On the 10th, I posted about my blogaversary and the opportunities to win ARCs of GRAVITY by Melissa West and INBETWEEN by Tara Fuller, critiques, and a $20 Amazon gift card. I also promised interviews with some awesome YA authors, and today we have our final. Remember: Commenting on this post can get you entered for these prizes. Or if you prefer not to be entered but want to comment anyway, you can do that as well. Just let me know in the comment if that’s the case. Entries close tonight at 11:59 PM EST. Winners will be announced shortly thereafter.
Meet our final guest, Gennifer Albin, author of CREWEL!
Pre-order @ Amazon
(Releases October 16th from Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)
1. First off, welcome! CREWEL looks awesome, and I’m super excited for it! I’ve heard from a few reviewers that the side-romance is done perfectly. Can you give us a little teaser about what that romance is like?
Romance is so hard to get right, because I remember being a teen and falling in love for the first time and it was HEAVY stuff (I eventually married my first love, so yeah, I DO believe teens can really fall in love). For me the key to Crewel was that romance can’t be Adelice’s whole world, because she has a lot going on. When she’s in the romantic moments, they’re all consuming, but she still has goals and issues outside her relationship. I’m not sure I was that balanced as a teenager. In fact, all I remember is HORMONES, but Adelice has a better head on her shoulders.
In terms of what the romance is actually like in Crewel, I think in the first book it’s all about discovery. Adelice is discovering boys. Her parents taught her about loving, respectful relationships, so she has a lot of confidence in herself without being obsessed with boys, so her attraction to Jost, who is mysterious and honest and different is based on a lot more than how hot he is (even though he’s pretty hot!). He challenges her to look at her world and her place in it differently.
2. If your main character ruled the world, what would she do first?
She’d probably abdicate. It’s not so much that Adelice wants to be normal as much as she wants choice in her life. Ruling the world may sound like the ultimate in autonomy, but, at the risk of sounding like Spiderman, with great power comes great responsibility.
3. Tell us about The Call.
Oh wow, THAT’S a long story and also a short one. Nothing about my agenting story is typical and the agent I signed with was not my first call. So I will share these tidbits. When I got my first call request, I sort of cried-screamed-jumped at the same time, and my husband looked at me and said “you’re scaring me.” That’s what sticks out most in my mind. I scared him. My agent, Mollie Glick, actually called when I nudged her with my first offer. She wanted to see the full and just get a feel for me. I just remember that the caller ID said New York, NY, and of course, I knew no one in NYC at the time. When she said who she was, I nearly passed out. She was a dream agent for sure. By that evening, she’d arranged for a second call in the morning and when I answered the phone, she said “So I’m thinking I’m just going to fly to KC tomorrow, ok?” And she did. I adored all the agents I talked to on the phone that week, and I’m still friends with some, but Mollie was a fighter and I wanted someone who would always be so on top of things.
4. Plotter or pantser?
Pantser when I draft, plotter when I revise although I always have a skeletal idea of where things are going. Though I’m considering trying my hand at plotting my next project first. I figure then I can write all the kissing scenes first!
5. After you wrote CREWEL did you always have a feeling it was good, or were you thinking to yourself “OMG OMG OMG. This sucks! No agent will ever represent this.” If the latter, how did you overcome this? Any tips?
I think I still go back and forth between the two. I tend to compare my work on the basis of what I feel I’m capable of, which sounds great, except that I always think if I had just one more revision it would be even better. I did feel like there was something special about Crewel the day I wrote the prologue, but I had to get to a point where I felt like the whole book was special. In the end, one of my critique partners had to push me to start querying. I could have edited that book forever!
6. What inspired CREWEL? Was this your first completed novel? Did you always know it was going to be a trilogy?
Crewel was inspired by Bordando El Manto Terrestre, a painting by Remedios Varo, that depicts girls embroidering the world from a tower. One day I sat down and wrote a page from the perspective of a girl who’s destined to go to the tower to work.
I’d started and stopped a lot of novels, and I could never seem to get up the motivation to finish one. I signed up for NaNoWriMo, which got me to 50,000 words and “the end.” The first draft was really rough and needed a lot of work, but I decided to just stick with it. You know all those cliche sports sayings about perseverance? I think they’re true for writers to. Staying focused, getting the work done, and not giving up in favor of new, shiny ideas is a huge part of finishing a novel.
I did always see Crewel as a trilogy. Every other book I started to write was a contemporary standalone, but Crewel has always clearly been a scifi trilogy in my head. Maybe that’s years of watching Star Wars and Indiana Jones (yeah, those other ones don’t count!).