1. Is this a first book in a new series?
Dare to Dream is the first book in the Maggie Trafford trilogy. I’m currently working on the second book in the series, Dare to Believe.
2. What inspired you to write this book?
A while ago I read Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. If you’ve not read it, it’s quite a bleak tale about a post-apocalyptic world. You’re never really told what happened to the world, you just endure the exhausting quest for survival with the MC and his son.
The challenge of writing about a destroyed world really appealed to me. But I wanted to give my own story some more context, I wanted to describe what happened to the world and experience the destruction first hand. Then I started thinking about what if someone knew the world was going to end? And what if no one would listen because they were just a fourteen year old British school girl? And from those initial thoughts Dare to Dream was developed.
3. Who is your favorite character in the book and why?
I think Dawn would have to be my favourite character as she’s bubbly, pretty and popular (all the things I wanted to be when growing up) but she is also fiercely loyal and would stand by Maggie through anything, even the end of the world. She’s the kind of best friend I think everyone deserves to have.
4. Who do you most relate to?
The character I relate to the most is Maggie. She’s studious and quite withdrawn from her peers and that was definitely me. I was very much a geek in school and still am today! But now I wear that badge with pride!
5. When did you start writing?
I’ve always been interested in writing. When I was a teenager I used to write short horror stories which I’d create front covers for in the style of the Point Horror series which I used to just adore!
I was twenty three when I wrote my first full length novel, First to Fall and if anything I wish I’d started writing books sooner.
6. What inspired you to start writing?
From an early age I fell in love with reading. I loved how I could open the pages of a book and be transported away from my little corner of rain soaked England to the wide open plains of America or outer space. I was keen to create some of them magic for myself and so I started writing and jotting down story ideas.
7. Were any of the characters based on real people?
No, I don’t tend to base the characters in my books on anyone as I feel there is too much danger in it. I’d hate someone to think a character was based on them and then that character does something awful or dies and the person reads too much in to that. So if anyone reads my books and thinks a character is based on them I can promise that it’s merely a coincidence.
8. How did you get the idea for this book?
After reading The Road I was inspired to write an apocalypse story of my own. I can get ideas from a number of weird and wonderful places. Two of the books I’ve written are based on dreams that I had…
9. What are your favorite books?
For sentimental reasons I will always love Little House on the Prarie. Other books I’d count as favourites include Flowers in the Attic, Looking for Alaska and Let the Right One In. I like books that surprise me.
10. Do you have any advice for young writers?
Write as much as you can! But more importantly write the books that you want to read. It’s tempting to look at what trends are popular or write what you think other people will like but ultimately the best advice I’ve ever received is simply to sit down and write the book that I’d love to read.