Once a year, YA Reader's blog holds a Debut Author Bash. This blog feature lets the readers/bloggers to interview the authors they chose. Now, this year, there are lots of debut authors that set its book reviews in a surprising way.
One of them is my featured author, Catherine Doyle. Most of them said that the characters she created are vivid and the plot twist is terrifyingly insane. In fact, several reviews on Goodreads are full of 5 star reviews. She did made a lot of surprises when Vendetta published. On my end, I couldn't agree more with the twisty dark romance theme she had made.
When I finished Vendetta, of course other than screaming - "GIVE ME THE SEQUEL. NOW", there are lots of questions on my head and I am lucky to have the opportunity to ask these questions with her :
1. When and where do you find the best time to write your books?
I love writing at night – the quieter and eerier it is, the better. From 11pm until about 2am is quite a magical time for me; there are no distractions, nobody else around, so it ends up being just me and my characters and whatever they’re saying and doing to each other! I can really, fully concentrate.
2. When you were writing Vendetta, how did you first picture out its initial plot twist?
Vendetta began as a snapshot in my head when I was drifting off to sleep one night. I was looking at an old dilapidated mansion, and in front of it, five brothers were standing side by side, doused in shadow. They were looking right back at me and I remember imagining this feeling of fear… and curiosity. I knew who I was in the moment – Sophie Gracewell, my sarcastic, plucky protagonist, and I also knew that the boys across the street had a very dark, dangerous secret. Beyond that, I didn’t have much of a plot. I just knew I wanted to instill a Godfather vibe. As the story progressed, everything started coming together -- the romance, the danger, and all those secrets…
3. Can you please share to us your publishing process? (ie. submitting drafts and revisions of manuscripts) And how did it changed or developed you as an author?
After I signed with my agent, we went through a couple of re-writes on the original manuscript, which was called Blood For Blood at the time, not Vendetta. I wrote a few extra scenes and changed the ending of some others. When we went on submission, I got a few offers from different places, and as it turns out, we ended up selling German Rights to Random House Germany before we sold the
English rights at all. When we received interest from Chicken House/Scholastic, I was thrilled, because the head of Chicken House was Barry Cunningham, the man responsible for discovering and publishing Harry Potter and I had just written about him in my college thesis! It was very surreal.
After I signed with them, the draft went through two big edits. I wrote a completely different ending, and changed the role of one of the main characters entirely. The book became Vendetta, and it was published almost 18 months after I signed my publishing deal.
When I started writing Inferno, I decided to plot much more rigidly in order to save time and extensive re-writes during the editing stages. So Inferno was much less messy in terms of re-writing, and now that I’m writing book three, I’ve been even stricter with layout and plot. As I’ve progressed as a writer, I’ve learned to be tighter with my planning and to get rid of things that aren’t working.
4. What can you say the hardest part in creating the characters and the way they were to take part on your book.
For me, the hardest thing is creating a character that you love, and who deserves to be happy, and then having to put them through hardship, or kill them! It’s also tough to take away scenes from characters you want to develop, but with YA and the word counts you have to stick to, you can’t always give the same amount of time and development to all your characters no matter how much you love them!
1. Paperback or Hardback? Hardback!
2. Book or E-Reader? Book!
3. First word to describe Inferno? Exciting!
4. Favorite Disney Movie? Ahhh, SO tough. It’s like picking a favourite child! I will go with The Little Mermaid. I do also love Pocahontas though. And the music in The Hunchback of Notre Dame is amazing. OK, OK, I’ll stop now…
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