Where did the idea come from for the book?
The Savages opens the door on a family of modern day, middle-class cannibals. But don’t freak out. It’s just something they enjoy every now and then, like a Sunday roast.
The idea came to me early last year. I was waiting for a pay cheque, cutting back on the household food budget to see us through, and decided it would be economic to take out the meat from our diet. I didn’t tell the kids, knowing there would be an outcry, and instead aimed to serve up really good vegetarian food. Nobody noticed for a while, until someone asked if I had a problem with bangers and mash. That got me thinking about being aware of what we eat as well as the factions that can arise in terms of food groups – from vegans to carnivores… and beyond. Essentially, the story revolves around the teenage daughter’s relationship with an outspoken vegetarian boy, and the impact this has on the family.
What genre does your book fall under?
I like to think it falls midway between family teen saga and one of those inspirational cookery books with mouth watering but impractical recipes.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
The cover illustrator, Jason ‘Hunger Games’ Chan, has done such a great job of drawing each Savage family member that I’ll leave it up to the reader to decide.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
The family who eat people together stay together.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Nine months, like any baby.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I felt that vampires and zombies had enjoyed a fantastic resurrection lately, and figured it was time that cannibals came to the table.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It sounds gruesome, but is genuinely a wholesome book. If you take out the cooking-with-humans element, it’s actually a story about how family should come first – and if anyone gets in the way that makes them prime candidates for the pot.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
The Savages is published by Hot Key Books on June 6th 2013. Stay hungry.
Who are you passing the baton to for next week’s Next Big Thing?
Edyth Bulbring, whose novel A MONTH WITH APRIL-MAY publishes tomorrow from Hot Key Books.