[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Vanessa! Describe yourself in five words or less.
[Vanessa Garden] Happy, creative, crazy, writer, mum
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Carrier?
[Vanessa Garden] I’d love to. Carrier is set in the Australian outback, seventeen years after the outbreak of a disease called the Y-Carrier (a disease which is carried by males but kills females). Lena, Carrier’s heroine, has lived a sheltered existence on a razor-wired, hundred acre property she shares with her mother. The story begins when Lena decides she wants to see what lies on the other side of the fence, and comes face to face with the first boy she has ever laid eyes on! But she soon discovers that boys and men are not the only danger she faces on the outside…
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Vanessa Garden] Carrier began as a vision of a girl running through the beautiful and stark Australian outback. It was then up to me to fill in the blanks. Why was she running? Who or what was she running from? The second character to form was Patrick – inside my head Lena literally ran into him. Then came Lena’s mother, who is just as crucial as Patrick is to Lena’s story and growth as a character.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
[Vanessa Garden] I think I enjoyed the setting the most. During the writing process, the Australian outback almost became a character in its own right. This may sound odd, but I felt that the outback wanted to help Lena survive. As though the land she was born to was trying to protect her.
I also loved writing about the complex relationship between Lena and her mother. I won’t say too much so as not to give anything away, but I’d like to think that after finishing Carrier, that people can understand why Lena’s mother behaved the way she did and don’t judge her too harshly.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What gave you the most trouble with this story?
[Vanessa Garden] Bringing Alice’s character to life via her diary. It was tricky trying to capture the voice of a teen who has lived pre-Y-Carrier and post-Y-Carrier. Hopefully I’ve done Alice justice.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had a theme song, what would it be?
[Vanessa Garden] ‘That’s Amore…’ just popped into my head when I read this question. I love to cook, eat pasta and I love romance so I guess it fits, lol.
But I do love the musical score to ‘Edward Scissorhands’ the movie, that music is a little bit ‘me’ too.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?
[Vanessa Garden] My pocket-knife. Only kidding! Most likely my handbag – boring, I know.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.
[Vanessa Garden] A massive pile of books, a metal dragonfly and a pen.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?
[Vanessa Garden] One of my kids. So that I could see the world through their eyes.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share a few life saving tips in case of a world ending apocalypse?
[Vanessa Garden] What a great question! Pocket knife for hunting and building shelter. Water. And, most importantly, if the world is truly about to end, grab someone you love and just hold them <3
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?
[Vanessa Garden] I absolutely love the Elementals series by Brigid Kemmerer and I’m about to begin ‘Secret’ so I can’t wait. I also have ‘Forever’ by Karen Ann Hopkins waiting too. But I recently finished ‘The Book Thief’ and I was so touched and moved by it that I sat on the couch just holding the book against my chest for about half an hour because I just didn’t want to let the characters go.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Vanessa Garden] Just hanging out with my husband and kids, doing things like going to the beach or parks. Oh, and I’m never without a book. I love watching movies too.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Vanessa Garden] Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7349685.Vanessa_Garden
or my blog : http://vanessagarden.blogspot.com.au/
or twitter: @vanessagarden27
Thanks for having me
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
About the book:
For fans of The Walking Dead and The Hunger Games comes a YA novel about freedom, choice and family — and the terrifying disease that makes them mutually exclusive.
From the day she was born, Lena has viewed the world through the jagged window of a razor-wired fence. The hundred-acre property she shares with her mother in the Australian outback may keep her safe from the Y-Carrier disease, but it is no longer enough to hold Lena’s interest, and her mother’s increasingly tight grip on her free will is stifling.
Just as her curiosity blooms and her courage rises, she meets a boy through the fence — the first boy she has ever laid eyes on. His name is Patrick and he comes with a dangerous yet irresistible invitation of adventure beyond the fence, an invitation to which Lena cannot say no.
But Lena’s newfound freedom is short-lived and she soon discovers that the Y-Carrier disease is not the only enemy she faces on the outside. Her new enemies want something Lena has, and they are willing to do anything to get it…