Teen Book of the Month: Trespassers
Book: Trespassers by Claire McFall | Age category: 13+
In this gripping sequel to Ferryman, Dylan and Tristan have made it through the wasteland and escaped the afterlife. However, they are not the only ones to have made their way between the realms, and they must now face the consequence for this discovery. The longer they stay in the real world, they realise that they are not only bound by emotion, but are physically unable to be apart. Being separated endangers both their lives.
Claire McFall captures the relationship between Dylan and Tristan, and how they struggle to accustom themselves to everyday life following their time in the wasteland.
Just like Ferryman, Trespassers is a fast-paced fantasy novel that will have you gripped from the start. Claire melds romance, humour and gothic fantasy to create a story full of suspense and intense emotion - you won't be able to put Trespassers down!
Hear more from Claire in our Q&A below, and enter our competition to win one of five copies of Trespassers!
Q&A with Claire McFall
In Trespassers, we are introduced to a host of new characters from the wasteland, including other ferrymen. Which character was the most enjoyable to write and why?
Jack. Definitely Jack. I have a real soft spot for a thug with a heart - I know you haven't seen too much of Jack's yet, but don't worry, it's coming... I really enjoy writing boys for some reason, too. Probably because it's a chance to step into some really different shoes and imagine how they'd act and react in any given situation.
This time the narrative is set in the real-world rather than the afterlife. Do you have any tips for aspiring YA writers on world building and setting?
The cool thing about fantasy is that it's made up. That means that you can make anything you want happen! But, something I always say to young people when I'm doing events is that that brings its own problems... because it has to be believable, too. I'm hoping to get readers to follow me on a journey into the complete unknown, where things that couldn't possibly happen in the "normal world", happen. In order not to lose readers - have them roll their eyes and think, yeah right! - I always try to base the story in reality as much as I can. So even though the wasteland isn't real, little things like how annoying it is when water starts to soak up into your jeans as you're squelching along are. Hopefully, that gives readers something to relate to when I take characters off onto adventures the reader doesn't have any experience of, so I don't lose the emotional connection. That's the theory, anyway!
In terms of settings in the real world, my advice, especially at the beginning of your writing journey, is to write what you know. I grew up in Glasgow, worked there and lived there for a while. I know what it looks like, and feels like, and hopefully I was able to replicate that unique Glasgow feel. Similarly, I taught for ten years, so settings in schools are really comfortable for me. I'm not saying you can't use your imagination - I have, lots - but using a bit of what you know will help ground your story in reality, and make it a bit more believable when the strange stuff starts to happen!
Finally, readers are gripped by Dylan and Tristan’s love story. Do you have plans to continue their story and write a third book in the series?
Spoilers! Unfortunately, I'm hopeless at keeping secrets, and it was pretty obvious at the end of Trespassers that Susanna and Jack's tale, at least, wasn't done, so I do have plans for one more story. No more details than that, though. You'll just have to wait and see!
About Claire McFall
Claire McFall is a writer and a teacher who lives and works in the Scottish Borders. Her first book, Ferryman, won a Scottish Children's Book Award, was long-listed for the Branford Boase Award and nominated for the Carnegie Medal. She is also the author of dystopian thriller, Bombmaker, and paranormal thriller, Black Cairn Point, winner of the inaugural Scottish Teenage Book Prize.
We have 5 copies of Trespassers to be won - just answer the question below. The competition closes on Tuesday 31 July 2018 at 5pm. All entrants must reside in the UK.