Please welcome Ingrid Jonach to the virtual offices this morning. Ingrid is here to discuss her Strange Chemistry release When the World was Flat (and we were in love), and she has giveaway for you to enter after!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Ingrid Jonach] Eek. This one is really HARD! Here I go: A positive, yet pragmatic, person who has a lot of drive and determination, but tends to be easily distracted by daydreams.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about When the World was Flat?
[Ingrid Jonach] With pleasure! When the World was Flat (and we were in love) is my debut young adult novel, which is very exciting (for me, at least!). It is also my first foray into both romance and science fiction. It is being published by the good folks at Strange Chemistry, who are based in the United Kingdom.
The story is told from the perspective of sixteen year old Lillie Hart, who is completely confused by her feelings towards the new arrival in her small town – Tom Windsor-Smith. As she starts to break down the walls of his seemingly impenetrable exterior, she starts to suspect that he holds the answers to her reoccurring nightmares and to the impossible memories which keep bubbling to the surface of her mind — memories of the two of them, together and in love.
When she at last learns the truth about their connection, she discovers that Tom has been hiding an earth-shattering secret; a secret that is bigger — and much more terrifying and beautiful — than the both of them. She also discovers that once you finally understand that the world is round, there is no way to make it flat again.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Ingrid Jonach] I was actually inspired by Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. The first draft was supposed to be a modern adaption, so the genre was contemporary romance with no science fiction elements at all. In that sense, Tom was very much Mr. Darcy and Lillie was Elizabeth Bennet (although a lot less confident!).
I actually came up with her friends (Josephine Green and Sylvia Dartmouth) after I watched the first Sex and the City movie and was inspired by the camaraderie and competition between close female friends (there actually used to be a fourth member of the group, who was removed during revisions. She was the naysayer of the group, which is a role that ended up being taken on by Jo). I am not sure how I came up with Deb (who is one of my favorite characters). My mother is an artist, but is not flakey like Deb!
The science fiction elements were woven through during the second draft (and then developed in further revisions). These elements are long held theories of mine (without giving too much away), which seemed to work well with the storyline. As I researched the science behind the theories (particularly the work and life of Albert Einstein), I became more convinced that these theories not only belonged in the story, but took it to a whole other level.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Lillie?
[Ingrid Jonach] Loyal.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Tom had a theme song, what would it be?
[Ingrid Jonach] The Scientist by Coldplay. I think it totally sums up his feelings towards Lillie.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Lillie is never without.
[Ingrid Jonach] Her camera. She is an avid photographer. And I am talking about old-fashioned darkroom photography, not Instagram!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Tom’s pocket?
[Ingrid Jonach] A cell phone. He likes to stay off the grid.
Credit cards. They leave a trail. He is more of a wads-of-cash kind of guy.
Lint. His clothes are always brand new. He hardly ever sticks around long enough to wear his whole wardrobe.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Ingrid Jonach] I grew up in a creative household. My mother and step-father were both visual artists, which meant I spent a lot of time at art exhibitions and in art galleries, as well as mixing with visual artists, musicians, actors and poets. I definitely think this cultivated my creativity. Also, my cousin is bestselling romance novelist Di Morrissey, who has been so supportive of me and my writing career.
There is a quote in the film Quills from the Abbe du Coulmier that I adore: The writer who produces more than he reads? The sure mark of an amateur. I read voraciously, as most writers do, with my greatest influences being Jane Austen, Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, John Marsden, Victor Kelleher, and more recently Lauren Child, Sonya Hartnett, Sarah Dessen and Suzanne Collins.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Ingrid Jonach] My laptop. I am no good at writing longhand anymore.
The internet. I often have about twenty tabs up while I am writing on random topics I have been researching.
Snacks. This avoids any procrastination in the form of wandering to the pantry or fridge!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was your biggest distraction while working on When the World was Flat?
[Ingrid Jonach] Work. I actually ended up quitting my job in order to finish the manuscript, which was probably the smartest (and most difficult) decision I have ever made in my life! I really like my day job though, so I am trying to have my cake and eat it too at the moment.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Ingrid Jonach] I would have to say The Hunger Games (Book 1). It was a few years ago now, but I remember the sheer adrenalin and utter astonishment as I read. Plus, the multitude of tears at the end of Chapter One. As soon as I had finished reading, I ran down to the bookstore to pick up the second book. I think I finished that in one sitting too!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Ingrid Jonach] Brother Knight by Victor Kelleher, which is about two brothers who journey to the twin cities to find the Sun Lord and the Night Lord. I read this in Year Six, when (I admit) I was already a reader. It really took my reading to another level though. It was my first introduction to the fantasy genre and led me to read his other books, which exposed me to even more genres, including crime, horror and science fiction.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Ingrid Jonach] Aside from reading? At the risk of sounding like a homebody (which I totally am), I am really into a number of TV series at the moment, particularly The Walking Dead and Supernatural. I am starting to get into Game of Thrones and I am making my husband watch the complete series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which is a rewatch for me)!
I used to have a lot of hobbies, but cannot list one at the moment! My time is mostly taken up by either work or writing. As a result, I have a half-knitted blanket I gave up on three years ago, a pair of tap shoes I only used for about three months, a saxophone that has not been played for at least five years and I still REALLY want to learn how to make macaroons.
Wow. I just realized who was the inspiration for Deb in When the World was Flat (and we were in love) – me!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Ingrid Jonach] I LOVE to hear from readers (particularly if they like my books, but even if not!). They can get in touch via:
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
About the book:
About the author:
Ingrid Jonach writes books for children and young adults, including the chapter books The Frank Frankie and Frankie goes to France published by Pan Macmillan, and When the World was Flat (and we were in love) published by Strange Chemistry.
Since graduating from university with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing (Hons) in 2005, Ingrid has worked as a journalist and in public relations, as well as for the Australian Government.
Ingrid loves to promote reading and writing, and has been a guest speaker at a number of schools and literary festivals across Australia, where she lives with her husband Craig and their pug dog Mooshi.
Despite her best efforts, neither Craig nor Mooshi read fiction.
Find out more at www.ingridjonach.com
Enter below for your chance to win one of two awesome prize packages as part of the Around the World in 80 Days Blog Tour for When the World was Flat (and we were in love) by Ingrid Jonach.
There will be two winners worldwide. Each prize package includes:
a signed copy of When the World was Flat (and we were in love)
a pair of silver plated key-shaped earrings in a When the World was Flat (and we were in love) gift box
a When the World was Flat (and we were in love) bookmark.
The competition will run until 21 October 2013 and the winners will be announced on this page and via www.ingridjonach.com