INTERVIEW with Holly Bourne + Giveaway

Today, I'm very pleased to have the lovely Holly Bourne, author of Soulmates where you can find me review here. She has inspired me and has created a refreshing and unique YA Contemporary based on the danger of falling in love. I would recommend this debut novel to anyone. Its truly inspiring. Before I introduce to Holly, here is a little bit about the her novel Soulmates.

by Holly Bourne
Publisher - Usborne
Release Date - September 1st 2013
Buy - Amazon | Book Despoistory

Every so often, two people are born who are the perfect matches for each other. Soulmates. But while the odds of this happening are about as likely as being struck by lightning, when these people do meet and fall in love…thunderstorms, lightning strikes and lashings of rain are only the beginning of their problems.

Enter Poppy, the 17-year-old cynic with a serious addiction to banana milk, and Noah, the heart-throb guitarist; residents of mediocre Middletown, sometime students, and…soulmates.

After a chance meeting at a local band night, Poppy and Noah find themselves swept up in a whirlwind romance unlike anything they’ve ever experienced before. But with a secret international agency preparing to separate them, a trail of destruction rumbling in their wake, (and a looming psychology coursework deadline), they are left with an impossible choice between the end of the world, or a life without love…

1.       Soulmates is a unique, refreshing and inspiring YA contemporary novel. What inspired you to take a different and dangerous perspective to a love story?

Thank you! I was inspired to start Soulmates round about the time Twilight went absolutely berserk and bookshops dedicated entire shelves to ‘dark romance’ stories. I, like everyone else, jumped fully on the bandwagon, devouring them all. But it did get me thinking: Is love really like this? And is it good for us to be constantly told love is like this? That’s when I wanted to write a book that challenges our conceptions of love - playing with, and subverting, romantic clichés so I could analyse how healthy our understanding of them are.

I don’t know if anyone reading this has ever seen the film Scream but that was my main inspiration – despite being a gory horror movie. I basically wanted Soulmates to be the Scream of Romantic YA fiction. On the surface, Scream’s a pretty terrifying horror movie. But, it’s also a tribute to (and take-down of) the horror genre itself – constantly making jokes about generic conventions and twisting them to refresh the genre. On the surface, I wanted Soulmates to be a beautiful, gooey love story – but I also wanted that constant underlay of self-awareness and challenge. I hope I did it…

2.       Were any of your characters based on yourself or any inspirations of yours?

I think every character you write has an element of ‘you’ in them. Because even if you’re nothing like them, you’re choosing to put words into their mouths and choosing their decisions for them. That said, Lizzie was very much based on a housemate from university who got far-too-excited by everyone’s love lives.

3.       Tell us a little more about Anita, Dr Beaumont, she seems to have a very strong connection to Soulmates… did that start the laboratory and division against ‘Soulmates’?

One of the most common questions I get asked is: Will there be a sequel to Soulmates….usually by readers who are pretty darn unhappy by the ending. I don’t have any urge to write a sequel, but I do have an itching for a possible prequel – showing how Anita became Dr Beaumont. With that in mind, I’m reluctant to spill too much here J

But, yes, in Soulmates it hints that Anita once had her very own soulmate, and that she chose to work for the company that separated them. That’s why she’s so very broken.

4.       If your book was to be turned into a film, who would you imagine playing Noah, Poppy and Lizzie?
They would HAVE to be British, otherwise I’d get a major strop on. I would like them to be pretty unknown (I’m not giving it the best shot of being a blockbuster with this, am I?). Noah was inspired a lot by the character Robbie from Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging – so in my head he’s looks a bit like Aaron Taylor-Johnson. But he’s too old now…
A reader pointed me towards Nico Mirallegro from My Mad Fat Diary and I was like ‘YES’. So maybe him?

5.       It was quite an emotional ending, was it a challenge to create one that differs so much from a ‘happy ever after’ cliché in most YA contemporaries.

It was a HUGE challenge, mainly overcoming my fear that nobody would like the ending! Or that no publishing house would publish a romance that finishes like that. I knew it would divide opinion, I knew it would piss people off – and I struggled with how I’d cope with that reaction. But you have to write without fear. And you have to write because you ultimately have something you want to say - otherwise what’s the point?

It was personally heart-wrenching though, to leave it like that. I sobbed for about three days after I finished it, so I can totally understand where reader’s upset has come from. But it’s been touching seeing just how many people totally ‘get’ the ending, and who’ve contacted me to say how much they liked it was different. Even if they did need a tonne of tissues and chocolates to recover.

6.       Finally as a reader and a huge fan of your writing, what is instore next for your next book or plotline?

My second book – The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting – is finished, and out this year! I’m so SO excited about people reading it.

It’s a narrative deconstruction of the age-old ‘Geek Vs Popular People’ storyline and I hope it will really resonate with people.  I basically wanted to answer the question: ‘Does school damage you permanently?’ and I did a lot of research into bullying and popularity and mental health to frame the whole story.

Here’s the blurb, for anyone interested *winks at you all madly*

“Apparently I’m boring. A nobody. I don’t embrace. But that’s all about to change. Because I am starting a project. Here. Now. For myself. And if you want to come along for the ride then you’re very welcome.” 

Bree is by no means popular. Most of the time, she hates her life, her school, her never-there parents. So she writes.
But when Bree is told she needs to stop shutting the world out and start living a life worth living, The Manifesto on How to be Interesting is born.

Six steps on how to be interesting. How to be someone people want to read about. Six steps that will change everything. But, the question is, at what cost?

Out September 2014

Thank you so much for being here today and answering my questions, Holly. I’ll look forward to what you have next instore for us. 


Courtesy of the lovely Usborne publisher I have a copy of Holly Bourne's Soulmates to only lucky winner. It is UK and IRELAND. Sorry to those who don't live in the UK. To enter, fill out the raffelcopter form below. Good Luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Great interview, Emma! This is the first time I've heard of this book. But it does sounds look interesting and the author seems to make this book as realistic and honest as possible. I'm a little afraid of "that" ending (I'm seriously big on HEA) although, I know, realistically, the don't happen all the times. Hehe. I'll be adding this on my shelf. Thanks for this lovely post. :)

    Eunice @ Book Overdose

  2. Wonderful interview, ladies! This does sound like an original story. I'd be really hesitant to pick it up though because I'm a HEA kind of girl. :)

  3. If I could have a Soulmate, and he was a celebrity... ooh, now there's a difficult giveaway question! I think I'm going to have to be true to my Sherlock fangirl nature and say Benedict Cumberbatch :)

  4. Excellent interview. After reading this I'm even more tempted to read Soulmates :)

    1. If I could have a celebrity soulmate... I think he would probably be Rupert Grint as I'm obsessed with Harry Potter

  5. Thanks for the giveaway! I REALLY want to read Soulmates so my fingers are crossed ;)

    I'm not big on celebs and I'm struggling to even think of a name - so I don't know who I'd pick!

  6. Yay for British actors! ;) I remember reading your review of this one awhile back and this interview has me even more intrigued to read the book - hopefully soon! I also love the title of Bourne's upcoming novel (which is totally unrelated, but true)! Thanks for sharing, Emma - this was a fantastic interview. :)

  7. Oh, wow, I wouldn't have thought that this was based on Scream lol. Oh, that guy is so cute :) I'll be watching Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging soon, btw, so I get to meet this inspiration soon ;) I'm a HEA girl like almost any other, but once in a while I don't mind an ending that leaves you baffled with the decisions that don't turn the novel on a HEA route. I think they're much needed and since this managed to surprise you, I say it was done well. Lovely interview, girls! :)

  8. I can't wait to read The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting. I LOVED Soulmates, and the premise sounds so good and something I think I'll really enjoy.

    Great interview, you two!

  9. a different kind of emotional ending... ah okay you have me there, I always enjoy my typical happy ever after's but it sounds like the author took a major leap!


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