C.G Drews Interview:
Questions asked by Poppy Nwosu.
Your #LoveOzYA debut novel, A Thousand Perfect Notes, is a beautiful and quiet story that deals with music, abuse, friendship and family. I read this in one sitting and absolutely gobbled it up, finding myself very invested in Beck’s heartbreaking struggles and his burgeoning friendship with his love interest August.
I'm so glad you love Beck! He is the most precious cinnamon roll and honestly a softie under the growling. I enjoyed writing his and August's relationship a lot because it started with a simple and sweet friendship, and that's one of my favourite romance tropes. I didn't find it too hard to write them actually because I love writing banter and they definitely have a lot of snark going on as August (forcefully) elbows her way into his life.
I definitely agree it'd be dishonest to write books where everything is sunshine and roses. I believe teens are smart and want to see the whole world, not just the nice parts. I also think violence is so so common in every day life. It can even be expected or glanced over or explained away. When I write about violence, I want to show it happens but also the repressions of it. Violence often doesn't end with a physical bruise that heals. It can go so much deeper. Beck's broken self-worth and fear of accepting friendship or help is a big part of the story. Beck wears his bruises inside and out and I think it's important to talk about this.
Pressure has definitely affected my writing since ATPN came out haha! I do find myself a little paralysed wondering if I can write something as good as ATPN? Or can I do better? Will it be loved? What do readers want from me? However I'm really lucky that my second book, The Boy Who Steals Houses, was actually written long before ATPN came out! So I had zero audience expectations haha.
I feel like I am entirely made up of dozens of stories that have affected me. I absolutely fell in love with The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, with its magic and deep friendship bonds and also how it discusses anxiety. It captured how life is full of magic and fear. That definitely speaks to me.
You don't have to get your story right the first time! I used to write half a book and then toss the whole thing because it wasn't "perfect". Embarrassingly, I had no concept of editing and rewriting for ages. Books aren't just written, they're rewritten -- often a dozen times. It would've been less stressful if I'd known that earlier haha.
It's about two brothers, Sam and Avery Lou, who are homeless and steal houses to live in for a short while when the owners are away on holidays. Until one day Sam steals a house that isn't...as empty as it seems. He gets caught up with a big loud family and shenanigans ensue. It has a lot of brownies, banter, and bad decisions. I'm also really excited to be featuring a character with autism and also discussing anxiety and loneliness. And several people have asked me if it'll break hearts and feels like A Thousand Perfect Notes did, and my answer? Well absolutely YES. Keep chocolate and tissues ready.
Thanks so much for your answers, Cait!! :)
Check out the previous YA author interviews in this series: