Sweet Sixteener Lois Sepahban recently spoke to Fearless Fifteener Tatum Flynn about her MG novel, THE D’EVIL DIARIES (April 2, 2015 from Orchard Books/Hachette Kids).
Tatum Flynn decided to be a writer aged seven, when one look at her first attempt at a comic book made her realize she had all the artistic talent of a blind rhino. Since then she’s picked up plenty of story ideas as a croupier on cruise ships in the Caribbean, travel magazine writer riding the rapids in the Grand Canyon, English teacher in Italy, and poker player traveling the world lying to people for profit.
These days she lies to people for profit as a children’s author instead, which involves less travel and more daydreaming, but exactly the same amount of bluffing. She’s secretly half-Hungarian and lives by the sea in England with a cat called Friday and too many hats.
Twelve-year-old Jinx is hopeless at being evil. Which is a bit of a problem when you’re Lucifer’s youngest son. But when Jinx runs away from Pandemonium, the walled city he’s lived in all his life, he bumps into dead girl Tommy – who’s been sent to Hell for accidentally feeding her nasty uncle to a circus lion – and unearths a conspiracy that could up-end the entire underworld. Cue shenanigans involving carnivorous carousel horses, death-trap-riddled libraries and hungry quicksand. Now the fate of the realm rests in the hands of its most unlikely demon and a girl who shouldn’t be in Hell at all…
Lois: Are you part of a critique group? If so, how did working with your CPs benefit you?
Tatum: I’ve never been part of a group, but I do have four brilliant CPs and some lovely beta readers. My first two CPs especially, Danica and NK Traver, helped me enormously, pointing out plot holes and poor writing and things that were confusing or needed enlarging upon, and also boosted me by telling me that The D’Evil Diaries did actually make them laugh. Which was a bit of a relief. Seriously, get CPs. They are *crucial*.