Adventures in YA Publishing
This is a fun interview I did with Adventures in YA Publishing.
It’s difficult for me to pinpoint one thing that inspired me to write ATLANTIS RISING. My time studying anthropology in college definitely had something to do with it. I was particularly interested in archaeology at that time, and one of my courses did a unit on undersea archaeology. We read up on different finds and theories about what really happened to Atlantis and if it even existed in the first place. For years, the legend of a highly advanced Atlantian people has been in my mind as a foundation to build a story on. I took some inspiration for my main character from a series Elizabeth Peter’s wrote decades ago. Her spunky Vicki Bliss heroine was a whisper in the back of my mind as I wrote Alison.
What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?
The hardest scene for me to write is a spoiler if you haven’t read the book, so I’ll have to be a bit general about it. There’s a place in the story where Alison has to say goodbye to someone she loves. Not goodbye… like, see you later. Goodbye… like, we’ll never see each other again. It was heart-wrenching for me to write because I was saying goodbye to that character too. I knew I’d never write her the same way again. I’m very proud of the way it turned out and the impact it ultimately had on Alison and the overall story, but yeah…It was hard to say that goodbye.
How long did you work on ATLANTIS RISING?
I wrote the manuscript in just over six months. I had terrible insomnia at the time and wrote a lot at night. I submitted it and got an agent right away, but she quit the business a few months in. I was just completing an edit in preparation to find another agent when I got a call from Entangled saying they were interested in acquiring it. Due to some delays, which turned out to be fortunate for me, it was another two years and three more edits before the book went to print. The grand total was four years.
What do you hope readers will take away from ATLANTIS RISING?
I hope some of Alison’s strength will rub off on my readers. It did on me. She’s a remarkable girl, willing to do whatever it takes to protect those she loves. Even though she’s shaking in her boots half the time, she keeps moving forward. As a writer and a reader, her story is inspiring. And it isn’t over. She’s on another journey now and is coming to see just how strong she really is.
What’s your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?
I’m going to be honest about this. I’m a very spontaneous person and don’t really have a ritual. Sometimes I write early in the morning under my covers and in my pajamas. Other times I’ll write at my kid’s basketball and volleyball games. My computer is always with me. It’s like an extension of my flesh at this point. One thing I have to have when I write is background noise. A lot of times, I’ll turn Netflix on and run through episodes of Bones. I know them all so well, they don’t sidetrack my concentration, and the steady hum of voices in the background keeps me from feeling lonely.