What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
Once upon a time, I was a bit obsessed with roleplaying on the NaNo forums ... and one of the roleplays I participated in was a Superhero boarding school where the students were arbitrarily sorted into hero and villain, paired up with sidekicks, and they just had to lump with what they got. I had Maryanne and her younger brother in as my characters ... but the roleplay fizzled out and I kinda forgot about it.
Except that I had created some backstory for Maryanne's parents, moving the story of Sew, it's a Quest into a superhero world. And I liked that backstory. I'd been looking forward to sharing it, but hadn't been able to because of the roleplay fizzling out.
One Sunday - I distinctly remember it being a Sunday - the idea was being particularly annoying, just rolling over, and over in my head. I wanted to write that backstory. Only problem was, if I was going to write is a completely new book, it'd need new names for the characters. Robin and Robert became Roxanne and Riley. Eric became William. Rosamond became ... well, I'm still bouncing through ideas on her, though I think I've finally settled on Lily. Or Fern.
Anywho. This plot idea has been rolling around in my head for ... almost five years, I think.
It's about a girl with rock-manipulation superpowers who has to go to HaV Academy, where she is typed into villain because her hobby is building torture chambers for her dad. She ain't happy about it - not that she wanted to be a hero, too much limelight - but has no choice but to plot and scheme and fight her brother - her assigned hero. And she's good at plotting and scheming.
Superhero boarding school dystopia.
What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!
But it's not all dark, I promise you. Nothing can be completely dark with Riley around...
Just ... Roxanne is a very black and white person to me, and it bleeds through to the pictures I pin for her story.
Introduce us to each of your characters!
I ... I can't seem to find a picture for Willaim, Roxanne's childhood best friend. He's one of the few people she trusts unconditionally ... but since he's a civilian and she's a superhero ... it kinda puts a strain on her ability to tell him everything. But he's a quiet, creative young man who never knew his father and whose mother ... is a few marbles short. His dream is to become a comic writer, and he works at the library.
How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)
After I've mulled over a story for a sufficient amount of time and am confident that the plot is there enough, I'll pull out a document, format it properly, and start writing. There may be a bit of prewriting ahead of time to get a feel for the characters' voices, but nothing drastic.
But that formatting is crucial. I can't write on my computer if the document isn't formatted just right. Times New Roman. Size 11 or 12. Half-inch indents. Chapter titles centered. Book title and my name at the top of the document.
If it's in a notebook, it's only slightly better.
What are you most looking forward to about this novel?
I'm looking forward to the final act when Roxanne kidnaps William, puts him in her dungeon, and refuses to let him go. Won't say, why, though a wedding is involved. And if you've read Sew, you might can guess whose.
List 3 things about your novel’s setting.
1. It's set about 300 years in the future after a third world war gave rise to super heroes.
2. It's a dystopia, but it doesn't feel dystopic. The people don't know the amount of control they're under. The only control they're aware of is family size, and most don't see fit to balk at being limited to two kids.
3. Roxanne's lair. I can't wait until Roxanne gets her own lair.
What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?
Hurt as few people as she can without blatantly rebelling against the Academy. And she stands in her own way as she doens't like being controled.
How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
She'll become more comfortable with herself. As for anything else ... I can't say.
What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?
Freedom, choice, being yourself, trusting others, secrets.
And I want my readers to feel like they need the next book RIGHT NOW. Even though the next book will be a prequel and won't tell a thing about what happens next. Because I'm awful. Kendra out.