Meet Felicia Yap Author Of Future Perfect

What would you do if you were told you're going to die tomorrow? This is one of the questions raised in Felicia Yap's second novel Future Perfect, a murder mystery which races through a fifty year period in the worlds of high fashion and technology. 

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Read on to find out where Yap got the inspiration from for the novel, her advice for writer of speculative fiction and what her favourite cocktail is!

Book cover of Future Perfect by Felicia Yap

TW: Tell us about yhow you came up with the idea for the book.

FY: The idea for Future Perfect came to me on a catwalk. A backstage helper handed me an extremely heavy leather bag just before I walked onto the runway. I remember clutching the bag and thinking as I glided down the platform, almost blinded by the spotlights: What if someone put a bomb inside the handbag and we are all going to die? Would I have led my life a little differently yesterday, had I known I would die today?

TW: How much of a challenge was it to write a story that spans more than fifty years?

FY: It wasn’t too crazy, thankfully, but I had to keep a close eye on consistency and logic as I edited the story.

TW: How much of Future Perfect is drawn from, or inspired by, your own life experiences?

FY: Future Perfect is shaped by everything that I have seen, heard, tasted, felt and touched. All books are indirectly inspired by the experiences of their authors. Even imagination has its roots in experience. This is why nothing is ever wasted in the great game of Life and all experiences are useful for writers hoping to capture the human condition.

TW: Do rapid advances in technology fascinate or frighten you? 

FY: Technology fascinates me, especially predictive technologies. I used to write for the science and technology section of The Economist. At one point, I wrote a bunch of articles on how to detect buried treasure and predict natural phenomena like forest fires or tsunamis. Future Perfect is partly about how technologies might soon have the capacity to predict a person’s life – or death.

TW: How was 2020 for you, both as a writer and as someone experiencing a world-wide pandemic? What did the lockdowns teach you about yourself?

FY: I’ll focus on the silver linings. I got a lot of writing done in 2020; I did a residency at a castle in Scotland just before the first lockdown and managed to write quite a bit on the road over the summer. I also learnt a lot about the world we inhabit. It was fascinating to observe how crises reveal character, how pressure brings out people’s truest sides. Decision-making under pressure fascinates me (I used to teach ‘Crisis and Decision-Making’ to Masters students at the London School of Economics).

The year has taught me the importance of thinking outside the box on a daily basis, to avoid falling into the mental trap of routine (it’s pretty easy to slip into a Groundhog Day existence under lockdown conditions). I have realised that it’s important to channel one’s creative powers to making each day unique and memorable. Routine can stifle creativity; inspiration often springs from the unfamiliar and unexpected. 2020 has taught me to look for opportunity in crisis, to keep focusing on the things I enjoy.

TW: Tell us about how you first landed your agent and publishing deal for Yesterday.

FY: I was fortunate to have a lot of agent interest in Yesterday before I finished writing the book. When I met my agent Jonny in person, I realised we get along well. Jonny’s amazing and I owe a lot to him.

TW:: When do you write and how long did it take you to write a first draft of Future Perfect?

FY: I’m usually more productive in the mornings and tend to think (and write) a little better before lunch. The full first draft of Future Perfect took about fifteen months to write, much longer than I had expected.

TW: What advice would you give aspiring authors looking to write speculative fiction?

FY: They say good fiction is a bridge between the familiar and the unfamiliar. Likewise, to write about the future, one needs to understand the past. Speculative fiction needs to be rooted in the familiar and anchored in the world we live in, even as one’s imagination runs free.

TW: What genre do you read to relax, and can you name some of your favourite authors and novels? 

FY: I read literary fiction to relax. Patricia Highsmith, Daphne Du Maurier and F. Scott Fitzgerald have written some of my favourite books (Tender is the Night helped inspire my debut novel Yesterday).

TW: What are you working on now?

FY: I wish I could tell you, but I have stopped discussing the projects I’m currently working on with anyone for fear of jinxing them. Even my long-suffering partner Alex hasn’t got a clue.

Quick fire questions: 

TW: Your favourite novel(s)?

FY: The Talented Mr Ripley & Rebecca

TW: Your favourite TV series/film(s)? 

FY: The Bridge & Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

TW: Your favourite thing(s) in your wardrobe?

FY:  My scarlet Alexander McQueen dress

TW: Your favourite travel destination(s)?

FY:  Italy, Japan, Taiwan, Costa Rica, Dominica, St Kitts & Nevis and the Yellowstone National Park (USA). I have visited 143 countries and these are my top seven travel destinations. There is a common thread to them – I like places with volcanoes and hot springs.

TW: Your favourite cocktail(s)?

FY: Mojitos in Cuba and rum punches in Dominica – they aren’t quite the same elsewhere!

Thanks Felicia!

Author photo of Felicia Yap

More about Future Perfect: 

What if today was your last day?

A bomb has exploded during a fashion show, killing a beautiful model on the catwalk. The murderer is still at large... and he may strike again. Yet this is the least of Police Commissioner Christian Verger's worries. His fiancee Viola has left him. He has to keep his tumultuous past a secret. To make things worse, his voice assistant Alexa is 99.74% sure he will die tomorrow.

Moving from snowy 1980s Montana to chic 1990s Manhattan to a drone-filled 2030s Britain, Future Perfect is an electrifying race to solve a murder before it's too late. Yet it is also a love story, a riveting portrait of a couple torn apart by secrets, grief and guilt. A twisted tale of how the past can haunt a person's future and be used to predict if he will die... or kill.


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