I rarely participate in blog tours, but when I was asked if I’d like to share 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Sally Gardner, I knew it’d be a fun blog post. Earlier this year, I went to the Stoke Newington Literary Festival and attended the event for Maggot Moon. I had such an enjoyable time – Sally’s a wonderful person to listen to – and I loved hearing stories about her childhood.
But for her latest novel, Tinder, Sally’s moved away from dystopian alternate realities and back to her fantasy roots with this modern retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, The Tinderbox, about a young soldier who defies death. She was inspired to retell the story after meeting a soldier who had served in Iraq, who felt that war ‘left him with little except nightmares’. I’ve not read the original fairy tale, so this will be new to me, but I’ve been promised that it’s a dark, young adult – not middle grade – novel… !
10 Things you Didn’t Know About Sally Gardner
1. Sally has three Japanese tattoos on her arm – they look like re-imagined planets.
2. Sally loves dachshunds, particularly miniature long-haired ones called Lottie.
3. Sally’s mum, Nina Lowry, was the second female judge in the Old Bailey.
4. Sally likes collecting robots and ravens. Especially robots circa 1955.
5. Sally also has an obsession with antique maps and antique books, as if they were animate objects with lives of their own…
6. Sally started out as a set designer and built a set out of 1,500 car tires for the Good Woman of Szechuan at the Royal Court back in the day.
7. Sally didn’t have a television when growing up, instead she used to dream she had an actor living in her bedroom cupboard to read her stories.
8. Sally has pink hair at the moment, but she likes to change the colour often for that element of surprise.
9. Sally is a dab hand at interior design, often called upon by friends for eccentric design advice.
10. Sally believes in magic (you might know that already, but just in case…).
So there you are! I also really quite like antique books and maps – they’re beautiful. Tinder is also beautiful book – if that’s an appropriate description for something that sounds terrifying! – and full of exquisite, haunting illustrations by David Roberts. In the acknowledgements Sally says ‘as a young adult I was heartbroken that being grown-up meant reading books without illustrations’ and I quite agree. I’m looking forward to curling up with this on a dark winter’s night.
Other stops on the Tinder blog tour:
31st – Waterstones Blog
7th – Gollancz Blog
8th – The Book Addicted Girl
11th – Choose YA
12th – Me!
13th – Serendipity Reviews
14th – The Pewter Wolf
15th – Reading Zone