I’m so happy to be doing this meme again! And about NaNo aka the
worst best time of the year! If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I’m a writer. I’ve actually been participating in NaNo for years, although I won for the first time last year. All of us sensible writers decide that November (aka exam time for me) is the best moment to try to write 50k in one month. It is truly a fool-proof idea!
I’m not a fast writer, but I am steady one. I regularly write from 25k to 40k words a month, so does mean working more. It also means actually being held accountable for writing everyday, which I sometimes struggle with. I’ve also been writing a lot more slowly this year…
No, but seriously, I love watching everyone getting pumped about their projects (and the commiserating together when it all goes to hell) . And ooohhh those pinterest aesthetics are a wonderful thing to behold.
Now onto the questions…
What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
A Harry Potter re-read, if I am being honest though its taken a life of its own (and stolen my life as well) since then. I got the idea OVER A YEAR AGO, and have been dying to write ever since. I’m glad I waited though, because it’s turned into something far more complex (the most complex thing I’ve ever tried to write). IT IS TIME AT LAST.
2. Describe what your novel is about!
It is about magic and language. Also about friendship, grief, and secret cities, and what happens when the world is changing faster than what people keep up (though politics take a backseat for much of the book). Also in this first book (out of a planned four or five), there are a lot of ghosts.
3. What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!
My aesthetics game is improving a bit!
You can find my pinterest board here (though it is very incomplete still).
Also since music has been key to the whole development (and I already have over 140 songs for just this book), here are a few songs that reflect the core of the novel:
4. Introduce us to each of your characters!
At the end of my last series, as I struggled to wrap up all the main arcs for my four main PoV characters, I vowed to never have as many main characters again. Now I have six… this is going to kill me.
Aventine, mainest of the mains (in book 1). Resident ghost girl on a quest.
Tommy, male lead. Charming overachiever with a penchant for danger. MoC.
Roskva. Tiny ball of anger and inappropriateness with nebulous past.
Lochlan. Living personification of a puppy (also lives in books). He’s biracial.
Elsie. The fashionable witch of the group, also very gay. WoC.
Rik. Rich asshole who is having a hard time adjusting. The one no one likes.
5. How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)
Outlines save lives, people. I literally cannot live without them. Also I’ve bought a ton of folktale books for research and read none so far (kill me). There has been a ton of fretting and thinking done over the last year. Also I need to buy more chocolate.
6. What are you most looking forward to about this novel?
The magic! It actually takes place in the same world as my other series, but the magic system has evolved a ton and will now carry all kind of metaphorical weights. It’s a more intangible sort of magic. I can’t wait!
7. List 3 things about your novel’s setting.
- There is a secluded centuries-old college, which means tons of books and chalk.
- Beneath it, the ruins to a lost city (or are they?)
- Have I mentioned the mossy woods that surround the college?
8. What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?
Well, Aventine is looking for a very specific ghost, but gets caught up in something far more ancient and unknown, not to mention people which remain eternally challenging. There is a murder mystery in this first book, but there are far more things at play. (Also the rest of the main characters get their mini-arcs or not so mini).
9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
I would love for the change in all main characters to be somewhat noticeable by the end of the book and to set up their personal arcs, but they still have a long way to go. The real core of this book is their burgeoning friendship (or enmity as the case may be). But, oh, I have plans.
10. What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?
Is saying the power of friendship too cheesy? Because honestly that is my favorite topic to write! That is really half the core of the entire series. The other half is probably language and the power to create. In this world, language can literally alter reality so… #metaphor #ain’tIclever
As far as this book, it deals heavily with different kinds of grief. Every character has lost something and is still struggling to come to terms with that, in very different ways. Their ghosts are both literal and metaphorical, but they all have them. Tied to that, it is also about how important it is to let yourself be vulnerable sometimes, to trust that your people will catch you.
I hope that if anyone reads this, they leave with some sense of hope. Yes, life comes with a lot of pain, but also the good things are there to be found and claimed. That a little kindness can go a long way. Also I hope that they cry at some point because that’s the sort of writer I am.