MP! chat with ‘Never Evers’ authors Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison about time travel, the WORST YA cliches and MORE

Never EversWe here at Maximum Pop! had the privilege of chatting to dynamic duo, Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison, about their latest book ‘Never Evers’ – as well as first kisses, cheese and how sex can be totally overrated in YA. 

We know all authors have to be at least a tiny bit fond of their writing. Can you quote your favourite line from your own work???

TOM: In our new book ‘Never Evers’, I like the bit where the girls are trying to guess Jack’s name. Mouse suggests ‘George’, and Connie says, “George is really close – it’s the closest you can get to George without being George”, to which Mouse replies: “Porge?”

LUCY: In ‘Lobsters’, there is a bit where Sam is at home after not getting good enough A-levels to go to Cambridge. His phone beeps and his mum says ‘is that… them?’ Like she thought Cambridge were telling him he’d actually got in by text. It always always makes me laugh and reminds me of Tom’s mother. That might not be the exact line – I apparently don’t have a copy of my own book in my flat. But it’s something like that.

Obviously, authors not only love writing, but are big book nerds too. What’s your fave book EVER???

TOM: Either ‘At Swim-Two-Birds’ by Flann O’Brien or ‘The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 & 3/4’ by Sue Townsend.

LUCY: AAArrrgghhhhh I hate this question! I am so changeable. It depends on my mood and what is going on in my life. Right now I would say ‘Pride and Prejudice’. The ultimate cheesefest for the most cringey person ever!

And for those whose fave book is ‘Lobsters’, what should they look forward to in ‘Never Evers’???

TOM: The same cringey, awkward humour; the same realistic look at teen friendships; the same coming-of-age romance. But with a whole lot more adventure, snow, French pop stars and runaway hamsters thrown in… ‘Never Evers’ is about slightly younger teens (14 year olds, as opposed to the 17-18 year olds of ‘Lobsters’), so we wanted to give it a bit more of a ‘Goonies’-esque sense of adventure!

LUCY: Cheese also plays a key role. Not cringey pop or gooey conversations, but actual real live cheese. So if you like cheese, you should give it a go.

Any YA cliches that drive you crazy?

TOM: It always annoys me when sex scenes or romantic scenes in YA novels are rose-tinted, and made out to be much more perfect and epic than they probably would be in real life. Most teen sex is usually quite awkward, so I like to see that reflected in YA books!

LUCY: Maybe how everyone is always so well read. I am a school librarian and I would KILL to have those kind of customers!

Speaking of Young Adult, if you met yourself when you were 15, what would you tell yourself?

TOM: I would tell myself that liking the music of Blink 182 does not make you as cool as you seem to think it does.

LUCY: I would say you and your three best friends having ‘My So Called Life’ Claire Danes matching red bobs is quite weird and not going to attract the fellas the way we think it will. And that I am okay. I am pretty enough, and interesting enough and most of all I needn’t lie in bed at night wishing to someone else when I wake up because I am OK. (I told you I was cheesy).

And if we’re travelling back in time, what would you want to say to the first person you kissed?

TOM: Hmmm… That is a very good, and difficult, question. The first girl I kissed was a girl called Vicky, and both me and my friend Chris fancied her. She kissed both of us (although I’m fairly sure she kissed me first), so if I travelled back in time, I would probably ask her who she fancied more, in the hope that she would say me, and I could then travel forward in time again and use this information to annoy Chris. Obviously, this plan would backfire badly if she said she fancied Chris more. But that’s one of the many risks you have to take with time travel.

LUCY: ‘Hi there boy in an underage teen disco in Blackpool in 1995. I don’t remember your name but I still remember your curtains. Curtains are actually coming back in 2015, well not really but I saw a boy with them in a music video recently. Anyway, sorry I ran away. I was scared and embarrassed.

Finally, because we all want to know where the magic happens, send us a picture of where you write.


Lucy writing desk

 TOM: It’s not as well lit, or tidy, as Lucy’s. Also, my computer is normally in that blank space on the desk, but I used it to take the photo.

Tom writing desk

Here are MP!, we’d like to say a big thank you to Tom & Lucy for chatting with us! If you’ve got any questions/comments, you can tweet us @maximumpopbooks.

Grab a copy of Never Evers right now!

Want more ‘Never Evers’ info? Look no further than our MP! EXCLUSIVE video with Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison chatting hamsters, fit boys and French popstars.

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Written by Laura Fulton

Book Channel Editor at MaxPop! Have a thing for the sea and pretty paperbacks. Saved by amazing grace.

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