Emily Barr began her career as a journalist at the The Guardian before backpacking for a column assignment which inspired the concept for her first novel Backpack, which then went on to become a New York Times bestseller. After her debut hit, she has written 11 more books for adults and we have her on the show today to discuss her experiences writing her young adult debut The One Memory of Flora Banks, listed as Entertainment Weekly’s Most Anticipated YA Novel of the Year.
In her episode, she shares her experiences working as a journalist for The Guardian writing a column in the sports section before she transitioned into writing novels. We go into detail about her YA debut novel “The One Memory of Flora Banks” and how Norway inspired the setting of her story. We also discuss the research process behind anterograde amnesia and how Emily weaved that into her character’s story.
Further into her episode, we also discuss important non-writing related topics like what it’s like being middle-aged and having to take care of both your children and your parents. And what it truly means to live in the moment.
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“You made that happen, so it wasn’t really luck.”
“If you do something enough, you get better at it.”
What You’ll Learn From This Episode:
- How Svalbard, Norway inspired the setting of her story and you’ll learn something fun about polar bears!
- We go into detail about her YA debut, “The One Memory of Flora Banks”
- The research process behind anterograde amnesia and how Emily weaved that into her character’s story
- Her experiences working as a journalist for the Guardian writing a column in the sports section and how she transitioned into writing novels
- How her father’s profession in film studies and love for writing books about them helped to shape the beginnings of Emily’s interest in writing
- You’ll learn how Emily used to try and convince her three children to write
- How Emily’s partner, also a writer, has positive impact on her writing
- Being middle age, taking care of older parents but still taking care of kids younger generation
- Enjoying and living in the moment
- The supportive and encouraging community in the YA world
It’s not a lie if you can’t remember the truth.
Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. Her mind resets itself several times a day, and has since the age of ten, when the tumor that was removed from Flora’s brain took with it her ability to make new memories. That is, until she kisses Drake, her best friend’s boyfriend, the night before he leaves town. Miraculously, this one memory breaks through Flora’s fractured mind, and sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake is responsible for restoring her memory and making her whole again. So, when an encouraging email from Drake suggests she meet him on the other side of the world—in Svalbard, Norway—Flora knows with certainty that this is the first step toward reclaiming her life.
But will following Drake be the key to unlocking Flora’s memory? Or will the journey reveal that nothing is quite as it seems?
Already a bestselling debut in the UK, this unforgettable novel is Memento meets We Were Liars and will have you racing through the pages to unravel the truth.
Learn More About Emily Barr
Emily’s Recommended Books & Resources:
Angel Catbird Novel by Margaret Atwood
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett