Jilda’s Ark by Verity Croker
Harmony Ink Press
Cover Artist: Kanaxa
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Verity Croker here today answering our author questions and talking about her latest story, Jilda’s Ark.
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Verity Croker
Why do you write? With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain? To get away? To move past? To widen our knowledge?
I write because I feel compelled to. An idea jumps into my head and then I become consumed by it and just have to write about it. Jilda’s Ark, my latest YA novel published by Harmony Ink Press, is about climate change and environmental refugees, important issues in this day and age, and I hope readers might think about the consequences of climate change for both humans and animals, while enjoying the romance at the center of the story. May Day Mine, my previous YA novel published by Harmony Ink Press in 2015, was an attempt to understand how a family who lives in the town where the mine collapse takes place reacts to and copes with the situation.
Does research play a role in choosing which genre you write? Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?
With May Day Mine, I had to do some research as it was based on a real event in Tasmania, Australia, where two miners were trapped in a very small space underground for two weeks after a rock fall in the mine. I wanted to get the facts right, as even though the story was fictional, the background event really happened and was extremely traumatic. I altered some of the facts, particularly related to the men involved, in order to disguise their identities – I changed the number of men trapped and killed, so that no one character matched a particular person. Jilda’s Ark is purely fictional, set in the near future, and it all just poured out onto the page like I was writing down the movie I was seeing in my head.
How much of yourself goes into a character?
The characters come to me and become real people as I write their story. Sometimes they amaze me with what they do, as I didn’t plan that or see it coming. The characters take over and I just go along for the ride, watching what they get up to and the decisions they make. I’m not sure whether parts of myself are in the characters, or they are completely independent. Perhaps I need to see what others who know me think about this, as I am too close to my characters.
How do you choose your covers?
I am incredibly lucky with Harmony Ink Press, as they allow me so much input into the cover design. I have a lot of opportunity to give feedback on different versions of the cover until both the designer and I are happy with the end result. I have been thrilled with the covers of both May Day Mine and Jilda’s Ark, and so pleased that I have been allowed so much input into the look of the final design.
If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?
I would love to write at a huge picture window in a house on a clifftop overlooking the ocean, so whenever I looked up from my computer I could see the waves, sand and sky. When I needed a break, I could walk on the beach and rejuvenate myself ready for the next chapter.
How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?
I think the ebook format is a great alternative to a paperback, or hardback, as you can carry so many of them around on your device, especially when on vacation. But, a physical book is so much better to read on a beach, as you don’t really want to get sand in your device, and the sun shining on the screen makes it difficult to read. And you don’t need to worry about battery life with a book! Another plus is you can easily share your books with your friends.
What’s next for you as an author?
I am in the middle of writing a book set in Antarctica, with romance once again at the center. I would like to keep writing young adult novels, as I find it so enjoyable and rewarding.
What was supposed to be a sixteenth birthday celebration cruise for identical twins Jilda and Rosa quickly turns into a nightmare. While her mother and sister are enjoying an excursion on a Fijian island, Jilda, who is unwell and remains onboard, finds their ship has sailed off, leaving most of its passengers stranded on shore.
An unknown group has overtaken the ship. After a few days, they collect thousands of new passengers from a distant archipelago, making conditions onboard overcrowded and uncomfortable. Nobody seems to know where they are headed, so the mood on the ship rapidly deteriorates. Though Jilda is desperate to reunite with her family, she meets someone who comforts her and will completely change her world. But how will her new friend Jade feel when she learns Jilda has a boyfriend back home?
About the Author Verity Croker
Verity Croker writes across a variety of genres. Her novels for young adult readers, May Day Mine and Jilda’s Ark are published by Harmony Ink Press, US, and her chapter books for 8 to 12 year olds, Cyclone Christmas and Block City, are published by Sunshine Books, NZ. She is also a published author of short stories, newspaper articles, poetry, and travel articles. She teaches International students at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.