I’m super thrilled to have debut author Lisa Thompson here on the blog today to answer few questions about her middle-grade contemporary novel, The Goldfish Boy. This special book not only offers intriguing mystery but also a wonderful character that will stay to readers for a long time. Matthew Corbin is a special kid not because he suffers a mental health condition called OCD but because he is very brave and he has a big heart.
Following the interview with Lisa is her author bio along with places where to find her online. Then there’s also the book description and where to buy copies of The Goldfish Boy. And if you are in the United States or Canada and you’d like to win a signed hardcover copy of the book just enter the rafflecopter form a bit further down in this post for a chance to win.
Here’s my interview with Lisa. Enjoy reading!
Interview with Lisa Thompson
First off, congrats on The Goldfish Boy. Can you tell us a bit about your journey in writing and publishing the book? What were the timescales involved between the first draft and the novel being accepted for publication?
Thank you! There was a lot of stopping, starting, rewriting the whole thing… giving up with the whole thing… starting all over again etc. I guess the actual writing of the first, main draft took about 12 months. Once I’d found the right agent it only took a fews weeks before I got a book deal. By far the greatest challenges for me were self-doubt. I thought I’d never get published so I put off trying… for years!! But shock news – you definitely won’t get published if you haven’t written a book!
There seems to be a growing trend to write about mental illness in fiction lately. Why do you think it has become an important theme in this genre of literature? And why did you decide to talk about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in particular?
I didn’t intentionally set out to write about mental health. The first bud of an idea was about a boy who was restricted to the ‘safety’ of his bedroom who witnesses something from his window. Around the same time I saw a documentary on TV about OCD and I was stunned at how debilitating it could be. I then found out a friend suffered with the condition and I met with a psychotherapist who is an expert in that field. I’ve been so pleased that The Goldfish Boy has been received so well by OCD sufferers, but I’m also glad it has subtly educated some readers who knew nothing about it.
Matthew is very effecting narrator. I just love the kid. Sometimes I wish I can do something for him. How did you get inside Matthew’s head to show the reader the mental turmoil he was experiencing? Is he a representation of someone you personally know or a byproduct of your imagination?
What a great question! I love him too! He’s completely from my imagination but I’m pretty sure there is a lot of me in there as well (although I don’t have OCD). We have the same sense of humour and I used lots of small memories from my childhood throughout the book – being sick in bed, my dad using a wallpaper steamer, the observations of a scorching, hot summers day etc. I think using your own memories but in a character’s point of view can be a good way to get inside their heads a little.
What kind of research you’ve done for the story and characters to be more authentic? Any surprises you encounter during digging?
As well as talking to friends with OCD and the psychotherapist, I read books and followed public forums on OCD websites for an insight in living with the condition. As for surprises, I really didn’t realise the many different ways OCD can manifest itself (from a fear of germs/obsessive cleanliness, to superstitions, intrusive thoughts, checking and ordering).
What message do you hope to send your readers who recognize themselves in the character of Matthew?
I’d hope that Matthew’s bravery in taking those first small steps to recovery would encourage someone in a similar position to do the same. You can tell that Matthew is scared and that he knows that recovery is not going to be easy, but he makes a start. Starting is the important bit. And the first place to start is by talking to someone.
What’s next for you after Goldfish Boy? Do you think you’ll stick with this type of genre or branch out into something else? Any future project we should look forward to?
I’m currently editing book 2 which is out next year. It’s another standalone novel which is rooted in contemporary fiction, but there is an element of fantasy about it. I’m really excited to see it on the shelves!
Thanks so much Lisa!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lisa Thompson worked as a radio broadcast assistant, first for the BBC and then for an independent production company, making plays and comedy programs. During this time she got to make tea for a lot of famous people. She lives in the countryside in England with her family. The Goldfish Boy is her first novel.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: The Goldfish Boy
Author: Lisa Thompson
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: February 28, 2017
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook
Matthew Corbin suffers from severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. He hasn’t been to school in weeks. His hands are cracked and bleeding from cleaning. He refuses to leave his bedroom. To pass the time, he observes his neighbors from his bedroom window, making mundane notes about their habits as they bustle about the cul-de-sac.
When a toddler staying next door goes missing, it becomes apparent that Matthew was the last person to see him alive. Suddenly, Matthew finds himself at the center of a high-stakes mystery, and every one of his neighbors is a suspect. Matthew is the key to figuring out what happened and potentially saving a child’s life… but is he able to do so if it means exposing his own secrets, and stepping out from the safety of his home?
What’s up for Grab?
- Signed hardback of The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson
- Open to US or Canada
- There will be one (1) winner
- Winner will be chosen and announced through rafflecopter
- Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
- Ends July 28th, 2017
- Prizes will be sent by the author
To enter fill out the rafflecopter form
Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2017 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each feature post or check out twitter and facebook using #CelebratingDebutantes2017.