Boy Bands

YA Shot: Character Interview with Sophia Bennett

YA SHOT BANNER SIDE

Welcome to my stop on the YA Shot Tour!

love-song-667x1024YA Shot is an author-run, author-led Young Adult and Middle Grade festival that raises the money and resources to run a year-long programme pairing libraries and schools for free author events to foster a love of reading, inspire a passion for writing, and encourage aspirations to careers in the Arts. The festival takes place on the 22nd of October this year. For more information about YA Shot, click here.

I have paired up with the wonderful Sophia Bennett to interview the characters of her newest novel, Love Song.

So without further ado, here we go…

The door is flung open, and four boys stroll in casually as if they own the place. They are  members of The Point; Jamie, Angus, Connor and Declan. They all take a seat, Angus slouching so low in his chair, it is uncertain whether he may just slide straight off. 
Connor discreetly checks himself out in a nearby mirror and pleased with what he sees, smiles smugly. 
 
The sound of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” fills the air, and Jamie whips out an iPad and proceeds to accept an invitation to video chat with George a former member of The Point, who is joining us for this interview over Skype. 
Once everyone is settled, the signal is given and the cameras start rolling. The interview begins.

#1 What is it like to be part of The Point? Did you ever see yourself becoming this successful?

 

Angus: It’s just messing around with my mate Jamie, really – when he’s not being an idiot with some woman. We’ve been doing it since we were 12. That’s how the music got made. As for the success, nobody ever sees themselves getting this successful. Nobody who cares about the music, anyway. This is crazy successful. This is ridiculous. It’s distracting. Sometimes I seriously wonder if it’s going to drive me mad. 

Connor: It’s incredible. The best feeling in the world. Being on the biggest stages in the world, meeting the celebrities, being on tour … Who wouldn’t want that? Ignore Angus, he’s an ungrateful idiot. I never thought we’d get this big, but we did it thanks to our fans.Thank you, Pointer Sisters! We love each and every one of you. Well, Angus obviously doesn’t, but I do.

Jamie: The Point is my family. My real family wasn’t so … Anyway. Angus is like the brother I never had, and Connor and George … and now Declan … when we play together we have this bond that’s magical. I love that the fans see that. Sometimes it’s scary being in the middle of this fame bubble. If it wasn’t for the other lads, I couldn’t take the craziness. They’re the only other people in the world who get what it’s really like – apart from Nina. Sometimes, when there’s yet another story about me online, I think I’m going to give it all up, but the music makes it worth it. That and the fans singing along to one of our songs, on a starlit evening in the desert. Yeah, not many people get to have an experience like that. Then I feel like the luckiest man in the world.

George: What was it like? It was like being in a rocket, going to Mars. It was like the wildest dream you ever had, going on and on and on. I don’t remember too much about it, because I was mostly out of it, but some of those memories were sooooo goooooood. And then there were times I was so lonely I cried myself to sleep. I miss it, but if I’d stayed in the band I’d be dead by now. So it’s like, thank you, but no thank you. You know what I mean? 

Declan: I only joined recently, so the other boys were already megastars by then. I’ll never be as famous as them, and that doesn’t matter. They write great songs, they play great music – that’s what I care about. And they’re a laugh, man. We laugh all the time. I’m just glad the fans have forgiven me for not being George. They seem OK with it, so that’s OK by me. 

#2 What were your initial impressions of Nina?

Jamie: She was special. Our eyes locked … Oh, OK – you want the truth? I hardly noticed her. First she was just someone’s sister. Then she was this crazy person who threw a blanket on my girlfriend and looked like she was trying to kill her. If the bodyguards hadn’t pulled her away, I would have. Then she was this annoying person Sigrid hired to follow us around, so I never got any privacy. It took me a long time to see her properly. I’m an idiot, I admit that. A total idiot. She knows that. 

Angus: Boring. Quiet. Shy. Obviously my enemy, because she was working for The Queen of Evil. You know what they say on the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? ‘Mostly harmless’. Yeah, that. Then she read Thomas Hardy to me in my room at night and didn’t make a move on me. After that, I thought she was … interesting. More than interesting. If she wasn’t obviously goggle-eyed over Jamie, I might have tried something. Yeah, probably would have. OK, definitely would have. In fact, still might. Look out, Jamie. 

George: Sigrid was the worst thing to happen to The Point on tour, and Nina was one of the best. Everybody else saw rock stars. She saw right through us. She saw us, you know? She saw me, anyway. Saw that I was hurting. Tried to help me. Believe me, if I wasn’t so into Kelly, I’d have fallen at her feet. Probably drunk, but I’d have fallen, totally.

Connor: I really don’t remember. She was just one of the girls on tour. There were so many. Then, at the Hall, she was the first girl I’d met in years who didn’t try and impress us. She put Jamie and Angus in their place, which was a laugh. Yeah, the more I knew her, the more I liked her. Not my type, but still, if she’d shown any interest … However, Jamie was so obviously into her I wouldn’t have stood a chance. And I don’t say that very often.

Declan: I first met her at Heatherwick Hall. She looked scared, a bit how I felt, but gentle and kind. I liked her. Didn’t get why the other guys were so mean to her. I loved how she didn’t let it bother her, though. I think she’s a friend for life. Hope so, anyway.

#3 If you were able to bring anyone back to life, who would it be?

Angus: Elvis. There are so many questions I need to ask him. But maybe all the stories are true. Maybe he’s living on the moon, or working in a diner or something. Who knows? If not Elvis, then Edgar Allen Poe. He had a dark imagination, man. I would love to talk to him. 

Jamie: Janis Joplin. The most soulful singer I ever heard. Wish I could have sat at her feet and watched her. Wish I could talk to her now. She died at 27 – like the greats always do. What is it about 27? If I reach 28, I’m going to throw the biggest party in the world, man. 

Angus: You’re so death-obsessed. Stop taking yourself so seriously!

Jamie: This from the guy who sleeps in black satin sheets and travels everywhere with a skull
Angus: It’s my good luck charm!
Jamie: I rest my case. 

#4 Who would your ideal band comprise of?

Jamie: Flea from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers on bass, John Bonham from Led Zeppelin on drums, Prince on keyboards, guitar and whatever other instruments he wanted to play, Mozart on keyboards too. Seriously. If he’d been around in the era of rock and roll, he’d have been the greatest. Me and Angus on guitar. Jimi Hendrix for the occasional solo. Stevie Nicks, maybe. OK, not so much a band, more a historical travelling circus. 

# 5 What was the most embarrassing moment on your life?

Connor: Yacht in the Med. Skinny dipping with some friends. Paparazzi with long lenses. My mum on the phone for, like, an hour, telling me how all her friends had seen my … 

 

Angus: Yeah, and how unimpressive it was. They only needed to pixelate this tiny, tiny, space …

Jamie: Didn’t she say they needed a magnifying glass? 
Declan: Stop lying, Connor. You loved those pics, because that yacht was huge. Anyway, nothing beats Windy telling you guys I was joining the band and watching your reactions. 
Angus: We loved you!
Declan: You hated me! You called me ‘some session musician’. You threatened to walk out if I stayed. So did Jamie.
Jamie: Did we? Sorry, mate. 
Declan: You didn’t speak to me for days. 
Angus: And how many million records have you sold since you joined us? Stop whingeing, man. Seriously, some people can be so ungrateful. Anyway, ask us some more questions …

#6 If you could live anywhere you wanted, in any time period, where would you live?

Declan: In Venice, in the eighteenth century. I’d travel around on my gondola, with my cloak and mask on, doing lots of really really bad stuff and getting away with it. 
Jamie: Hogwarts, the year Harry Potter joined. But having read the books, so, like, I knew what was going to happen. I could be constantly going along to his dormitory and telling him useful info to defeat Voldemort. 
Angus: Jamie, you are a sad, sad individual. I pity you. 
Jamie: Thank you, Casanova. I pity you if you fell in the canal. You can’t even swim. 

#7 If you were a superhero, what would you be called, what would your power be and what would you do to help others (or maybe you would be the villain?)

Angus: I’d be the Diamond Skull, and I’d be able to make people do anything I wanted with just a touch from my guitar. Kind of like now. 
Jamie: Somebody sit on him, please. 
Connor: I’d be Egg Man, and I’d be able to create decent plates of scrambled eggs wherever we were in the world, even in places where they don’t seem to have heard of them and they taste totally disgusting. 
Angus: Egg Man? Are you serious? 
Connor: This from ‘The Diamond Skull’? Have you listened to yourself recently? Also, when was the last time you had decent scrambled eggs? 
Angus: Let me think. In Heatherwick Hall, when Orli was cooking for us. 
Jamie: That’s it! My superpower would be to conjure up Orli at a moment’s notice, to cook for us anywhere. 
Angus: Oh, those parallelogram sandwiches … 
Connor: And she could tell us how good we sounded while we were rehearsing. 
Angus: Yeah. The Make-Orli-Happen superpower. That’s it. My mate’s a genius, man. 
Oliver: Sorry to butt in. Sound check in five, guys. 
Jamie: Looks like that’s it. Bye then. Nice talking to you. 

The interview is over! I hope you guys enjoyed that, I certainly did. Thank you to Sophia for taking the time to put this together!

But wait… there’s more…

 A GIVEAWAY!

Chicken House are kindly giving away a copy of Love Song by Sophia Bennett as well as a signed postcard by the author herself. To enter, just follow @sophiabennett and @chickenhsebooks as well as leave your name and twitter handle in the comments. 

The competition runs from today (2nd Sep) to the 9th September.  Winners will be chosen at random and notified the day after the competition closes. Winners will then have 48 hours to reply with their  mailing address, which will be handed to the publishers who will send out the prize.

 

 AUTHOR INFORMATION:unnamed
I write books. YA ones. About being creative and changing the world and finding out who you really are. I think the best writing right now is on American TV, which may be why I watch too many shows. Everything else you need to know about me and the books is on my website: sophiabennett.com

 

Thank you for reading!

Summer Reading

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With all major exams over, and no new ones coming up, I have a lot of spare time this wp-1470740569348.jpgsummer. So naturally, I turned to reading to fill the time. So far I have not read all that many new books but I have re-read a lot of old favourites like I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson. I also plan to re-read The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson.

20160809_114841As always , my TBR list is ever-growing but at the top is Kill The Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky and Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige, which I hope to get around to reading sometime soon… fingers crossed.

I am also looking for recommendations for more books to read this summer, so if anyone has some please tell me in the comments 😊.

 

Love Song

love-song-667x1024Love Song by Sophia Bennett

Published April 7th 2016 by Chicken House Books

Pages: 384                                                                                                                                                    

Format: Paperback                                                                                                                                  

Source: Library                                                                                                                                                  

Links: AmazonGoodreadsBook Depository

“I have spread my dreams under your feet: Tread softly because you tread on my dreams” ~Yeats

It is a good feeling, after starting a book, expecting it not to be to your taste, only to have all preconceived notions blown to shreds. I completely and utterly enjoyed Love Song; the plot, the band, but most of all, I loved Nina.

There is nothing better, in a novel, than having a grounded and relatable main character that you can connect with… (not that I’ve ever been on tour with a band!). Almost everyone can admit to having fan-girled over the likes of 1 Direction or 5SOS at some point or the other, and it will come as no surprise that Nina fell in love with the members of The Point, especially after she got to know them a little better.

The Point. They surprised me. Yes, we have our classic rock diva persona, that was to be expected, but beneath that there was a sense of vulnerability, which is what Nina managed to see. Each member of The Point was different, with flaws of their own, and it was only when they were truly working together in harmony, that we could catch a glimpse of who they were on the inside.

More than my love for The Point, was my love for Ariel. She was a sweet, devoted little sister whose loyalty knew no bound.

There was a point in the book, when I felt that after what Jamie had done, Nina was right not to immediately forgive him, but after reading a chapter from his perspective, I have to admit any doubts I had  about him were swept away. Since Love Song is primarily from Nina’s point of view, the chapter of Jamie’s helped us gain a further insight into the boys’ world and I really enjoyed being able to hear Jamie’s thoughts and feelings.

I would most definitely recommend this book and I have learnt from this experience not to be so hasty about judging a book because maybe, just maybe, the novel may turn out to be more than alright.

Rating: 5/5

Have you read Love Song or any other book about a boy band? What did you think?

YALC 2016

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I first heard about YALC last year from a friend and I knew immediately I wanted to go. Unfortunately, all the tickets had been sold by then, so when I heard YALC was back this year, I leapt at the chance to go and bought my tickets instantly.

Looking at the line up of  brilliant authors attending this year, I realised that  there were many books I hadn’t read or heard of before. So, in preparation for YALC, I compiled a to-read list of books written by authors who will be there.

MY YALC TO-READ LIST

  • Under Rose Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E Schwab
  • London Belongs to Us by Sarra Manning
  • Orangeboy by Patrice Lawrence
  • Songs About a Girl by Chris Russell

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In reality I only managed to read some of the books on my list but I also picked up many more novels at the convention itself.  I still aim to read all of the books I mentioned above, but after attending YALC, I have a few more I want to add to that list.

   UPDATED YALC TO-READ LIST

  • Kook by Chris Vick
  • Junk by Melvin Burgess
  • What’s a Girl Gotta Do? by Holly Bourne
  • Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky
  • And I Darken by Kirsten White

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Have you read any of the books above? What did you think of them?