And here are mine:
|Courtesy of Ruth L. Snyder|
What am I working on? I'm currently working on a YA novel I’ve entitled Riverknot. It’s about a young girl, Nadia, who ends up pulled into another dimension. When Nadia gets there, she learns the people of the land have been expecting her. To them, Nadia has come to redeem them from The Eaters - a group of people that took over the land about twenty years before. Everyone believes Nadia is the one who can finally defeat The Eaters and free the people.
How does my work differ from others in its genre?
Well, it’s not about the end of the world… Seriously I've been reading too many “end of the world” YA novels recently.
I’ve thought a lot about this question and unfortunately I can’t give you a concrete answer. YA novels are great because there can be so many different types. You have books like the Hunger Games or The Thirteen Reasons Why or the Skin Jacker series or even The Tyrant’s Daughter. They deal with real world issues like boys and bullies and drugs; they take us to a fictitious world with tyrants; some answer the question of what happens when we die? Or what is the world like for a tyrant’s daughter exiled to America?
So I can’t tell you how it’s completely different from all of those, but one thing I can think of, as with this story and the others I have written, it has an underlying theme of redemption. I’m not sure that’s something I really get from other books I've read. The characters (not always the main) struggle with not feeling good enough, or that they can find forgiveness for what they've done. Some seek it, some write it off as something they’ll never achieve but throughout the story they're moving toward it. I think it's something we all need to remember, that no matter how bad it gets, we can come back.
Why do I write what I do?
Well, as I said my stories seem to have that underlying current of forgiveness and redemption. I’ve always loved writing and I use it as a form of therapy. For me, I have times in my life when I struggle with feelings of inadequacy and wondering if I can still make things right when I’ve screwed things up so badly. I love the idea of, “it’s not the load that breaks you but the way you carry it” and how that affects the person we eventually become. I also LOVE writing bad guys/people, but more than that, I want to know what makes them tick and a lot of that motivation may come from not feeling good enough or feeling you can’t fix what’s broken.
Riverknot is basically Good vs. Evil, but where is the line between the two and is there any hope of returning to the “good side” once you’ve crossed over? Once you’ve stopped believing you could?
How does my writing process work?
Someone once told me a good way to come up with a story line is to merge several ideas together.
Riverknot is a conglomeration of several things - Many years ago I had a crazy dream about these horrible creatures that lurked just outside the city limits and only came out in the dark. So the city was kept well lit, but there was no protection for those who found themselves outside the city limits when the sun went down. These creatures could scale buildings with lightening speed and had a scream akin to a train putting on the breaks. I tried and failed several times over the years to write this story and maybe it would have made it as a short story, but for a novel it needed more.
Then I had a dream about a girl names Nadia Westin Prestin Gabin (ridiculous I know and her name isn’t quite that long in Riverknot) and in my dream she found herself with a sword and she knew she was going to travel through the mirror to fight some monster because she couldn’t know what was the right thing to do and not do it (that’s when I woke up). It was when I merged these two dreams that I remembered a movie about Sin Eaters. I had found the concept fascinating. Eventually, things clicked in my mind. What if the archaic practice of Sin Eaters still persisted? And what if those sin eaters rose up against the people and took over the land?
Then the story evolved from there.
Now I'm going to tag Melissa, another woman from my writing group. Without Melissa, I frankly wouldn't even be in a writing group. I am extremely introverted and shy around strangers so networking isn't my strongest thing. But Melissa took me "under her wing" and didn't forget me when our original writing group fell apart. Melissa, as well as Mary and Phil have been fantastic! I I can't tell you enough how much they've helped me to develop as a writer. I have the best writing group ever.