Which Monument 14 character is your favourite?
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.
Explain how you came up with the plot of Monument 14.
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.
In the sequel to Monument 14 (which is called Sky On Fire and is due out in June) I approached the plot in a very different way. I outlined rigorously and sent the outline to my excellent editors at Macmillan – Jean Feiwel and Holly West. I took their notes and changed it, tweaked it and really lived with it for a few weeks, to make sure it felt right. Then, when I started writing, I really stuck to the outline. I’m very pleased with the book – but you and your readers will have to tell me what you think!
Who are some of your favourite authors and do you think their writing style influenced your own?
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.
What other genres would you like to write for and why?
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.
If you could master any other creative skill, what would it be and why?
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.
What can we expect from you in the future?
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.
Rules and Regulations
- Ends on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 12:01AM (EST)
- US/Canadian residents may enter
- Total prize value $40 (USD)
- The author will be shipping the prize. I will not be responsible for lost or damaged packages from the shipper
- The winner will be announced on Twitter