Sunday, February 6, 2011

Rock This! Thursday with Savita Kalhan + Giveaway

Just by reading the synopsis of The Long Weekend, I know that I’m going to be on edge while reading it. Have you always written thriller-type stories?
No, I haven’t. The first think I wrote was an epic fantasy trilogy, which took a few years to write, but I did have a baby in that time and move across continents! Then I started writing more of a contemporary novel, which had its core a darker theme. Gradually the monsters of the fantasy trilogy were replaced by real ones. Then I wrote The Long Weekend.

What were some of your favourite books to read while growing up?I actually read the entire contents of the children’s library when I was growing up, so this is such a difficult question for me to answer. I had so many favourites at different stages of childhood. I loved Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton. I wanted to be Anne Shirley of Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery, and Jo March of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I read all the fairy tales, myths and legends and folk tales from all across the world. I loved folk tales from Scandinavia.

I was lucky because my town library was so well-stocked. That may be changing with all the cuts the government is now making in libraries in the UK and it’s terrible and despicable and criminal, but don’t get me started on that...

You’re walking down the street – what song is following you?There is a Nina Simone song, which I’ve always loved. It strikes a chord somewhere deep in me and I can often hear it playing in the background. It’s called I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to be Free.

What was the publishing process like for you?It was an eye-opener! I wish I had known a published writer then as I didn’t have much of a clue as to how it all worked. I was so naive. Beyond what was written in The Writers and Artists Yearbook, I didn’t know much else. It was a long slow learning curve for me, and eventually, I did find out, but I lost so much time and made so many mistakes.

Is this your first finished novel or have you written other stories?The Long Weekend is my first published novel. I have three finished teen/YA stories, still in manuscript form at the moment, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they will eventually find their way into a bookshop!

If The Long Weekend was turned into a movie, and let’s pretend you can pick the cast, who do you see playing Sam and Lloyd?
This is such a tough one! At the moment I can’t see anyone, but if your readers would like to give you suggestions, I’d happily look at them before I decide!

Is there a genre out there you don’t plan on ever writing?Hmm, I wouldn’t like to say – when I was writing the fantasy trilogy I didn’t think that I would ever write a thriller, and certainly not one that scared the life out of everyone! I suppose there are some genres that I don’t think I would ever write: I’d love to write humour, but I’m not sure it’s my thing, and bodice-ripping yarns are definitely not for me!

When you’re not writing, what are some of your hobbies?Writing is pretty consuming, and all the other stuff that surrounds the profession of being a writer in today’s world can be just as time-consuming! But I do make time for my hobbies! I love running and boxing, and I try to go to the gym most days. Writing is such a sedentary business and an early morning gym session really sets me up for the day. I also like gardening and dabble at growing things – my best successes are tomatoes and chillies, which are a great combination! I also play lots of tennis, and I love reading.

Did you base any of your characters off of people you know yourself?No, I didn’t, not at all. In some of my work, I have based characters on people that I have known – usually very loosely based, or just in even a trait that they possess may find its way into a character, but not with The Long Weekend.

Have you experienced any ‘rock star’ writing moments since your book has been out?The Long Weekend was shortlisted for the Fabulous Book Award 2010 and I was asked to attend the awards ceremony. It was to be a whole morning event with two other authors, Rachel Ward and Alexander Gordon Smith, also attending, and lots of teens from different schools in south London. When I walked into the hall a cheer went up – the kids had all read my book and had obviously checked me out on the internet as well, and so they knew what I looked like. For me, that was a real ‘rock star’ moment!


Sam knows that he and his friend Lloyd made a colossal mistake when they accepted the ride home. They have ended up in a dark mansion in the middle of nowhere with man who means to harm them. But Sam doesn't know how to get them out. They were trapped, then separated. Now they are alone. Will either of them get out alive? This gripping and hypnotic thriller will have you reading late into the night.

Savita has donated a copy of The Long Weekend for one of my readers! 

  • Must be 13 years old to enter 
  • Giveaway ends February 13th at 11:59 PM central time
  • Winner will be emailed



Kristen My Bookish Fairy Tale said...

This looks like an amazing book! Thanks so much for sharing

Bidisha said...

Really liked reading this!

Reading said...

Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to win this.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

tetewa said...

Sounds good, count me in!