Monday, September 27, 2010

Interview: Keren David

Quick! Describe When I Was Joe in 7 words or less!
Ty witnesses murder, gets cool new identity. 

Awesome answer! What inspired you to write When I Was Joe?
I got the idea of writing about witness protection from an item on the news. It's still an unusual thing in the UK, not like the US. Then there was a terrible spate of knife crime in London, teenagers being killed by their peers. It all worked its way into the book.

What was the most difficult part when writing?
At first I was daunted by the idea of thinking as a 14-year-old boy. I only knew one teenage boy -  my nephew -  and he wasn't anything like Ty. But gradually that became easier, to the point where I almost felt as though I had a teenage boy in my head somewhere.

Fill in the blank: "I couldn't have written When I Was Joe without_______"
The evening class I attended at City University in Writing for Children. Inspiration, feedback, guidance and encouragement from a great tutor (writer Amanda Swift) and fellow students. The best £140 I ever spent.

What's one thing you hope readers take away with them after finishing this novel?
I hope it'll make them think about crime and punishment and what it's like being a teenage boy.

Sequel to WIWJ, out now in UK
Releases in April for USA
Anything else you'd like to add?
It's a very British book, full of very British words. To help American readers understand words like tossers and naff, I've made a glossary on my blog, which you can find here . It may be incomplete -  if there's any words which baffle you, just let me know and I'll translate!

I was so glad Keren had such a fabulous glossary on her site, it was so fun (and helpful) to read all the different slang and meanings :)

Thanks for stopping by and answering my questions, Keren! When I Was Joe is out now in the United States, so go find a copy, because this book is amazing! Don't believe me? Check out all these glowing reviews on the UK Amazon website



  1. Great interview! I see a lot of British books released with a glossary like that for us silly Americans to understand. Perhaps all us book addicts should start using that slang on a regular basis so the glossaries are no longer necessary? Heh... XD

  2. Awesome interview!! I'll be on the lookout for the book!

  3. This was such a fun interview! I love that the author made a glossary of words for us haha I have an English coworker who has all these phrases for everything that I just don't understand! I'll definitely keep my eye out for this one :)

  4. This book sounds wonderful! What a great interview. I'm off to check out the glossary. :)
    Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

  5. I loved reading this interview... and the 7 words... hilarious!

    I think the best part was reading that it was hard for her to get into the head of a teenaged boy... I always wonder about this with authors...and how much I just accept that it's a teenage boy because I can't be in ones head either.

    Do actual teenage boys read books about teenage boys and think, "What a load of bs!"???

    Thank you!

    New follower here too!!

  6. Here from the CEP.

    Great review! Thanks for putting this book on my radar! It sounds like such a good read!

  7. Hahhaa i find myself explaining slang to my american mate lol it's kinda fun to see you guys guessing our slang!

  8. This book sounds like it would be great for some of my more reluctant male readers. I'll have to try and get a copy. Thanks for the interview!

    Here from the CEP.

  9. A glossary of terms to help the US folks? AWESOME! Now that is something I reallly appreciate :)

  10. Thanks for the interview. I really need to try out this book!

    Visiting from YA Addict Comment Exchange Program
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  11. I loved the "couldn't have written it without" question. Very clever of her to put the slang dictionary on her site. Great interview - thanks!

  12. Very Interesting, I always like having the inside scoop

  13. I love that it's British! All those words make it easier to read it in the 'accent'. This is a great interview and I may just head over to amazon and buy a copy (after I pay bills cause I'm not sure anything will be left :(