Caroline Green: the Dark Ride to publishing success
Caroline, lives in Winchmore Hill with her husband, two sons, and "daft" chocolate labrador, Monty. Whilst an avid reader and a professional journalist, writing for a string of leading newspapers, she says that the road to publication of a novel was long and hard. Her very first novel was for adults, followed by a children's book. It wasn't until her boys were growing up that Caroline says that she became interested in writing for young adults. "It was discovering what great books were out there for this age group that made me want to try and write one myself".
Dark Ride was her first Young Adult (YA) novel, published in 2011 and has gone on to win a number of literary award, including the RoNA Young Adult award (Romantic Novel of the Year). Since them she has managed to produce a novel a year; Cracks in 2012, Hold Your Breath in 2013 and her latest book Fragments was published in Spring this year.
Here is Caroline reading Chapter One from Dark Ride (gripping stuff)
Writing for teenagers requires a different approach and style to writing for adults; a fast pace and strong plots are needed, to keep a young reader's attention, whether it is a story about growing up, first love or something darker. Her books are dark, psychological thrillers, "made up", and not drawn from true life. The protagonists, teenagers, find themselves in difficult situations; whether moving to an unknown part of the world, which triggers a mysterious series of events in Dark Ride, described as a "compelling dark mystery"; to hiding from ruthless counter-insurgency and anti-terror squads in "paranoid, near future Britain" in her latest novel, Fragments, described as a "a taut, suspenseful and fast-paced thriller" on the Lovereading4Kids website.
On her website carolinegreen.net are some You Tube trailers for her novels, which set the scene and draw the reader in. Marketing for the You Tube generation.
Caroline describes herself as living proof of that it is possible to get a novel published and find a market, if you "never give up", "after several years on the slushpile". Caroline admits that it took a long time to get her first book published. finding time to write a book whilst working on paid writing assignments and looking after two children wasn't easy. She has described the process as "a bit like knitting a scarf: if you just do a little bit whenever you can, before you know it, you'll have something growing in a satisfying way before your eyes".
Now that she has been able to give up the day job, to focus on her books, Caroline enjoys visiting schools to give readings of her novels, sharing her deeply held passion for both reading and writing. It is an age when many young people, especially boys read very little fiction, despite the success of blockbusters such as the Twilight series. One school that has recognised the value of having a living author to work with children is East Barnet,where she is Author in Residence and Caroline would enjoy forging links with other local schools.
She is also keen to support other budding novelists and offers a manuscript writing service for a small fee; as well as contributing to Strictly Writing, a blog on creative writing.
Can she be found with her laptop in our local cafes or pubs, aka JK Rowling, or musing over story lines whilst walking Monty in Grovelands Park?
And the film rights? Perhaps one day we will see this Winchmore Hill lady picking up an Oscar.
Meet Caroline Green, who has made the transition from commuter journalist to 'proper author', her description and the winner of a number of awards for her teenage fiction novels.