Skip to Content

'A deus ex machina'

16 September 2013

'It took a while to get the tone right. In YA everything has to be filtered through eyes and experience of the young adult, there can't be an intervening adult that comes down like a deus ex machina providing useful information or a weapon... adults can't do anything to resolve the critical issues in the plot. I didn't know that getting into it; it took me five drafts to figure that out...

I wanted to open Lynley's story up as I felt it was starting to close down. He was married, his wife Helen was pregnant, and they had resolved all sorts of personal problems... When Helen dies I asked the readers to feel something, I needed them to experience, at least in some respects, a margin of devastation. I've been asking readers to come and share in Lynley's life and I hoped they would feel something of what he would feel. I knew I had been successful when people were outraged. If you had finished that book, shrugged, threw it over your shoulder and then went in the kitchen and made yourself a sandwich, it hadn't worked.'

Elizabeth George, author of The Edge of Nowhere (YA) and Just One Evil in the Bookseller