The nominations for awards are stacking up for author Kerry Drewery: A BRIGHTER FEAR was shortlisted for the Leeds Book Awards, whilst A DREAM OF LIGHTS was Carnegie nominated, awarded Highly Commended at the NETeen Book Awards and shortlisted for the Hampshire Independent Schools Book Award. Kerry is also a Patron of Reading.
Here’s Kerry reading from her work at a recent appearance at Waterstones Lincoln:
But I knew her way back when she was a student of writing, doing her BA in Professional Writing. We met as I was her tutor for Prose Fiction – we kept in touch and once I left the college we soon became friends and have been good mates ever since.
I remember one of the first homework tasks I set for Kerry’s group was to create a new cartoon character and produce a basic script for a cartoon strip. Kerry came back with a tiny dragon who lived on the kitchen tap.
It was so imaginative and touching. I knew immediately that this was the product of a very interesting mind and as she produced more work, I could see that her writing skills absolutely matched that talent.
I’ve asked Kerry some questions about her early writing and how it has influenced the rest of her career so far.
- What were your earliest full-length pieces of writing about? Do they have themes in common?
- When you look back at your early work, do you see glimmerings of the writer you are now and if so, what elements were always there?
- I read the Office of Imaginary Friends, the novel you wrote before A Brighter Fear and loved it. Can you tell us a little about this novel and how you came up with the ideas for it?
- There was quite a change of subject matter between this early novel and the two that followed it; A Brighter Fear & A Dream of Lights deal with serious, real-world issues set in very specific places and times. They illuminate parts of history that might have been overlooked by modern teen readers. Where did the catalyst come from to begin A Brighter Fear? Were you aware you were perhaps moving in a different direction? Or do you see distinct connections between your early work and your published novels?
- Can you share with us something about what you’re working on now, perhaps just the genre or time setting?
Kerry signing books at Waterstones.
- Are there different genres, audiences or areas of writing different from your first published novels that you think you might try in the future?