How, What, Where and When? with Keren David, on 'The Disconnect'.

I am delighted to have Keren David appearing in my (still sort-of new) series, How What Where and When! In this post, the queen herself will be answering my Qs on her new Barrington Stoke book, ‘The Disconnect’

'The Disconnect' is about Esther and her peers accepting a challenge to go without their mobile phones for 6 weeks, with the promise of cash and a job at the end of it – I mean, is there a downside to that…? 

Hey, angelic Keren! Thank you so much for being part of this series. 

Hi lovely Grace! Thank you so much for asking me to do this. 

Okay, I’m going to mix up the order of questions for you, I think – we’ll start with a When! As in, when did you think up this (brilliant) premise for a short story?

Thank you!  I think it was in the course of a conversation with my son who was revising for A levels. I was talking about the benefits of cutting down on screen time, he was unconvinced. It was the conversation we'd had a million times. And then I asked what it would take for him to give up his much money... and it developed from there. (Naturally I didn't pay him. He needs to develop self control. And so do I)

What do we need to know about the story of Esther, her friends and her family? 

Esther's an ordinary Y11 girl, living in north London. Her mum and step-dad run a cafe, her dad and sister live in New York. So her phone isn't just Esther's way of keeping in touch with friends, it's also a lifeline for Facetime-ing half her family.  As for her friends – their socialising is partly on the phone, partly off. They're communicating all day long.  But how much do they really know about each other? (Whoops, now I'm asking the questions!)

Where do you find is best to go to write? A cafe, maybe? Or do you stay at home?

Anywhere but home. Best place is a deserted cafe, with no music, no one else there, and no internet.  Hard to conjure up.

How did you create such 3D characters? Any tips for aspiring authors? 

I work on voice a lot before I can write a book. I need to know the narrator so I can hear them speaking to me. That sounds a bit airy-fairy, but it just means that there needs to be separation between them and me. I can't write my own story – it has to be someone different that I've dreamed up. 

My main tip for aspiring authors is to write every day, to write the book you want to read, and to write without fear.  It doesn't have to be perfect first time. 

Thank you so much for your answers, Keren! You’re a babe. 

Readers, you can grab this brilliant book from Barrington Stoke, or on The Book DepositoryOR order it into Big Green Bookshop, perhaps. (also the big book stores/websites, but let’s support the little guys, shall we?) 


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