What Are You Currently Writing?
I am currently working on a novel I've titled The Homecoming Court! This story takes the usual homecoming drama and flips it on its head. I've ripped up the typical high school setting and instead planted my characters in a military arts academy, where instead of a popularity contest the Homecoming Competition is a fierce and dangerous contest of strength and wit.
For Devon Halestorm, being voted onto the Court is a dream come true. For Jared Ender, it is the beginning of a nightmare. The Trials are not for the feint of heart, and while Devon is determined to win, Jared simply wants to escape with his life.
In addition to the suspense-filled competition, there is also a bit of mystery to the story. How did Jared, a student next to no one has heard of get enough votes to make the court?
What Makes Your Work Different
I'm always drawn to creating badass heroines for my protagonists. I had so few of them growing up and they are still often hard to find, though they do seem to becoming more popular (thank you, Katniss!) I find myself writing the characters I want to read about, but can't find. I've never been interested in writing a solo male protagonist. There are plenty of those in the world and more are published all the time. That's boring to me. I like writing about awesome women doing things female characters don't often get to do. I write about badass ladies who are the center of their own stories.
I tend to avoid writing extensive romance plots, for much the same reason. They are a dime a dozen, and don't get me wrong who doesn't love a good romance, but its less interesting to me to write about. I feel like every YA book with a female lead has essentially the same synopsis: Girl was leading a normal life until she met the mysterious boy and her life changed forever; she also probably found out a secret about her past or that she has hidden powers. And I like those stories. People keep writing them and I keep reading them and I really love a lot of them, but I'm not interested in writing them myself. Romance is always only ever a subplot in my stories. There are lots of fantastic stories to be told that don't revolve around girl meets boy, ya know? I like exploring those.
Why Do You Write What You Do?
I answered a lot of this question in the last question, oops.
I write YA and I bounce back and forth between predominantly fantasy and dystopian stories. I write these genres because they are what I read. I like imagining new worlds in far off places where magic is real (because as a 21 year woman I am still very heartbroken at the lack of magic in this world; seriously who approved that?). I also really like asking "what happens if..." which often leads me to dystopian story ideas.
What Is Your Writing Process?
To be honest I'm still working on figure out a process that works well for me. I used to be a HUGE planner. I would spend months working out plots and character back stories and figuring out exactly where I wanted the story to go. Then I would go to write the story and lose interest because I already knew what happened; the fun part was gone.
My last project I refused to let myself plan anything major. This worked in the sense that I did finish the draft, but the lack of planning created such a messy draft that I'm completely overwhelmed at the concept of revision and rewrites. I didn't know enough about my characters to keep them interesting and to make sure I was writing character actions and reactions instead of just pushing them along a plot with no real control over what they were doing. Its a mess. It really is.
So now I'm trying to find a happy medium. I'm doing extensive character planning so I get a good feel for who my characters are, what their motivations are, why they are the way they are, and how they would react to certain situations. I'm planning out all the major plot points but letting myself fill in the scenes between as I write. So far so good!