This is a tough one. A part of me feels very loyal to Dean. He’s the person who I have spent the most time with, since he’s narrating the story, and I really care about what happens to him and how he develops, as a person. That said – Max sure is fun to write! Sometimes I feel like I could do a whole series of Max spin-offs – stories about his adventures before the apocalypse.
My approach to plotting Monument 14 was a little simplistic – I knew where I wanted to get to (14 kids trapped in a store and afraid to go out) and then I searched around to find the right sequence of events to get them there. I sort of felt around for certain plot elements, which cost me a bit of time. I ended up writing a very meandering “second act” and having to cut a lot of material.
I have so many authors I love! I can’t say if their work influences my own, but I can tell you who I admire and why…
Anne Lamott – from her fiction to her books about writing and her books about Faith, Lamott writes with a VOICE that is engaging and expressive and chummy in the best way. You can’t read one of her books and walk away feeling any less than a trusted friend – man, do I admire that!
For giving personality to time and place, I love the work of Ivan Doig. I would like to go back and live in the towns he writes about – they seem plain and foursquare and upright in a way I fear we have lost in this day and age.
I’m also a huge fan of David Mitchell and his novel Cloud Atlas, in particular. Do yourself a favor – read it before you see the movie. It’s not an easy read, but it’s a deeply mysterious and enthralling one.
I’m writing a third Monument 14, but after that I have a bunch of ideas. I’d like to write a fantasy series set in a feudal agrarian post-apocalyptic future. I also have a poppy kind of horror novel I’d like to write – that one is buzzing around in my mind with such strength, I may have to bang it out before the fantasy series. I also have a couple ideas for middle grade series, but right now, I’m going to stick in the YA genre. It’s a great place to be – both the readers and the other writers are so gracious and inviting. I feel really lucky to be palling around with all these talented people.
I’d lovelovelove to play the drums. I really would. I’d also like to learn to play the guitar and the piano. And the trumpet. So, um, my answer is music! All instruments and right away, so I can start performing all the rock and country songs I write asap.
Look for Monument 14: Sky On Fire in June of 2013. Then the third M14 – not sure of the title yet – will be out in June of 2014. I also put out songs every once in a while (I get real musicians to play the instruments!) so if you readers like Monument 14, follow me on Twitter to stay up on the news…
It’s been such a pleasure to chat with Giselle here on Book Nerd – this is one of the coolest book blogs I’ve come across!
Look for details about our giveaway below – the brand new audio book edition of Monument 14, narrated by Todd Haberkorn.