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An interview with: Liz Kessler

By April 21, 2016 No Comments

[Words by: Suz Inman – Mightier Words]

Liz Kessler appeared on the Literature Festival stage at our 2016 festival.

Mermaids, fairies, ghosts and pirate dogs: author Liz Kessler’s tales are filled with colour, magic, and intrigue and adored by millions of young people across the globe.
We’re delighted to have her headlining our Lit Fest this year where she’ll share stories about her books, getting published and the writer’s life. We caught up with her for a pre-Festival chat…

On her latest publications…

The paperback that comes out at the time of the festival is called Read Me Like A Book. It’s about a 17-year-old girl exploring her sexuality and going from her last boyfriend to her first girlfriend via a massive crush on a teacher.

On common themes…

No matter what I’m writing about I always find myself writing about the things that matter to me. Things like looking after your friends, being good to your family, standing up for what you believe in, becoming comfortable with who you are.

On getting started…

When I was 8 or 9 I used to write poems and was convinced I was going to be a poet when I grew up but I got into journalism and teaching and forgot about writing for a long time. Then, some years later, I was on holiday playing a game called Fantasy Lives where you describe your ideal life and I realised I wanted to be a writer. So literally overnight I signed up for an MA in novel writing and went from there.

On her most successful series…

The most popular series I’ve written is the Emily Windsnap books. I think of her as a tomboy mermaid. She’s not really a girlie-girlie mermaid. She’s more the kind that gets into scraps and scrapes.

On the possibility of an Emily Windsnap film…

It’s probably the thing fans ask me about most, when the movie will be out. A Hollywood producer called Reid Shane has the option and the exciting thing that happened recently is he signed a major Hollywood director called Robert Stromberg who directed Malificent and was artistic director of films like Avatar and The Hunger Games. So that’s a big step. It still feels like a long way off and not real but it’s very exciting.

Hollywood director Robert Stromberg, who directed Malificent and worked on films including The Hunger Games has been signed up to work on developing Liz’s Emily Windsnap series into a potential film.

On Cornwall as an inspiration…

I sit working with a view of the sea and I go out walking the dog along the cliffs and coast paths. My second YA book which comes out in October is based on a small seaside town and some of the big dramatic scenes are completely inspired by the coastline around here.

On Porthleven…

I love it. I’m a keen photographer and it’s my go to place on a stormy day. I go there for big, dramatic waves and to watch the big boys surfing.

Find out more about Liz and her books at lizkessler.co.uk