Today, I have Tasman Anderson with me. 😀 😀 If you guys remember, I did a review for her book called Know Your Enemy
. I liked the characters so much that I contacted Tasman. Since then we have been in touch and she is so much fun to talk to. I loved interacting with her and hope the interaction continues. 😀 😀
I enjoyed her answers, so here is the interview I did with her. She is a real sweetheart. ❤ ❤ I hope you guys enjoy the interview as much as I did. 🙂
Tasman Anderson is an Australian author, writer and award-winning journalist. She has written for the Gold Coast Bulletin, Youth Journalism International, Q Magazine, Teen Voices and Loving Logan.
When she’s not spending her time ignoring the sunlight and writing young adult fiction, she’s most likely binging on Netflix and going on sushi dates with her best friends. Know Your Enemy is Tasman’s first novel.
Click on the picture to read my review of “Know Your Enemy.” 😀
1. What made you choose the title “Know your enemy” for your book?
I actually had a different title when the book was going in for its first edit. Initially, it was called ‘The Adventures of a Teenage Con-Artist’ but the title was too long and we needed something smaller. I started reading quotes from famous mobsters and found one that talked about knowing your enemy more than your friends. I just found it fit the book perfectly because you can never be sure who the real enemy is until the end.
2. That’s a smart reason. 😉 So, what makes Nicole, according to you, different from the other characters in the story apart from her being the protagonist.
I like to think Nicole was a victim of circumstance at first but then turned into the very thing that got her into the trouble in the first place. She doesn’t look for the immediate pay-off that the other characters do. She’s willing to wait for the long-term success of a career and I think that’s rare for her age. But, she is still a teenager and doesn’t always make the right choices. I think she grounds the group a little. She sees what the others are feeling and I think that impacts her decisions a lot, especially when it comes to Aiden.
3. Were there alternate endings you considered?
Oh good question! I always wanted a cliffhanger for an ending. At first, I considered having the group arrested and Nicole finding a way to manipulate the police into letting them go, or pinning it on someone else but that felt too close-ended. We chose the one it is now so it could have more of an old-school Thelma and Louise/Bonnie and Clyde feel to it. I also wanted to set it up for a sequel that would be action packed from the beginning.
4.True, this ending surely is a good opening plot for the next book. 😉 I know, from the acknowledgments, that you have your Libby (Laura Williams), was she the inspiration for Libby or for the friendship that Nicole and Libby shared or both?
She certainly was the inspiration for Libby in all aspects. Laura has been my best friend for 12 years and was the one who suggested I write a book about the things that were happening around us. We grew up in an area that has a fair bit of crime so it was fun to see how we could incorporate that into a young adult novel. Libby and Nic’s friendship is pretty much the type Laura and I had (and still do have) so it wasn’t difficult to write. Laura doesn’t have the bad traits that Libby had (i.e. she would never sell me out for popularity) but I did use some of Laura’s ‘screw them’ attitude. She’s an extremely strong and lively person, which I wanted Libby to be like.
(Well, I love Libby, that means I will have no problem liking Laura. 😛 )
5. Which character from the book did you find the easiest to write about?
Oh, definitely Aiden. He’s also my favourite to write as well. I just found it easy to write him because I enjoyed the scenes he had with Nicole. I grew up with a lot of guy friends who would try every possible corny move to get a girl and I loved the bad boy characters from all of the old movies. I just decided to mess them together. I’m definitely looking forward to writing more of Aiden in the next book.
6. What got left out in the final draft?
A lot of the main storyline is the same. In fact, very little was taken out of the final draft. We did cut back on some of the more ‘colourful’ language from Libby but I think I just got carried away. Also, we did cut out a bit of the characters’ back story so that we could focus on the action but a lot of that is being incorporated into the sequel so nothing has really been lost.
Let’s move on to the questions related to being an author: 🙂
1. Are you a plotter or pantster?
You know, I had to google ‘pantster’ to figure out what it meant 😛 Turns out, that’s what I am. I don’t do too well with structure at the beginning so I usually just write whatever pops into my head. I’m a plotter when it comes to the basic storyline but I usually write whatever comes to mind. I find that if I spend too much time organising the storyline, I get lost in the planning and never write a thing!
(The first time I came across the word, I googled it too. 😛 )
2. What’s more important for you: characters or plot?
I really can’t say because they are both so important.. A good book needs both well written characters and an intriguing plot. I’m guilty of spending a lot of time on my characters and their relationships but I would say that the plot is just as important. You need characters that the reader can fall in love with and you need a plot that keeps their attention until the very end.
3. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
This is my first book so it took me about 3 years. I originally wrote this when I was 16 but it was put on hold until I was 19. I then did all of the edits throughout my university years so it took a long time to get everything done. I was attending classes and working during the days and then working on assignments and writing/editing during the nights so it was a slow, slow process.
4. Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others?
Definitely the mob scenes. Like most of us, I’ve never actually been in contact with the mob and I didn’t want to write them like we see them in movies. I had to watch a lot of documentaries and read a lot of autobiographies to try and get it right. I also had to keep them toned down enough for the YA genre but still be scary and intimidating enough to be a threat. They were definitely more difficult than the other scenes.
5. You did a real good job at toning down the mob scenes. 😉 Which other genre you would want to try your hands on?
Horror and true crime, most definitely. I’ve always wanted to write an adult novel about the darker side of society. I think it’s my criminology side coming out of me but I grew up watching the crime channel and I was always so intrigued with what humans are capable of doing. I’d love to write a novel told through a serial killer’s point of view. I think it would be a big challenge.
6. Tell us about the cover and how it came about.
Oh god, my poor publisher. She had to put up with me being a complete perfectionist with the cover. I wanted something that was appealing to teenagers. A lot of books have plain covers now and that works just fine but I wanted a cover that people couldn’t help stopping to look at. I also wanted the cover to reflect the book, so we went with a warehouse/graffiti look. We were racing to have everything done for the release day and I think the designer did a fantastic job for the amount of time they had.
Let’s end this interview with some fun questions: ❤
1. What do you want your tombstone to say?
Is it weird that I’ve already thought about this? I didn’t come up with anything in particular because I want my family to be creative about it but I told my best friend that I wanted something that no one would ever expect in a cemetery. My friend and I have joked about making hilarious speeches to say at each others funerals so I’m hoping to have something hilarious. Now that you’ve mentioned it, I might have to ask her what she’d write.
2. Characters often find them in situations that they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?
I had to vacuum the other day and I was not able to get out of that…. just kidding, I’m not much of a rule breaker so I don’t have a lot of these situations. I can remember one very clearly. I have a fear of public speaking and I was supposed to do a 5 minute speech in front of my entire class for uni (120 people!). I was petrified so I lied and said my Nana died and I was too distraught to do it. I went to the uni’s doctor and put on a performance (I fake cried and everything) so they would write me a note to do the speech when I was feeling up to it. It was so terrible and my family always make jokes about it. Thankfully, my Nana is still alive and kicking.
3. That really was a wicked thing to do. 😛 That was fun but still share a fun fact with us before signing off. 😀
I can only seem to write when I’m listening to rap music. I have no idea why but I have to have it playing in the background. if I don’t, I struggle to write more than a paragraph.
It was so fun having you here. 😀 We will surely be doing something else soon. You guys can look forward to a guest post by Tasman. 😀
😀 Connect with Tasman. 😀
😀 Tasman’s Website- here