So, on with the questions!
What is your working title of your book (or story)?
Ghost City, which I sometimes think conjures the wrong feeling, but I’m not sure.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
As silly or cliche as it might sound, I kind of dreamed it. The very first sentence came to me in a dream in 2011: Smoke still rises from the ruined skyline. The city, she’s still burning. And I’d had another dream a few years back about a post-apocalyptic city, with angels flying overhead. Then I saw Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome for the first time, and my imagination loved the idea of a society formed and run and composed only of children. So all of those elements, combined with the characters that exploded into my brain when I sat down to write the opening paragraph, formed this nebulous thought- and wordsplosion, and when the ashes gradually settled I had this book I’m writing. So simple, right?
What genre does your book fall under?
*laughs* I have no idea. I would say Young Adult because it’s about children, mostly teenagers, but young adults aren’t necessarily my audience (and YA is more about audience than genre). It’s literary, but there is a paranormal element bordering on magical realism. Speculative fiction, maybe?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I have no idea about this, either! I’m just not hip to the celebrity scene. The main character would have to be a tough looking girl, not too pretty, but graceful and very au naturale. The male lead would have to be the kind of guy who looks great in a photoshoot but falls apart without a razor and hair gel. Any ideas?
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
*FREEZES* Uhh… ok. Let me take a stab at this. Expect it to be run-on-ish:
In a post-apocalyptic world without adults, Kiddo and the ghosts haunting her woods must convince the Saver, a boy and false prophet who runs the Concrete City, that letting go of the past is the only way forward, in order to save him and the other survivors from the inevitable collapse of the city.
I feel that sentence reads horribly and does not even skim the surface of the story. Oh well, it was a first try.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I hope to find an agent for this book, but, you know, I can’t see the future. ;D
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Again, I can’t see the future. I’m not done with the first draft yet! But I think I might be done with it by spring.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Oh, gosh. I try to avoid reading books that sound even remotely like my own, because I’m a delicate flower when it comes to my “original ideas” (what, like you wouldn’t hate your life if you read a book that was a lot like something you had just poured your heart into to get it on the page?). From what I hear, it must be a little tiny bit like Gone by Michael Grant, as there are no adults in this world and there is an element of something paranormal happening (but I haven’t read those books, just heard about them). It might be a little bit like Lord of the Flies, too, but less “see how we turn savage” and more “survive as best we can, already aware of the lesson of Lord of the Flies“.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
To be perfectly honest, I was utterly burnt out when I actually began to write this book last spring. I wrote the first page as an exercise to prove to myself that I could still write, and to see if it would sweep me away and rescue me from the steaming pile of explitives that was the rewrite for a different novel I had attempted. I stopped because I knew there were essential ideas about the book that I hadn’t figured out yet, but over time the solutions came and the characters became very real in my mind. My best friend and sounding board has been the biggest supporter/pusher for writing this book, and she can be very persuasive ;D
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
There is a lot of survivalist information in this story. Kiddo and her found-sister, Princess, are living in the woods, and Kiddo is something of an expert hunter. If you ever wanted to know about field dressing a deer, preserving meat without salt or additives, tanning hide, different edible plants in the forests of coastal America (I refuse to say which real city the Concrete City is supposed to be!), or what kinds of organic matter make the best soap lather, this would be a fun read. I’m currently researching the different qualities and virtues of various hunting knives, and trying to find out how one would make a bow string for a bow and arrow in a world where you did not have the means to convert fiber to strings. (I have a feeling it’s disgusting). So, there’s all of that…