Happy Monday to you! This Monday is even happier than usual for me, since it’s a holiday. In addition to our Monday Blog Hop, today I’m interviewing Susan Kaye Quinn, author of the Young Adult romance Life, Liberty, and Pursuit (see post below for my review of this lovely story).
1. What draws you to writing Young Adult novels?
The YA genre is so exciting right now, because it’s wide open – including everything from romance to dystopias. I enjoy writing YA because the characters are discovering who they are and where they fit in the world. I think YA encapsulates a lot of the feelings that people struggle with at any age, but with a fresh perspective because the characters are experiencing it for the first time. And there is so much conflict inherent in coming-of-age stories, they make for great story-telling. Many adults enjoy reading YA (including me!) because of the amazing stories.
(JL note: Don’t know what a dystopia is? I didn’t either. Learn about them here).
2. I understand that you’re currently working on a Middle Grade novel. How is that coming along?
My middle grade science fiction novel, Byrne Risk, is complete! I just finished up the final edits and the manuscript is currently out to agents and an editor I met at the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators) conference this summer. It feels really good to have another novel wrapped up, and I’m keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed that it will find a home with a publisher.
3. We’ve already discussed our love of men in uniform *winks*. I loved the added authenticity of David’s Navy experience in Life, Liberty, and Pursuit. Will you tell us about your research for that storyline?
My dad worked for the Navy as a civilian for most of his career, so you could say the Navy’s always been woven into my life. But the research for Life, Liberty, and Pursuit came mostly from the internet, including following a young sailor’s blog about his time in boot camp. Our men and women in service are young and online a lot, just like their civilian peers. One of the most enjoyable parts of this story was making the Navy recruit experience come alive for David and Clayton.
4. To what extent did you know what Eliza was going to choose at the beginning of the story?
I thought I knew how the story was going to end, but it turns out I was completely wrong. This story was very much a “seat of the pants” experience, and I didn’t realize what the ending was going to be until I wrote it! Sometimes I have to write something the wrong way first, and then write it the way it really needs to be. I think it’s part of my writing process in fleshing out the world of my characters.
5. How does your family view your writing?
My husband is amazingly supportive of my writing, even if it perplexes him (he’s an engineer). My kids love that I write stories, but they want me to write more middle grade! In fact, they keep supplying me with plots and characters and insisting that I get started on the stories they want to read. Unfortunately for them, I like to write teen stories as well. I’m deep into a young adult paranormal novel right now, but I’ve promised I’ll write them another middle grade novel when I’m finished.
Thank you for the interview, Sue. Please check out an excerpt and video trailer of her novel Life, Liberty, and Pursuit!
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