SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - American author Ann Brashares travels through time for her latest novel but is also set to head into the future to revisit the girls from her popular “Traveling Pants” series with a book about their later lives.
Brashares, a book editor turned writer, made her name as the writer of the acclaimed series “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” which comprised four books running from 2001 until 2007 and also led to two movies.
Her first adult novel, “The Last Summer (of You and Me),” was published in 2007.
Her latest novel, “My Name is Memory,” released this month, is a star-crossed time-travel romance in which a couple chase each other from 6th century Africa to World War One, with the man having a rare ability to recall his past incarnations.
Brashares, who lives in New York with her husband and three children, spoke to Reuters about her writing:
Q: Is your new novel for adults or young adults?
A: “For me there is no hard line between young adult and adult fiction. The market has pointed out in the last few years that there is so much cross-over with adults reading what was considered young adult books. That is good for me as I don’t start out thinking that this is an adult book or a young adult book. I like writing about characters in their late teens and early 20s as there are so many tearing but wonderful things in that time of life.”
Q: Why the interest in that age?
A: “That is when people are largely deciding who they are going to love and what kind of life they want to have and where they belong ... I was 18 (when I met my husband) so I guess that does have an influence.”
Q: Does this make it hard to know what is appropriate for young adult readers?
A: “By the age of 13 or 14, if I recall my own adolescence, kids, if they are ready and interested, start to read adult books about that time. This book (My Name is Memory) is more sophisticated than the “Traveling Pants” were but it is not radically different. It is a magical, slightly metaphysical love story with a different tone.”
Q: Where did the idea for the book come from?
A: “The idea came to me all at once a little less than two years ago. I wrote the first page that first day then spent six months thinking about it and then six months working on it. I don’t know why but I just had this picture in my head of these two lovers and the woman says to the man let’s die together. This then triggered the idea that the man has died before so he has a sense that they will come out the other side and be together again.”
Q: Did you need to do a lot of research for the time travel?
A: “I love history and studied history in college. I have always loved historical fiction and history books. World War One is an interest of mine so I set a big chunk of the book there. It was mainly sticking with parts of history I was interested in.”
Q: Will you go back to the four girls from Traveling Pants?
A: “I made myself a deal way back that I would allow myself to revisit them in future life so I have been doing a bit of that lately. I am back with the girls and confronting a new and different set of things. I feel the four book series is complete but I am enjoying coming back to them in later life.”
Q: Any more movies in the works for your books?
A: “My Name in Memory is being developed very rapidly for the big screen but we’ll see, as there are many steps in the process.”
Q: Any advice for aspiring writers?
A: “Start something and finish it. A lot of people without a deadline and without anyone sitting waiting for them tend to start a lot of projects and get to a mid-point but don’t get past the hard point. Give yourself a structure and a deadline. Even have someone who loves you waiting for it then you know it is possible and you have something under your belt.”
Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Steve Addison