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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, author R. E. Boucher shares the inspiration behind her YA dystopian thriller, The Electi.
Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed R. E. Boucher about her life and career, what inspired her new YA dystopian thriller, The Electi, and her creative writing process.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
I am a musician, composer, and author hailing from the beautiful town of Bournemouth, England. With a decade of experience teaching in primary schools and nearly twenty years of singing and performing under my belt, I find immense joy in expressing my creativity through various art forms.
When did you first WANT to write a book?
Writing stories has been a lifelong passion for me, starting from my early childhood days. The desire to write a book was never a conscious decision; I found myself jotting down ideas whenever they struck, and that’s how “The Electi” began taking shape.
When did you take a step to start writing?
The spark for “The Electi” ignited when a vivid dream inspired me. As ideas continued to flow, I felt compelled to put pen to paper, gradually transforming those musings into well-structured chapters, ultimately making the decisive move to write a full manuscript.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
It took approximately four years to complete “The Electi.” The majority of the writing happened during lockdown, where I was fortunate to have more time on hand while working from home.
What made you want to write The Electi?
My motivation to write “The Electi” stemmed from my desire to inspire the younger generation, much like how Malorie Blackman’s “Noughts and Crosses” had a profound impact on me during my teenage years. The book serves as both a cautionary tale about the future’s potential perils and a beacon of hope, empowering young readers to be the change-makers.
What were your biggest challenges with writing The Electi?
The most significant challenge I faced was finding time to write amidst my full-time teaching job and other artistic pursuits, such as composing a musical.
Who or what inspired you when creating your Protagonist?
The protagonists in “The Electi” draw inspiration from the students I have taught throughout my career. It was imperative to me to represent children with diverse backgrounds who often remain underrepresented in popular fiction. As a result, I crafted the protagonists as Pakistani/Polish twins, aiming to celebrate diversity and inclusivity.
Who or what inspired you when creating your Antagonist?
My antagonist’s character is a reflection of the tendencies I observe in modern-day UK politicians, particularly individuals like Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg. The antagonist embodies the caricature of those who grow up in privilege and attempt to govern a country comprising underprivileged citizens.
What is the inciting incident of The Electi?
One of the first inciting incidents in “The Electi” occurs when the protagonists’ beloved family dog, Sully, runs away. This seemingly simple event sets off a chain reaction, revealing unexpected truths about Sully and sparking irreversible chaos that unravels the world around them.
What is the main conflict of The Electi?
The central conflict in “The Electi” revolves around the tension between the privileged Electi class and the marginalized Treb class. The ruling Electi class employs terror to subjugate the lower Treb class, but their grip on power weakens as the Trebs rise up in resistance.
Did you plot The Electi in advance, or fly by the seat of your pants and write freely?
I initially delved into writing with a surge of ideas, allowing my creativity to flow freely. As I progressed and penned a few chapters, I embraced a more structured approach, planning the plotlines meticulously to transform my ideas into a cohesive and captivating novel.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did The Electi need?
My publishers provided invaluable in-house editing support for “The Electi,” and I am grateful for their expertise. Fortunately, the editing process was relatively smooth, requiring minimal changes.
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a story?
Start writing! Capture all your ideas, and don’t hesitate to put them on paper—it’s much easier to trim excess content than to fill in gaps.
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
I am thrilled to reveal that I am planning to turn “The Electi” into an enthralling trilogy, extending the story and its impact. Additionally, I am actively working on a memoir and a self-help book dedicated to supporting teachers.
And, finally, are you proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
I am absolutely elated and immensely proud of my debut novel, “The Electi.” Witnessing it touch the hearts of readers, even strangers, has been a dream come true for me. The effort poured into crafting this novel and its positive reception makes every moment worthwhile. My ultimate goal is to visit schools and inspire the next generation of writers, amplifying the power of storytelling and diverse voices.
Pop all your book, website, and social media links here so the readers can find you:
Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok: @thereboucher
Visit my website: www.reboucher.co.uk
Purchase “The Electi”
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