I first came across Keren David’s writing when I was researching my novel on adoption, Before I Was Yours(out in 2017). Her Young Adult novel, Salvage, was recommended to me both by fellow writers and by those who worked in adoption services. I knew that it would be a very special read.
I read a news story about adopted children being contacted by their birth families through social media, and how that can cause all sorts of problems, especially for teenagers. I filed it away to research. Then it turned out that one of the mums at my son’s football team was a social worker specialising in adoption. She said ‘I’ve got an idea for a book for you,’ and I said ‘Wow, I already had that idea!’ So she helped me research the book.
Your novels tackle strong social issues. What kind of research do you do – for example, in the case of Salvage, on the subject of adoption?
I talked to my friend the social worker, and also to someone who had adopted a child. I read a lot about children in care. But I find I have to be careful not to over research – I want my characters to tell their own stories, not to be a proxy for someone else.