Some of you will know Savannah from her prolific You Tube Channel where she draws a crowd with her stunning spoken-word poetry and her Write With Me live streams that encourage her subscribers to write and be productive (with breaks for chatting!).
Having previously self published her collection of poems (Graffiti: and other poems) , Savannah’s first novel The Truth About Keeping Secrets is out now. We can’t wait to get reading!
We caught up with the lovely Savannah to chat about life as a novelist, her inspirations and what’s next!
Hi Savannah, congratulations on the new book! It sounds like it’s been quite a journey getting to this point. From YouTube and poetry to writing a novel; is becoming a novelist something that you’ve always wanted to do?
Thank you so much! My love of writing actually started with stories and prose – I was a total bookworm as a kid – but then around high school I fell in love with poetry, too, and of poetry and prose, poetry was actually translatable to YouTube. But I was always still working on stories on the sidelines, so to have this first
novel out now is absolutely a dream come true.
The Truth about Keeping Secrets is out now! Can you tell us a little bit about the plot?
TTAKS is about a girl called Sydney who loses her dad, a therapist, in a car crash. She suspects the crash wasn’t accidental, and after the threatening texts begin and June Copeland — the homecoming queen — appears at his funeral, she’s sure of it. Sydney develops a relationship with June who offers a glimpse of a life without the darkness of an unresolved grief — and even though Sydney knows everyone is keeping secrets, she’s not sure she wants to know what they are.
We’ve heard The Truth About Keeping Secrets described as a voice-led thriller, is the thriller genre one that you gravitate towards as a reader? Are there any writers who have especially inspired you?
TTAKS actually began as more of a straight contemporary, and admittedly I’d never been an especially voracious thriller reader – but the thriller elements came out in later drafts, and I really began to appreciate the genre’s ability to dive into some really dark themes in a safe environment. In general, my YA is inspired by writers of lyrical and character-driven stories like Nina LaCour and Jandy Nelson, and I’m not sure I’d be writing YA at all if I hadn’t read all the John Green I could get my hands on in middle school.
On YouTube you hosted live ‘write with me’ streams where you worked on your writing alongside your viewers; how important has the support of your online community been in the process of writing The Truth about Keeping Secrets?
The ‘write with me’ streams were conceived during a time where I was too busy writing the book to regularly upload, so the streams worked as a perfect substitute – I wasn’t just talking about the book anymore, but I was literally there, writing it. Coworking proved a great way to keep on track and provided some accountability – not just for me, but for everyone else who was there working too.
Now that The Truth about Keeping Secrets is on the bookshop shelves, what are you working on?
I have another novel out in 2020 (not a sequel to TTAKS, but another standalone in the same genre) and am in the early stages of writing a new poetry collection!