Best friends Sophie and Tye are watching TV when a car crashes through the living room wall. The driver and passenger are twins, Harry and Gemma. Next door neighbour, eleven-year-old Issy, witnesses the accident. In the aftermath, Tye is thrown into a coma, Gemma's dark past begins to
haunt the present, and Sophie starts to fall for Harry - but how can she, when he was the driver who nearly killed her best friend? And Issy, meanwhile, hides a terrible secret ...
The Inspiration for The Crash
I was always told, start YA with a bang. And so far that’s exactly what I’ve done. There’s a shock childbirth in The Baby and then a shock crash through the living room wall in The Crash. I like this formula; I like thinking about the ripples of reaction which weave through the lives of those involved after the event.
And my inspiration for my five characters? I work and live with young people, so I’m used to the vast array of delights and frustrations that teenage life presents. I’ve watched my kids’ friends; I’ve listened to my students; and I’ve remembered my own teenage years, and somehow, there are five hazy characters who form out of all of this, and then, once I put finger to keyboard, they start to take on a life of their own. I can honestly say that none of my characters are based on any one real life person, however I can also honestly say that they’re an amalgamation of a lot.
Most importantly though, I wanted, in this book, to write about characters who aren’t always perfect and who have their flaws, just like – let’s admit – the vast majority of us. In the book The Red House by Mark Haddon there’s a character who I particularly enjoyed reading about. She’s spiky and sometimes unpleasant and the more I read about her, the more I wanted to know about her. Life’s full of spiky, slightly unpleasant people with varying reasons of their own. I wanted The Crash to represent this. Even if we aren’t spiky and unpleasant, I’m sure we have our moments. And I hope that Gemma, one of the lead characters in The Crash, represents this side of us all.
Lisa Drakeford is the acclaimed author of The Baby, which was shortlisted for the 2014 Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition. Her new novel, The Crash, is out now priced £7.99.