Interview with Anna Morgan, author of All That Impossible Space @ausyabloggers blog tour!
As a part of the All That Impossible Space blog tour with AusYABloggers and Hachette Australia, I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to interview Anna Morgan about her debut novel All That Impossible Space.
Here’s the synopsis of the book!
I am so excited to share my interview with Anna with all of you! Without further ado, here it is!
I actually don’t read a huge amount of murder mysteries, which might be surprising! But I do enjoy true crime podcasts – I was hooked on Serial a few years ago and also love In The Dark. What really drew me to the story of the Somerton Man was its poetic strangeness – even now I’m not sure if I’d classify it as a murder mystery. I guess that’s the point!
What made you choose a crime that really exists to be the basis of your story?
The more I investigated the story of the Somerton Man the more I loved it – the story just gets deeper and stranger the longer you spend with it. I also felt a real emotional connection between the man without an identity, and being a teenager when you’re trying to figure out your your identity too.
Was there any strange or obscure research that you needed to do to help you write All That Impossible Space?
Oh there were some deep rabbit holes to dive down and lots of truly bizarre Google searches! I obviously did a lot of research on the Somerton Man case (and to be honest I feel sometimes like I’ve only scratched the surface – many people have spent almost their whole lives investigating the case!). I learned things I never thought I would know about police procedure and spy rings in the 1940s, the birth of ASIO, refugees forced into labour projects, ballet dancers, nuclear missile testing, and codes. I also visited Adelaide in person a few years ago and found that experience quite moving, especially going to the grave of the man, and walking along Somerton Beach. But more general writing research led to unexpected places too: I found myself googling Bulgarian cockroaches (to name a fictional hotel), and the specific difference between shades and hues in colour theory (in the copy edit of one line of description).
Lara and Ashley don’t have a healthy friendship, do you think it’s important that friendships like theirs are shown and addressed more in young adult literature?
I am so glad you singled out the friendship for this question, since it’s the most important relationship in the book for me! One of my aims was to show a kind of friendship-triangle in the book instead of a love triangle – because for me in my teen years, friendships were much more all-consuming and complex than romantic relationships. I think you can have some of the best friendships of your life as a teenager (and I’ll just say here that both of my closest friends from high school are brilliant and we’re still close today!) but you’re also vulnerable and figuring out your own identity, so can end up in friendships that are not as healthy. I hope All That Impossible Space can explore what that’s like, and how to navigate those tricky relationships. For other examples in YA literature, I really love how Fiona Wood’s Wildlife and Erin Gough’s Amelia Westlake deal with female friendships. Oh, and even though it’s not YA, I have to recommend the Elena Ferrante Neopolitan quartet for one of the best (if quite dark!) depictions on just how complex friendships can be. It’s such a rich topic for fiction, I don’t think it can be talked about enough.