Siobhan Curham talks new friends and chasing dreams
Published on: 20 September 2016
Moonlight Dreamers author Siobhan Curham talks about her latest book, gives tips on finding the right friends at school and shares advice on chasing your dreams.
Friendship is a big theme in Moonlight Dreamers. Could you tell us a bit about the friendship between the four main characters?
I wanted to celebrate friendship in The Moonlight Dreamers, but it was also really important to me that the book was realistic - in real life, not everyone gets along and some personalities are bound to clash.
Amber, the girl who sets up the Moonlight Dreamers, is quite awkward because of having been bullied. Maali's big-hearted and hopelessly romantic. Sky's free-spirited, really into poetry and she instantly gets on with Amber and Maali but she hates Rose, the final Moonlight Dreamer.
Rose is really angry at the start of the book because she's had to move to London from New York because of her parents' divorce. I really liked writing the storyline of their friendship and seeing their mutual hatred slowly turn to love.
As it's September and some of your readers have made the leap to secondary school from primary, what advice do you have for coping with a new school?
I can still remember vividly how scared I was when I started high school. It feels like such a huge step, especially as you're going from being the oldest in a smaller school to the youngest in a bigger school.
The important thing to remember is that EVERYONE in your year will be feeling as anxious as you.
It will be daunting at first but if you make the effort to be as positive and friendly as possible you should soon find yourself settling in. Join clubs that you're interested in and try to meet as many new people as possible. That gives you the best chance of finding the friends who are right for you.
What's the most important thing to remember about following your dreams?
That everyone fails at some point or another, so don't give up if things don't go your way immediately! When I first became an author I wrote four books for adults. When the fourth book didn't sell as well as the publisher wanted I lost my book deal. I was devastated.
At first I gave up on writing and felt really down but then I decided to write my first young adult novel, Dear Dylan, and self-publish it. That self-published book went on to win a national book award and I had six different publishers bidding for it at auction.
The Moonlight Dreamers is my 12th book - but it wouldn't even exist if I'd given up after I lost my adult book deal. So I'm absolute proof that you should never give up.
You're working on a Moonlight Dreamers website - can you tell us a bit about it?
I'm really excited about the Moonlight Dreamers website. I want it to become a community for young adults to come to, to be inspired and to inspire others. There will be a weekly blog called Dare to Dream, which will give young people a chance to talk about the topics and themes from the book. You can find more details at Dare to Dream Coaching.