers, Sourcebooks Fire.

Now, who wants to take first bite of The Scary Planet?

Thank you so much for stopping by, Virginia!

Virginia Bergin learned to roller-skate with the children of eminent physicists.
She grew up in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, in a house tied to her father’s job. Her parents, the children of Irish and Polish immigrants – and one Englishwoman – had moved from Liverpool to the south of England in search of work.
Virginia studied psychology but ruined her own career when, dabbling in fine art at Central St Martins, she re-discovered creative writing. Since then she has written poetry, short stories, film and TV scripts and a play that almost got produced – but didn’t.
In between and alongside more jobs than you’ve had hot dinners, she has worked as a writer on TV, eLearning and corporate projects and has 22 broadcast and non-broadcast TV credits, from children’s favourite Big Cat Diary Family Histories (BBC) to the award-winning series Africa (Tigress Productions for National Geographic). Most recently, she has been working in online education, creating interactive courses for The Open University.
She currently lives on a council estate in Bristol and has taken to feeding the birds.




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