Interview: Kim Curran, author of Shift

I’m so excited to have brand new author Kim Curran on the blog today! Her new YA sci-fi SHIFT will be out Sept. 4th with Angry Robot Book’s brand new YA imprint Strange Chemistry. She was kind enough to answer a few of my questions, so please welcome her to the blog!

You have a degree in philosophy and a career in copywriting, mainly for videogames. What made you decide to take the plunge and write a book? Can you tell us a bit about your journey?
I always wanted to be a writer. In the same way I wanted to be a fighter pilot and a foreign correspondent and Joan of Arc. But I never thought any of it would actually happen (especially the Joan of Arc bit). So after finishing my Philosophy degree (which gave me an ability to think deep thoughts about being unemployed and little else) I got a job as an advertising copywriter. That was great for about 10 years. But then something rather tragic happened to a friend of mine and it reminded me very clearly that life is short and precious and you shouldn’t waste a second of it. So I decided then that what I really wanted to do, what I’d always wanted to do, was write a book. So I quit my job, went freelance, and started writing. A few years later and here I am.

Will you tell us a bit about Shift, and what you enjoyed most about writing it?
Shift is about a teen boy who realises he’s one of a group of kids with the power to undo any decision they’ve ever made. It’s a fast-paced, roller-coaster ride with quantum physics and stuff blowing up. The whole thing was such a joy to write, from the very first page – which I wrote in a cab on the way to work one morning – to the last – which I wrote in a hammock in Mexico – it all just flowed out of me. But my favourite bits to write were the scenes with Benjo, the baddy of the book. He’s just so deliciously disgusting that I had fun creeping myself out with him.

What are some of your biggest literary influences?
There are the obvious ones, like Anthony Horowitz and Charlie Higson and then the less obvious like Albert Camus and David Mitchell. But a lot of my influences also come from movies and comic books.

What was one of your favorite books as a child?
Expecting Someone Taller by Tom Holt. It’s Norse myths set in modern day and I’ve read it so many times the cover is falling off.

If you could read one book again for the first time, which one would it be?
Today, that would be Heart-Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne. It’s so fresh and raw and,well, heart-breaking. It teases out a secret all the way to the end, which keeps you reading and reading.

Is there anyone that would bring the fangirl out in you if you were to meet them?
Oh, loads of writers reduce me to a squeaking mess. But I’m worst around Patrick Ness. I was lucky enough to hear him speak about A Monster Calls. When I went to get the book signed afterwards I had planned on telling him what a huge fan I was and how much I adored his writing. All I could manage to say was; ‘My name is Kim. With an i’.

When you manage to find some free time, how do you like to spend it?
Hanging out with my friends mostly. I do a lot of lunches with friends which is one of the joys of not having a ‘normal’ job. I’ve also discovered how much I like going to the cinema on my own – no one to annoy me by asking silly questions. And, unsurprisingly, when I’m not writing I read. I find it hard to read when I’m in the middle of writing or editing, so I make up for it in my downtime.

What do you love the most about living in London?
Oh, so many things! Walking across Hungerford Bridge towards the South Bank where you can see all the famous landmarks: The Eye and The Houses of Parliament on one side and St Paul’s, The Shard and The Gerkin on the other. I never tire of that view. Then there are the wealth of museums and art galleries we have to explore for free. I keep discovering new ones. For example, I only just came across the Wellcome Collection after going to The British Library with some friends. It’s an amazing, bizarre exhibit, and highly recommended.

If you could pack your bags and travel anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you go?
I often pack my bags and head off. Last year, my husband and I travelled around Central America for three months. But if I had to pick just one place, it would probably be Essaouira in Morocco. Although ask me again tomorrow and it will be somewhere else.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us about upcoming projects or events (or anything at all!)?
I’ve just finished (bar the edits) the sequel to Shift, which is called Control and that will be out next year. I’m really excited about everyone reading it, as it has a rather exciting twist. Oh, and I’ve just decided to learn to fly. So maybe I can be a fighter pilot after all!
Keep up with Kim: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Read an excerpt of SHIFT

About SHIFT:
When your average, 16-year old loser, Scott Tyler, meets the beautiful and mysterious Aubrey Jones, he learns he’s not so average after all. He’s a ‘Shifter’. And that means he has the power to undo any decision he’s ever made. At first, he thinks the power to shift is pretty cool. But as his world starts to unravel around him he realises that each time he uses his power, it has consequences; terrible unforeseen consequences. Shifting is going to get him killed. In a world where everything can change with a thought, Scott has to decide where he stands.
Purchase SHIFT: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound

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