Luisa Plaja grew up in Sicily and London speaking Italian and English, sometimes at the same time. This made her confusing but it also ignited her passion for words and language.
As a teenager, Luisa submitted photo romance scripts to her favourite magazines, and some of her stories were published. She caught the writing bug and has since written many novels, short stories and non-fiction books, available in more than ten languages. She has also worked as a television subtitler, dictionary editor, technical translator and linguistic software developer.
Currently living in Devon, Luisa has always been an avid reader and recommender of Teen/Young Adult fiction.
Luisa has currently written one title for Badger Learning, You Don’t Care from their Two Sides series — six captivating stories which contain two parallel narratives offering differing perspectives on the same situation.
Q&A with Luisa Plaja
What inspired you to write for reluctant readers?
I love the idea of removing any possible barriers to the enjoyment of a good story. Books are for everyone!
What challenges do struggling readers face when they open a book?
One big challenge could be distraction. The challenge for authors is to attract a reader's attention and hold it until the last page.
What is your favourite type of character to create?
Uncertain, sometimes under-confident characters who think everyone but them has the whole world figured out. They soon find out the truth – that nobody's life is perfect!
What features and methods do you use to ensure that your books have that High-Interest appeal that really engages young readers?
I try to write the books I'd like to read myself.
What difference do books like these make to children who are in need of literacy support?
The right books can open up the whole world of reading, giving access to infinite possibilities.
Can you give us any teasers of what to expect in your upcoming title?
Who does Hannah really care about? And does her boyfriend Jordan care too much about what other people say?
What are the major themes of your work?
Identity and self-discovery.
What controls do you place on the vocabulary you use and how important is this?
I think clarity and context are essential.
What is your favourite children's book?
Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers. "When I woke up this morning, I found I'd turned into my mother!"
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers/authors?
Writers are daydreamers. Next time you get told off when your mind wanders, try out this valid defence: "I was writing a novel in my head!"