Today, I’m thrilled to be hosting the kid lit/ YA blog hop. Since a hop is a great way to get to know other authors and their writing process, I couldn’t help but join in– thanks to author Stephanie Keyes for tagging me last week. Stephanie is the author of the Star Child series, the latest installment, The Fallen Stars, released back in April. Stephanie is a wonderful talent and great friend. You don’t want to miss her work.
For next week’s post, I’ve tagged not one but TWO fabulous YA authors: Jennifer Bosworth, author of the fabulous YA dystopian adventure Struck, and Rachel Harris, author of My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century and A Tale of Two Centuries. Both Jennifer and Rachel will answer their questions next week. Check out what Stephanie, Rachel and Jennifer are saying about their writing and the writing process.
And now, here’s a bit about me…
What are you working on right now?
I’m currently editing the book two in The Watcher series, The Warrior, getting it ready to submit to my publisher. It’s been my main focus these past few months, but I’ve also working on the third book in the trilogy, and I’m in the early planning stages of another YA novel, not related to the series.
How does your writing process work?
I write in the flow of things. I think the term ‘pantser’ doesn’t do it justice, because I do plan, but as I get into the story it changes as the characters come to life. I have to experience the story in order to write it. As a result, it takes me longer to write and revise the story. I sometimes envy planners, because they seem so organized, whereas I feel like I create from chaos and it’s not always comfortable.
Why do you write what you do?
I try to write about things that open people up to new possibilities. I’ve studied metaphysics and energy healing, and I really wanted to find those things in stories. So many young readers are gifted psychically that I wanted them to know that they weren’t alone–spiritually speaking. The energetic things they see are real and there are beings who can help. In my books, they’re angels. I chose to use that archetype because I didn’t like how angels were becoming hardened and secularized in teen fiction, while vampires were becoming the only “good guys”. I also didn’t want the idea of these “energetic helpers” or messengers to belong solely to one religion. I wanted people to realize that maybe the universe is bigger than any one religion. Maybe angels serve something bigger than all of us. If so, what would it be? But angels aren’t the only things I have in me to write about, basically, I want to change the consciousness about all sorts of things, what constitutes strength in a female lead, for instance. Does she have to be a fighter brandishing a weapon of mass destruction? Does she have to be as tough as a man, or can she fight with love?
Who are the authors you most admire?
I’m a huge fan of Neil Gaiman. He has amazing breadth as a writer, covering so many audiences and forms. He has a true gift for fantasy, but most of all, I love his author’s ‘voice’ (and his speaking voice isn’t so bad either). As a reader, I am always engaged by his unique way of expressing universal truths with simplicity and grace.
I’ve also been lucky enough to see him read a few times now: the first time was in Toronto in the mid-90s. Most recently, I saw him at the sold out Vogue theatre in Vancouver last week. He has the best stage presence of any author I’ve seen, and I’m inspired by his talent. (Too fangirl? I hope not!)
Now, I want to hear from you. Tell me which author you most admire or love to read for a chance to win a signed bookmark and an Austin trading card from Rachel Harris!