2 August 2016

Special Guest Post by Katy Haye: Why I tell stories...

Available on Amazon UK and Amazon US

City is the last civilised place left on a drowned Earth, a floating town built from metal and plastic from the Time Before. It’s the only home doctor's daughter Libby Marchmont has ever known or wanted – until her father helps the wrong patient and she's forced to flee...

Storytelling is an integral part of being human, I’m sure it’s what sets us apart from other animals. All human relationships are navigated through stories – “Do you remember when we...?” I love stories and I’ve wanted to be a storyteller since before I could read. There is, of course, a story behind that: my mum was reading me a bedtime book and I asked, “If you write a story, do you have to pay someone to make it into a book?” Mum explained that, no, the publisher will pay you, and that was it – I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up.

The publishing landscape has changed significantly since I was four, but I’m still happiest when I’m creating stories. My most recent release, Rising Tides, like most of my stories, evolved over time. Aspects of the story were prompted when different things crossed my awareness. First was an article on the provisions left behind when Scott’s Hut in the Arctic was abandoned after his ill-fated expedition. 

A more recent explorer brought back a tin of rhubarb and made a perfectly edible pie out of it – after nearly a hundred years. Because doomsday scenarios ricochet around my head, I started to think of scenarios where we might be compelled to eat 100-year-old supplies. And so, the drowned world of City was born, floating above abandoned houses and supermarkets packed with imperishable goods.

While I was writing other projects, this idea circled around and was fleshed out. The character of Cosimo was next, although he started out with a different name and backstory – I simply had a desperate boy on the doctor’s doorstep needing to undertake the nautilus operation (the implant of mechanical “gills”) that would transform his future.

More environmental doomsday followed – I read an article about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – a floating rubbish dump in the middle of the ocean (and when they say “great” they mean it – estimates range from as big as Texas to as big as the continental USA - being the sea, it does tend to move and change). With a bit (a lot!) of artistic licence, that became the Wastes, home of the reamers and boundary around the known world for my characters.

My heroine, Libby, joined the party then. She's the polar opposite of Cosimo - ferociously intelligent, but insecure, rule-bound and socially hopeless. I knew putting the two of them together would make sparks fly, and I loved putting them through all sorts of catastrophes.

Katy Haye

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About the author

Katy Haye spends as much time as possible in either her own or someone else’s imaginary worlds. She has a fearsome green tea habit, a partiality for dark chocolate brazils and a fascination with the science of storytelling. Katy writes fast-paced fantasy for YA readers. As well as Rising Tides she has written the Chronicles of Fane, the first of which, The Last Gatekeeper, is currently free on Kindle. Find out more at Katy’s website: katyhaye.com and find her on Facebpok and Twitter @katyhaye.

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