Q & A with Author of Banished, Liz De Jager

  1.           Are there any children’s books/young adult books that made a big impression on you when you were growing up, and if so, why?

I didn’t really read a lot of YA when I was growing up mostly as there really weren’t that many YA books out there for us to read.  I remember having to read Fiela se Kind and Kringe in ‘n Bos and a few other set work books for school, obviously.  I also remember a book called Griet Skryf ‘n Sprokie which was incredibly divisive in its day.  I read a lot though as I convinced my mum to get me a library card so I ended up reading a lot of historical fiction and my dad loved Westerns so I read those too.  And I loved mythology and fairy tales and read as much of that as I could get my hands on.

2.          When did you know you were meant to be an author?

I don’t know.  I remember sitting down after reading something, possibly In The Hall Of The Dragon King, and wanting to write adventures for the main character called Quentin.  So I did that.  My parents bought me a typewriter and my dad got me reams of paper from his office and that’s what I did all through high school when I wasn’t doing homework or being naughty. I wrote stuff.  So I guess, from pretty early on then.  But I never thought I’d actually be writing books that a) would get published b) sell to a publisher until we moved to the UK. It wasn’t actually something I thought of being ‘real’.  And it still pretty much feels like a dream come true.

3.          Did you find your genre of book easy to write, something you had always wanted to do, or was it an inspired thought one day?

I love genre books! I read the stuff all the time.  I knew for some time that I wanted to write an urban fantasy.  I love the idea of this world hidden from the average human; this place where you can fall through the cracks and suddenly be faced with a monster ready to chew your face off.   And, to be honest, writing urban fantasy is both the easiest thing and the hardest thing you can do.  Obviously you have your average human world which works as average human worlds would.  But then you have to add layers to that world to make it different enough to make the other that you’re writing about seem possible.  There’s got to be rules and they have to be well laid out otherwise it would be chaos.

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