Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’m sharing my interview with author Fran Hart, who wrote the wonderfully snuggly book, The Other Ones, earlier this year. You can read my review of this brilliant book here.
Sal hates standing out. But he lives in a haunted house – and everybody knows it.
His oldest friend, Dirk, tries to help … but he wants to stay popular, and Sal isn’t helping.
Elsie was popular – until recently. Now she’s on the outcast’s table too … and she doesn’t want to talk about it.
Then there’s the new boy, Pax, who won’t leave Sal alone. His idea of a good time is hanging out in graveyards. And, for some reason, Sal just can’t stay away.
Meet The Other Ones. Can they banish their ghosts together?
Hi Fran, and thanks for talking to me today about your recent release, The Other Ones. What was the writing journey for this novel like for you?
It was an impromptu idea that kind of ran away with itself! I decided to take part in NaNoWriMo back in 2019. I did some vague planning in October and then wrote the first draft of The Other Ones in November. It was my first attempt at writing a novel and, while I was happy with what I ended up with, it took many more months of editing to get it to a publishable standard.
Full of found family and finding yourself, The Other Ones sends important messages, perfect for the young adult audience (and adults, too!). What motivated you to write this particular story?
I had a hard time in high school, and I wanted to write a book that would appeal to young adults going through the same thing. Even though you may feel like an outsider, your people are out there and you will find them!
What do you most hope people take away from reading this book?
The Other Ones is a book about being weird, masquerading as a ghost story. The main message is that it’s ok to be different. If the book helped even one person to feel more confident in who they are, then I would be very happy with that!
The dynamic between Sal and Pax is the perfect representation of grumpy x sunshine. Is this your trope of choice when it comes to reading as well as writing? And who is your ultimate ship?
I love reading and writing all kinds of romance, but I think grumpy x sunshine has to be one of my favourite tropes. It’s so much fun to write, because it provides loads of opportunities for humour but also helps to prevent the romance becoming too sickly sweet. I’d love to write an enemies to lovers book at some point too. My favourite ship changes constantly, but I will always have a soft spot for Willow & Tara in Buffy.
What advice would you give to anyone reading this who might be working away on their own manuscript?
Make sure you’re enjoying writing it. If it’s a struggle to write then it’s probably going to be a struggle to read too. Write to entertain yourself, and if you’re struggling through a boring bit, then just skip it and move to the next fun bit. Also, anyone who says writer’s block doesn’t exist is lying to you! So if you’re finding writing impossible at the moment, don’t feel bad about it. It’s probably your brain’s way of telling you to take a break.
What are your writing essentials? Do you have a set routine for tackling that word count?
My writing essentials are coffee, my laptop and my Notes app. I don’t usually have a set routine, but I found the structure of writing for NaNoWriMo really worked for me. I also love writing on my phone. It much less intimidating than staring at a blank Word document, and helps take the pressure off. I’ve written entire chapters in my Notes app, at times when I was struggling to get anything down using my laptop.
Finally, how would you sum up The Other Ones in three words?
‘The weird kid’! It’s the book equivalent of the kid sat alone in the high school cafeteria. They might seem a little strange at first, but they’re often pretty cool once you get to know them.
Thank you so much to Fran for her time and such thoughtful answers, some of which I’ll be taking direct advice from while I work away on my own NaNoWriMo project this year! Thank you Fran, both for this interview, and for the wonderful book you’ve brought into the world; The Other Ones holds a special place in my heart.