Q & A with Sara Barnard Transcript
Hi, I’m Sara Barnard and I am the author of Beautiful Broken Things.
Beautiful Broken Things is the story of Caddy who is a 16 year old who lives in Brighton. And she’s waiting for her first significant life event because she feels like she’s quite ordinary, she’s had quite an ordinary life.
And she’s been best friends with a girl called Rosie since they were very young even though they go to different schools. And that’s kind of the central relationship in her life. And then Rosie meets a new girl called Suzanne who’s very mysterious and very beautiful and a lot of fun. And the story really unfolds as to how this new girl affects the relationship between Rosie and Caddy. And the adventures that they all get up to together.
What inspired you to write the book?
I wanted to write a story about friendship during the teenage years that was focused on it rather than kind of a side plot. So many books are romances – which is great – but sometimes that’s… a lot of the time that’s at the expense of friendships. So I wanted to have a book that was celebrating friendships during the teenage years.
Why did you decide to set the novel in Brighton?
Well I live in Brighton, and I really love this city so it’s very familiar to me and I wanted to be able to write about it. And it really struck me when I moved here a few years ago what a fun place it must be to grow up in. So when I started to write Beautiful Broken Things it seemed like the obvious choice. There’s so much to do, and as a writer that meant that I could send my characters to the beach or to the pavillion, and they could have all kinds of adventures that hopefully would be interesting to the reader as well.
Which of the characters did you most enjoy writing? Which did you most identify with?
I most enjoyed writing Rosie I think, because she is just so blunt and matter-of-fact and that’s just quite fun – because I’m not like her – so it’s quite fun to explore that through her. And I always enjoy writing Suzanne because she’s so much fun.
And then the character I most identify with is definitely Caddy, the more quiet one, the one who doesn’t always say what she’s thinking, who is always a little unsure around even her friends. And that was definitely me when I was a teenager.
What are some of your favourite places to go in Brighton?
The beach. The beach is definitely my favourite. I also love the pavillion and when I have friends visiting we go along the pier.
Where do you write?
I write in my little writing cave in my flat. It’s underground and there are no windows, which is why it’s my writing cave. But it is very nice and my cat keeps me company.
What are some of your favourite YA books right now?
Well I’m reading Unbecoming by Jenny Downham at the moment and it’s amazing so I’m really enjoying that. Recently I also loved The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood. That’s a really brilliant, summery read, for a day like today it’d be perfect.