A Q&A with Rosie Talbot

A Q&A with Rosie Talbot

Twelve Bones by Rosie Talbot is the second book in the Haunted York series, continuing from her first book, Sixteen Souls.

Ivan caught up with Rosie and asked her some questions about Twelve Bones.


Q1)What was the most unexpected challenge you encountered while writing the book?
A)The unexpected challenge I find writing all my books (so I suppose it’s less unexpected now) is how much I struggle to find a balance between the book and the rest of my life. When I get into writing I just want to stay in that world all the time. Alas, I still have to do other things as well. Writing can be all consuming at times.

Rosie Talbot
Rosie Talbot

Q2) Who was your favourite character to write and why?
A)They’re all my favourites for different reasons, but George Villiers is a lot of fun to write. Some of the ghosts are completely made up, but others, like Villiers, are based on formerly living people from history. So I had to do a lot of research for the character and decide what my version of Villiers was going to be like. My Villiers is self obsessed and overconfident on one hand, but also very brave and loyal to his friends on the other and this is reflected in his gestures and dialogue. When I’m not writing about him, he still thinks the story is all about him. Typical!

Q3) Do you feel there is enough representation of LGBT+ people in YA fiction today?
A)There is a lot more LGBTQIA+ representation in YA now than there ever has been but I always think there could be more! Everyone deserves to see themselves positively represented in the media, which is also why I believe in the power of subtle representation. My stories are never about what it is like to be queer and/or disabled, those are just aspects of some of my character’s experiences, not the focus of the book or their character arcs. I find this kind of representation very normalizing, but of course there is space for all kinds of stories and voices.

Q4) What inspired you to write for a young adult audience?
A)Probably because I loved reading when I was a teenager. I want to write the kind of books that I couldn’t find at that time. There is also something inherently wonderful about telling coming of age stories; there’s usually immediacy, fast paced narratives and very high stakes. All are aspects I love writing.

Q5) Is it more fun to write about ghosts or normal characters? Why do you think ghosts are so appealing as characters?
A)It’s fun to write about any character really. Everyone has their own story to tell. In the world of Sixteen Souls, ghosts are people in the same way the living are but they can’t easily interact with the material world and that presents all kinds of fun world building and plot challenges. I think ghosts are fascinating because they are one answer to the mystery of death, that in turn, throws up even more questions. Through the afterlife, we can explore life; what it means to be conscious, to exist and experience the breadth of human emotions. Also, some of them have funny hats.

Ivan is an enthusiastic teen reader whose intelligent and considerate reviews Books Up North has had the honour of sharing since 2021

Q6) If your books got made into a film or TV series, who would you like to play Charlie and Sam?

A)Good question! I would love to see an as yet undiscovered young actor play Charlie. There are not enough roles available for disabled actors but this would be one of them as I feel it would be important to cast Charlie as authentically as possible. The same for Sam. It’s important to me that he would be portrayed by a trans actor, and right now no one of the right age and look comes to mind. But, if we are lucky enough to get an adaptation I am sure that there is a trans actor out there who would be the perfect Sam!

Q7) If you could come back as a ghost after you have died what would you do?
A)Easy! I’d go right back to the bookshop and haunt it. When I am dead, if you’re ever in a bookshop and hear a mysterious voice in your ear whispering that you deserve at least two new books, then that’s probably me.

Q8) When do you plan to release book 3?
A)Book three of the Haunted York series will be a prequel set in 1930s York and focuses on Viola from Twelve Bones. The planned release date is autumn 2025.


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