"I've never had an actual fight with a character, but I have resisted a few times when something changes. I had a character show up on a page at random, and basically took over the story for the next twenty pages. I tried to push her out, and instead she became one of the main characters." - Scott Tracey, author ofWitch Eyes.
"The worst fight I've had with a character is probably Indigo in Indigo Blues. I wanted her to look at Adam, her ex, in a different light. She's stubborn and it was hard for her to see that he had grown." - Danielle Joseph, author ofIndigo Blues.
"Teens and anyone with $17. (Just kidding!) But seriously - I write for teens about contemporary complexities and challenges because being a teenager is the time in your life when you really start to figure out the kind of person you want to be and CAN be." - Daisy Whitney, author ofThe Mockingbirds.
"Contemporary paranormal YA. My books are grounded very much in the real world, with a single 'otherworldly' element. They’re classified as 'paranormal', but I see that as a jumping off point more than the dominant element. I like seeing how people think and react and what decisions they make when put in an unusual situation. So that’s what I write. Initially, I didn’t even realize my stories were YA, but I like the openness and flexibility people generally have at that time of their lives. Characters’ reactions are less certain and, therefore, more intriguing." - Jen Nadol, author ofThe Mark.
"Misfits of all kinds. I suppose because I identify with them. People on the fringes, who don't quite fit anywhere are the most interesting to me. If you really like marketing labels, you can call my writing YA, but in my mind, the only real rules of YA is that the main character is a teen and plot is important. the lack of rules is why I like it so much. It affords me the flexibility of writing a intimate, realistic book like Struts & Frets, then turn around and write a vast epic story about a demon girl in Catholic school and still be considered writing in the same genre. I feel like YA currently has the same sense of freedom as comics did in the 80's. Neil Gaiman said that they did so much bold work because there was this sense that nobody was paying attention. That they could get away with it because nobody took them seriously. That's where YA is right now. Successful, but not really taken seriously. That leaves lots of room to do the unexpected." - Jon Skovron, author of Struts & Frets.
"Dark, disaffected urban fantasy YA. I like stories that are more serious, may not always have a happy ending, and explore life as a loner. I write things that I would have wanted to read in high school, so that's my mindset right from the start." - Scott Tracey, author ofWitch Eyes.
"Teen fiction for real people. And I write it because that's where I found my voice and will always be a teen at heart." - Danielle Joseph, author ofIndigo Blues.
Ideas for novels can spring from unexpected places. Where were you when inspiration struck and what form did it arrive in?
"Inspiration tends to strike me in the car, so usually when I’m having trouble with plots or ideas I’ll hop behind the wheel and just drive for an hour or two. For A Touch Mortal, I was watching Jackass on MTV when Scott Tracey uttered the line that inspired the short story that became the book." - Leah Clifford, author ofA Touch Mortal.
"Inspiration once struck me while I was driving and listening to a great break-up song from Melissa Etheridge that made me think The Break-Up Album would be a terrific title for a novel. So I wrote a chick lit novel called just that during the summer of 2007. It didn't sell. Oh, I should have shared inspiration for a book that sold!" - Daisy Whitney, author ofThe Mockingbirds.
"I don’t remember where I was, but I’d just scrapped my first (horrible) novel and was trying to think of something new to write. It was a simple random thought - what if you knew it was someone’s day to die? - that became The Mark and Vision." - Jen Nadol, author ofThe Mark.
"The first line of the story (which was actually changed during revision) was Sammy's voice in my head, saying, "One thing I knew for certain, we were going to be famous." I think it was late one night while feeding my (then) three month old son in the rocking chair." - Jon Skovron, author of Struts & Frets.
Ideas for novels can spring from unexpected places.
Where were you when inspiration struck and
what form did it arrive in?
"I got the idea for from a dream. (I know!) In the dream, two people were sitting on a train--one of those old-fashioned, very fancy trains, but the train itself had become very worn down. And it was very hot. I still remember the girl in the dream--that would be Grace--thinking about how hot it was. And how scared she was that she was going to get caught. I woke up, thought, 'Huh?' but wrote it all down and then fell back asleep, hoping for a nice dream about, oh, me and three weeks with nothing to do but read! Instead I was back on the train. And this time the girl--and now I knew her name was Grace--wasn't alone. There was a guy about her age sitting next to her, and they knew each other but didn't know each other and they were both on the run from something. And then the guy looked at her and what Grace saw--I can't tell you because it's a huge spoiler for the book, sorry!---terrified her. And then he told her he knew what she was, said a word she didn't think she'd ever hear again. Then they just looked at each other. I woke up again then, thought, 'Nooooo! More!!' and got up and wrote everything down. And then it actually just sat for a while, stewing around in my brain while I tried to figure out why Grace was so scared of him and why the guy said what he did. And then, one day, as I was folding socks (!), it all came together. I started taking notes furiously, and began writing the story that day." - Elizabeth Scott, author ofGrace.
"For Witch Eyes, it was just walking out of my apartment to go to work and having the sun in my eyes. From there, I researched light allergies, and later thought about a supernatural cause for light sensitivity. My inspiration is usually like that: a hop, skip, and a jump from where the idea really takes root." - Scott Tracey, author ofWitch Eyes.
"Well, just last week I had an idea for a new novel while I was getting my makeup done at the Estee Lauder counter at Macy's for a book signing. The lady was putting mascara on my lashes when an idea hit me. However, the book has nothing to do with makeup. It's a mystery, tentatively titled, Tarnished and the concept just hit me at that time." - Danielle Joseph, author ofIndigo Blues.
The cover of Sarah Ockler's Fixing Delilah was revealed today over at 21 Pages, and it is A-MAZING! The ARC cover was pretty and very elegant, but I really like the paperdolls. It's an American childhood gone horribly wrong. I think it's brilliant.
What do you think?
Things in Delilah Hannaford's life have a tendency to fall apart.
She used to be a good student, but she can't seem to keep it together anymore. Her "boyfriend" isn't much of a boyfriend. And her mother refuses to discuss the fight that divided their family eight years ago. Falling apart, it seems, is a Hannaford tradition.
Over a summer of new friendships, unexpected romance, and moments that test the complex bonds between mothers and daughters, Delilah must face her family's painful past. Can even her most shattered relationships be pieced together again?
In case you haven't already heard, Author Insight will be back for a second round!
This feature got such an amazing response from everyone involved that, when I spread the word that it would be ending, people jumped at the chance to keep it alive. As a result, a new round will be starting tomorrow with 3032 amazing author participating! The format remains the same with half the authors answers on Tuesday and half on Thursday.
Apologies for my absence in the virtual world lately. Life recently intervened as it so often does and forced me to step away from blogging to take care of other, more pressing things. Twitter, Facebook, other social media, and anything that isn't immediately necessary have also taken a backseat. Things are starting to settle down, and I am slowly, steadily making my way back into the blogosphere.
I do want to take a moment and say thank you to everyone out there who has asked about my dad or expressed concern in any way. I've probably come off as very nonchalant and sometimes even unappreciative of your well-wishing, but I want you to know that I do appreciate it very much. You all have been awesome. The old man is now home from the hospital and recovering well. He'll be back to his snarking, sarcastic self in no time.
Frankly, I can't wait to get my butt back in gear. You see, I'm a worrier by nature and actually having things to worry about like broken cars and stressful jobs and fathers with broken tickers does a number on my physical and mental health. It's no good, and things like reading, writing, and blogging get my mind off the fretting I often do about the real world and its many imperfections.
We'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming soon. Thanks for bearing with me.
One of my readers has lucked into a $40 gift card from CSN Stores, so they can go on a little shopping spree, be indulgent, and buy themselves a new bookcase or any number of other shiny new toys. Want to know who it is?
I have emailed you. Please respond with your mailing adress within 48 hours, and I will forward your information along to CSN so they can get your gift card to you.