About the Book:
1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?
My name’s Samiksha and I’m thirteen years old. I’ve always loved reading, so I think that’s what got me interested in writing. When I was younger, I always wrote short stories – in fact, I wrote my first little book when I was five! My writing has got better now, and I really hope that this skill progresses as I get older.
I started writing Legal Crime when I was seven years old, but the story has developed a lot since then. It’s been a really long journey and I’m so happy that I am able to share it with the world, and I will definitely be continuing with writing; I love it as much as reading!
2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?
I have insomnia (meaning I don’t actually get a lot of sleep) and so I would say that around 75% of Legal Crime was written and thought of in my bed! Other than that, I would say the living room table as that is where I do all of my other work – homework, classwork (because of Covid-19), art and of course, writing! This is because it helps me to stay closer to my family, which I think is very important especially in this digital age.
I work better during the evening and the night. For some reason, my brain feels more awake then! The majority of Legal Crime was written during this time, so I think that my favourite time to write would be twilight. Firstly, I think that the transition between day and night is really pretty, and secondly, I love the book (and movie) series!
3: Where do your ideas come from?
Well, I usually take inspiration from a bunch of things – nature, art, an important issue in the news, etc., but I think that what really drives me is things that happen in my own life, or things that I have seen happen to other people with my own eyes.
The idea for Legal Crime actually came to me in the bathroom when I was seven years old (I don’t know how; I was trying to think of an idea for a short story!) I wanted to write a story about a runaway, who, through her experiences, comes to appreciate her family. The story as it currently stands is very different and far longer than it originally was, but I still wanted to remain true to the first idea that sparked the beginning of this story. At this time, seven years old and naïve, I never expected my book to be any longer than ten pages, let alone be published!
Many people have asked me how I came up with the title Legal Crime. To be honest, it only came into my head very recently. Before then, I had experimented with countless other titles, some too cheesy to even mention. I was going to be happy with ‘I don’t
want need you’ (inspired by a note in the story) before the name came to me. I was sitting in an English class next to my friend, and the lesson was about oxymorons. I was scribbling down notes about my story at the back of a scrapbook when I was asked for an example of an oxymoron. Looking up at the board, I saw ‘Cruel Love’ and ‘Freezing Fire’ staring at me and started considering them as potential titles before I thought of ‘Legal Crime’. When my friend told me that that was a really good example, I knew that I had chosen the right title for the book!
4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?
At first, I had no plan. I don’t particularly like plans – I find them very time-consuming (but that could just be me). I know that a lot of authors usually plan excessively before even starting to write their book, but I didn’t. I was adding to the story as I went along and had zero planning at first. Then, I realised that the story was not going to make any sense, resulting in me making drastic changes to the storyline and creating a family tree, alongside an extremely vague chapter plan. For other stories, I just let my pen flow with whatever comes to my mind, then edit afterwards.
5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?
In my opinion, at this current time, Young Adult is the best! That may change as I get older, but when I decided that Legal Crime had the potential to be a novel-length book (this was when I was eight years old), I had to do YA! I started reading Young Adult fiction at this time (some people may argue that this age is too young to start reading YA, but I was getting bored of middle grade!) and was very interested in it, as I still am.
Currently, I love dystopia and fantasy (and if I start another universe of books, this will probably be the genre that I write in…) but at that time, I loved contemporary. I still do, but I read it a lot less than dystopia and fantasy. I suppose I just write whatever genre I have an interest in reading, so that I target people my own age (and older, or even younger!).
6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?
Hmmmmm… well, I would say myself as I love acting… but I don’t think I look (or am the right age) to play any of the characters. I would love to encourage newcomers to play the parts if I ever got the chance to turn Legal Crime into a movie/TV series! The film and TV industry has suffered a lot because of this Covid-19 crisis, etc., so ensuring that new budding actors who haven’t got the chance to shine on screen yet, but have got so much potential to do so, would be what I want to happen.
7: Do you read much and if so, who are your favourite authors?
Yes, I love reading! Choosing a favourite author is… very tricky. I can’t even count how many favourite authors I have! Let’s name a few… I like Karen M. McManus (One of Us is Lying etc.) and also would like to thank her for wishing me the best of luck on my launch for Legal Crime. J.K Rowling is a must. Veronica Roth (Divergent series) and Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games series) are amazing authors! Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments, The Dark Artifices etc.) is awesome, I love her work! Stephanie Meyer (Twilight series) is good, as is Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy series). Lauren Oliver (my favourite book by her is Before I Fall) and Gayle Forman (If I Stay) are fantastic authors too! I like Kendare Blake (Three Dark Crowns series) too, her work is brilliant and would also like to say thanks to her for her advice and well wishes.
Actually, I think that every single author in the world is amazing!
8: What book/s are you reading at present?
Sadly, I don’t have that much time to read lately. That being said, I still am reading some books, just not as quickly as I would like to. Usually, it takes me a day or two to finish each book but with the added pressure of schoolwork and lockdown, etc., it’s taking me slightly longer.
Currently, I’m reading Sister, Missing by Sophie McKenzie and I’m also looking forward to reading The Gilded Ones.
9: What is your favourite book and why?
Being asked to choose your favourite book is like being asked to choose which one of friends is your favourite! I can’t choose! I love most YA fiction – anything with some good dystopia and fantasy is currently amazing for me!
10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?
I feel that there are so many people out there, especially teenagers and young adults, with such great stories that are simply unheard of because they don’t feel that they have the ability to write a book that can be published. You can write an amazing book that might even be better than you would ever expect it to be! Age is just a number attached to you, don’t be afraid to start writing what comes to your mind. I would say that you should look for inspiration in anything, and the story will blossom in your mind. You might surprise yourself!
11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?
You can find out more about Legal Crime by visiting my website: www.legalcrime.co.uk and by subscribing to my newsletter at www.legalcrime.co.uk/subscribe. Also, you can follow the FB page for the book by going to www.facebook.com/legalcrimeuk. And, of course, if you have any questions/comments, feel free to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll try my best to answer ☺
About the Author:
Samiksha Bhattacharjee is a thirteen-year-old British author living with her parents and younger brother. She started writing ‘Legal Crime’ when she was seven, and hopes to inspire other children to start creative writing too. She also enjoys acting, singing, drawing and talking (a lot). Find out more information by visiting www.legalcrime.co.uk