Thursday 8 October 2015

UKMG Extravaganza blog tour! Q&A with Emma Shevah

I'm happy to be hosting author Emma Shevah today on the UKMG Extravaganza blog tour! Me and Emma have quizzed each other with a whole host of random questions - I hope you enjoy the post :)

Emma's Answers...

1. Were you named after anyone?

Yes, Emma Peel in the Avengers (which stands for ‘Man Appeal’, apparently, although that’s never been confirmed).

2. When was the last time you cried?

A couple of days ago. Life is hard at the moment.

3. If you were another person, would you be friends with you?

I would actually. But I’d take me out to have fun, not just sit talking and drinking wine or going to book talks and events. Although having me to go with would be so great.

4. Do you use sarcasm a lot?

Me? I don’t ever, ever use sarcasm. Ever. Disgraceful habit. (Yes).

5. Would you bungee jump?

I would have when I was young but now I'm a wuss. Being a parent makes you more fearful because you don’t want your children to grow up without a mother (least that’s what I think the reason is. Maybe I’m just a wuss and that’s all there is to it).

6. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?

Not if I can help it. I’m always in a rush and I’m a lazy shoe remover.

7. What is your favourite ice cream?

My children and I are all mad about Ben and Jerry’s so we eat far too much of it. I like Phish Food, the Core varieties – most of them actually. And Häagen Dazs Strawberries and Cream, Vanilla. We love ice cream but it has to be good ice cream, and for me, not too sweet.

8. What is the first thing you notice about people?

The air around them and the look in their eyes. Their clothes and their mannerisms. The way they speak. I think you take a lot in all at the same time.

9. What do you miss the most?

Travelling. I have a nomadic soul and I love the world so not being able to move through and across it is so hard for me. It aches like you can’t believe so I try and wangle short trips to fill me up again. Humdrum routine day to day life is difficult for us adventurers but I love my children so I’m seeing them through school and then I’m planning to rethink.

10. What is really burning in you that you must do/see before you die?

I haven’t been to Africa, Central or South America or Canada yet so seeing those places is burning in me. Also writing my story, if only for my grandchildren, because it’s an amazing tale.

11. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be?

I’m really, really glad I’m not a crayon but if that was my lot in life, I’d be orange.

12. Favourite smell?

Jasmine and lilies, fresh bread, Thai or Indian food cooking (most Asian food actually), the air during or after rain, Nag Champa incense. The ocean. Boarding passes.

13. Favourite sport to watch?

Football. I used to watch it all the time but now I’m too busy so I watch the World Cup. I love the World Cup.

14. Favourite dessert?

Ice cream. Crumble with ice cream. Sticky toffee pudding or hot chocolate cake with ice cream. Fruit salad (I can handle it without ice cream).

15. Scary movies or happy endings?

I hate scary. I like happy endings but not cheesy ones.

16. An extra reading hour or an extra hour in bed?

An extra hour in bed reading.

17. Last movie you watched?

I hardly ever watch them any more and I’ve started watching series now, but I think it was Happy Gilmore with my son, who is twelve and wanted me to watch with him.

18. Best compliment you've ever received?

Oh wow. No idea. People used to say I was gorgeous and beautiful, which is nice and everything, but I think all the amazing reviews Amber is getting in America is the best compliment in my eyes. (Notice I said ‘used to.’)

19. What book are you reading?

I’m trying to read 100 books this year but I’m only up to 36 or 37. I’ve just finished both of Jandy Nelson’s books and I’m now reading Shakespeare’s Richard II because I’ll be teaching it and don’t know it yet.

20. Any news you want to tell everyone?

That question makes me want to blurt out something joyful and exciting like ‘Yes! I’m pregnant!’ but I’m not. Those days are long over. My news is that Amber has just been reviewed in the Wall Street Journal and is going to be reviewed in the New York Times in a children’s book supplement on 8th November, which is SO EXCITING. And doesn’t involve childbirth at the end, which is an added bonus.

21. Would you rather have a dragon or be a dragon?

I’d rather be a sparrow than a snail. Yes, I would. If I could, I surely would. (That’s from a song that only old people will know). I think I’d rather be a dragon because I’ve always dreamed of flying.

22. Would you rather be able to turn invisible or be able to fly?

See previous answer. But being invisible would be so cool too.

23. Would you rather read books or write books?

That, my friends, is a horrible, horrible question. I refuse to answer it. It’s like saying would you rather breathe or eat? I couldn’t survive on only one of them. But I’d probably say read. I couldn’t survive a day without reading.

24. Would you rather only be able to whisper everything or only be able to shout everything?

I’m no shouter. I’d hate to whisper because it’s so frustrating but I hate shouting so what choice have you left me? Hmm? Hmm?

25. Would you rather never be able to speak again or always have to say everything that is on your mind?

I’d rather speak everything on my mind, in which case I’ll start now by saying that is also a horrible question and what kind of mean person would ever ask a question like that and both of those scenarios freak me out because I’m very private and diplomatic and care about people’s feelings and take care every day to watch my tongue and what comes out of my mouth and never gossip or speak badly of people, so saying everything on my mind would be abhorrent but I’m also a social animal and need conversation and would hate to be muted. Actually, on second thoughts, I think I’d rather be unable to speak because look how much I’d end up saying every time because I have lots on my mind, but like always.

Phew, good job that’s not an actual choice.

Sophie's Answers...

1. Where were you born?

In Bradford, in the UK. 22 years ago to this date, actually :)

2. Were you named after anyone?

I’m not sure who she is but I was named after a character in Aussie soap Home and Away that my mum liked…

3. What’s your favourite cereal?

I eat Cornflakes religiously. Even when I was a kid, I used to hover around my dad whilst he ate his breakfast and nick his Cornflakes. I obviously don’t do that now (yeah right) 

4. How many countries have you been to?

I’ve never been anywhere but England. I don’t even own a passport.

5. Where is your favourite place and why?

Obviously after the last question, I don’t have many places to choose from. We have just a couple of weeks ago come back from a holiday in Whitby, though, and I fell in love with the area. It’s scenic and beautiful and there’s lots to do. Plus there’s two pretty fab bookshops which I’m missing at home!

6. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

I can’t think of anything. I feel so boring.

7. What’s the first thing you notice about people?

Their smile and laugh. Or what book they’re reading!

8. What’s the most noticeable thing about you?

Probably my ridiculously long hair. At bookish events, when everybody’s trying to link people to their Twitter profile pics, they recognize me straight away, without fail.

9. Can you keep secrets?


10. What are you listening to right now?

The loud purring kitten I’m looking after.

11. What football team do you support?

Newcastle United. We lost 6-1 at the weekend so it’s a bit of a sore subject…

12. Any news you want to tell everyone?

Yes. It’s my birthday! :D

13. Name some of your favourite books.

This is a never-ending questions. Recent faves are The Judas Scar by Amanda Jennings, Love Bomb by Jenny McLachlan, The Memory Book by Rowan Coleman, Three Amazing Things About You by Jill Mansell…

14. What book are you reading now?

The Trouble With Words by Suzie Tullett, for a blog tour on Friday.

15. What is your favorite ice cream flavour?

Mint choc chip!

16. Blue or purple?


17. Summer or winter?

Autumn, please!

18. What was the last thing you ate?

Minced beef hotpot for tea last night :)

19. What is the least favorite thing about yourself?

Looks wise, I have a whole host of things to pick from! But my most least favourite thing is my nerves and how they constantly make me feel grotty.

20. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?

Yellow! Because it’s bright and happy and sunshiney and that is the complete opposite of me as a human ;)

21. What was the last film you watched in the cinema?

I hardly ever go so I’m not 100% sure. Probably World War Z, which I loved.

22. What’s your favourite sound?

The postman knocking on the door as he brings me all my lovely new books…

23. Favorite smells?

Pizza smell! 

24. What is really burning in you that you must do /see before you die?

So many things! I have planned out my life (and so far, it's going in the complete opposite direction). But for now, I'd love to experience life in London for a while and write something people will love.

25. What are you working on now?

I’ve got a little writing project going on at the moment – coming back from holiday, I saw something that set my imagination whirring so we’ll see how that goes.


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