Interview with Joanne Reay

We've been lucky enough to catch up with screenwriter and author Joanne Reay who has just released her fantasy novel Romeo Spikes, the first in the Lo Life series.

Ant You have been an accomplished scriptwriter for some time, what made you decide to branch out into writing novels?

Joanne It happened more by accident. Lo’Life began as a screenplay and by chance it was passed to a publisher. They asked me if I’d be interested in adapting it as a novel. Believing that this would be an easy task, I said yes. I now know better. Being able to write a 90 page screenplay does not qualify you to write a novel, in the same that being a dab hand at ping-pong does not qualify you for Wimbledon.

Ant As a scriptwriter have you had the opportunity to meet many famous people?

Joanne I’ve worked with quite a variety, such as Wesley Snipes, David Bowie, Peter Fonda, Goldie, Matt Lucas. There remains many more that I hope to work with. Tom Waits is an idol of mine and if I am very luck, perhaps someday Nick Cave will score the soundtrack to one of my movies.

Ant Romeo Spikes is pretty unique with a very different voice, who do you see as inspiration for this style?

Joanne I don’t know who has influenced me. I think that writing movies makes me want to move the action on and twist the story another notch. But I can’t tell you where the voice comes from. As long as there is only the one voice in my head – I’m happy.

Ant Suicide plays a big part in the story of Romeo Spikes, what encouraged you to promote this issue?

Joanne The rate of suicide amongst young adults is now so high that the World Health Organization has declared it an epidemic. It’s a tough subject to tackle but doing so through a supernatural cypher might be one way to get it talked about.

Ant It is clear that Romeo Spikes is just the beginning of a series, can you tell us anything about future plans for "Lo Life"?

Joanne In Romeo Spikes, Detective Bianco is taken deep into the supernatural world of Lola. In the next book, the roles are reversed and Lola becomes locked into the search for a bizarre and brutal serial killer. As the two worlds of humans and Tormenta once again collide, the investigation takes an unexpected twist into the realm of quantum theory.

Ant Who are your favourite authors?

Joanne Lewis Carroll (always) and Martin Amis (sometimes).

Ant How have you found the experience of writing your first novel?

Joanne Like being on centre court in front of thousands of people with only a ping-pong paddle in my hand.

Ant If you could be asked any one question you wanted, what would the question and answer be?

Joanne Q: Will we ever find the answer to the meaning of life?

A: Life is the answer. What we don’t know is the question.

Romeo Spikes is out now online and in bookshops.