It’s not every day you get to quiz the author after you’ve just finished reading a brilliant new book – so when we got the opportunity to ask Cat Clarke just FIVE questions about psychological thriller Torn, we had to think very carefully before deciding what we wanted to know… Read on to find out what inspired the traumatic story, her favourite sections to write and what she has planned next.
Where did the idea at the centre of the book come from?
I got the idea for something terrible happening on a school trip from overhearing the words ‘bus crash’ at work one day. There’s no bus crash in TORN, but it definitely got me thinking! Plus, I found the trips I went on when I was at school fairly traumatic – nowhere near as bad as the one in TORN though, you’ll be relieved to hear!
Torn is set in school, did your own school days influence the story? Were you an Alice or a Tara?
My own school days definitely influenced the story! I was always interested in what made some people popular and some people not. I found it (and still do) weirdly fascinating. I was definitely more like Alice than Tara. Most schools seem to have more Alices than Taras, which is A Good Thing as far as I’m concerned.
The book shifts between a psychological thriller and a romance. What were your favourite sections and characters to write?
My favourite section to write was the one in the woods… I can’t say any more than that without spoilers. It was exciting to write, and I got so into it that it even made me feel sick! I loved writing all the Polly scenes too – she was a very interesting character to explore.
We all want to know what happens to Alice! Have you completed her story in your head, does she get a happy ending?
*Top secret information removed so the ending isn’t ruined. Sorry.*
Can you give us a sneaky preview of your next book? What’s it about?
Oooh, OK then. As long as you promise not to tell anyone… The next book is about a girl called Jem who sets out to get revenge on the people she blames for her best friend’s suicide. There’s a lot more about what it means to be popular in this book (See? Told you I was obsessed!). I’m still working on it – just about to write the ending, in fact.