Last year, Tanya Byrne released her stunning debut Heart-Shaped Bruise which blew everyone away. Last month, she followed it up with the equally excellent Follow Me Down. I’m delighted to have her on the blog to answer some questions.
1. Did you go to boarding school? Was it anything like Crofton? If not, would you want to have gone?
Oh God no. I would have made a break for it as soon as I saw the shared bathroom! My school in East London couldn’t have been more different, but it was an all-girls school, like Crofton, so it had some claustrophobia. Plus, they were super strict about the uniform so I was always getting detention for wearing DMs and black nail varnish.
2. How did you juggle writing along two timelines? Did you write it chronologically and then mix it up, or did you write it as it unfolds in Follow Me Down?
I wrote it in one go, starting on the day Adamma starts at Crofton (so chapter two) then cut it up and slotted it together. I had to do it that way because Adamma - and her voice – changes and I wouldn’t have been able to flick back and forth between the two. It wasn’t easy, though, because I wasn’t just juggling two timelines, but two stories as well. I did ask myself why I was doing it to myself several times!
3. After the wonderful Heart-Shaped Bruise went down so brilliantly, was Follow Me Down easier or harder to write because of it?
Harder. It’s the second album, innit? I genuinely wasn’t expecting the response we got for Heart-Shaped Bruise and that made it harder, I think. I was trying to write Follow Me Down while all of that was going on and all I could think was, ‘How do I top that? I can’t top that!’ I eventually had to make peace with the fact that I wasn’t going to.
And just for fun:
4. Favourite word?
5. Ultimate crush?
6. Current obsession?
The Daughter album. I. can’t. stop. listening. to. it.
A huge thank you to Tanya for answering my rather rambly questions! If you haven’t already, I strongly recommend you pick up copies of Heart-Shaped Bruise and Follow Me Down and prepare to be blown away.