My Friday Read this week is the debut adult novel The Duckling by Eve Ainsworth, who is an award winning children’s author. Let’s find out a bit about the book, then get chatting to Eve about her writing life.😊
Duckling’s a nickname Lucy has never been able to shake off.
And, if she’s honest, maybe it suits her.
She just isn’t the type to socialise with other people.
You might say she’s reluctant to leave her nest.
Lucy’s life is small, but safe. She’s got a good routine. But all that’s about to change…
When Lucy’s neighbour asks her to look after her little girl for a couple of hours – and then doesn’t come back – Lucy is suddenly responsible for someone other than herself.
It takes courage to let the outside world in, and Lucy’s about to learn there’s much more to life – but only if she’s brave enough to spread her wings…
Welcome, Eve. Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes always. When I was really young I used to tell stories to myself out loud in my back garden. I then progressed to typing out stories on my rickety old typewriter. When I was about seven or eight I sent my first story to Penguin. It was rejected, but I got a lovely letter and some books to read. I never lost the bug for writing and was determined to be published one day. I became a published author in 2015 with my first YA book, Seven Days and have written a further 12 books for children and young adults since. Duckling is my adult debut.
Has any author inspired you?
Growing up I loved Judy Blume, Beverly Clearly, Jacqueline Wilson and Roald Dahl. I later moved on to loving Stephen King (his character work is wonderful), Kate Atkinson and Sarah Walters.
What do you like writing most?
I really am an eclectic reader. I love most genres and will often dive between them. I guess if I had to pick one, it would be clever and character driven dramas or thrillers.
Do you have a special place for writing?
Not really. I usually write in my bedroom, which has a desk facing the window where I can watch the birds and squirrels. I do fall into bad habits though and can be found curled up on the sofa or bed with my laptop.
Are you a pantster or a plotter?
I’m the Queen of Pants! I find it very difficult to plan and plot and tend to let the writing carry me forward. This is quite a messy way to work though, and I often wish I could be better at planning. Alas, I don’t think my brain was wired that way.
Is your writing ever inspired by your family or real life incidents?
I am often influenced by events that have happened in my life or things that people I’m close to have experienced. My family do also inspire me. I’m from a big family (one of seven) so I’m lucky to have lots of support.
What are you writing at the moment?
I’m writing something completely different at the moment, a historical crime, which is a fun project that I’ve wanted to do for a while. I’m also writing a short childrens football book that will be published next year.
What inspired you to write this book?
I literally was sitting in the bath and I thought to myself ‘what would you do, if someone asked you to look after their little girl but didn’t return?’. From that the character of Lucy, a shy, awkward woman developed and so did the mystery.
What time of the day do you write best?
Morning usually. But not too early!
What are your hobbies?
Reading (!), cooking, walking, football (not playing) and sewing
What advice would you give to other writers?
Don’t compare with others! Your journey is yours alone. Enjoy your small successes and celebrate the successes of others x
Lovely to talk to you today, Eve. Wishing you lots of success with your new genre. 😉
Eve Ainsworth is a working class award-winning and Carnegie nominated children’s author who has written for both middle grade and teen readers. Her debut novel for adults, Duckling, will be published by Penguin Random House in spring 2022.
Eve has vast experience working as a public speaker and creative workshop coordinator for schools, libraries and other events both nationally and internationally. She also is an experienced mentor and is very passionate about helping those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Eve was born and raised in Crawley, West Sussex and is one of seven children. After her degree, she had a varied background working within HR and Recruitment roles, before landing a job she loved – mentoring and supporting challenging and vulnerable students in a large secondary school. This inspired her first teen book 7 Days. Eve is fiercely proud of her working class roots and her large, loud family. She still lives in Crawley with her husband, two young children and crazy pets.