Saturday, June 21, 2014

4 Author Interviews: Jaclyn Dolamore and Allen Zadoff!

Jaclyn Dolamore, Dark Metropolis


What was your inspiration for writing this book?

The 1927 silent film "Metropolis".

How long did you work on the book?

I wrote the first draft that sold in about 4-5 months, and then did several fairly grueling rounds of revisions that each took between three weeks and a couple months. So all told, about a year.

How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?

Dark Metropolis is my fourth book on the shelves. Before selling my debut, Magic Under Glass, I had written two other novels that didn't sell, as well as having rewritten Magic Under Glass completely from scratch twice. It took me three years and over a hundred agent queries before I sold a book.


What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I work at home in my office or the dining room, surrounded by snacks and interrupting cats. I also make playlists for all my books and listen to them while I write. For Dark Metropolis, I listened to a lot of music from the 1920s as well as stuff like Kraftwerk.

What's advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

Embrace the revision process! I think a lot of getting published is learning how to truly revise. The word "revision" is truly accurate--it's immensely helpful to be able to re-vision your book in lots of different directions if something isn't working.

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Jaclyn Dolamore is the author of the Magic Under series, with her next novel Dark Metropolis hitting shelves June 17th. Amazon | IndieBound | Goodreads












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Allen Zadoff, I Am The Mission

What was your inspiration for writing this book?

The idea for The Unknown Assassin came like many of my books, when the voice of the main character started speaking to me during a writing session. He told me he was a teen soldier who traveled from place to place carrying out missions. He said he had no home and worked for a shadow organization called The Program. His job was to befriend the children of high value targets so he could get to their parents. When you’re a writer and a character like that starts speaking to you, you are wise to listen.

How long did you work on the book?

The initial inspiration came on fast and furiously. The book was writing itself and I was struggling to keep up with it. The first draft of the novel I AM THE WEAPON took about six months. But that was followed by another six months of rewriting and working with my editor to improve the story.

How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?

As it turns out, what often looks like a rocket to success to the outside world is a much longer process when you know the details. That’s true for writers, actors, artists of all sorts as well as entrepreneurs. In my case, I started writing TV and film scripts about ten years before I ever sold a book. That’s ten year with nobody much caring about anything I wrote. I typed and drank a lot of coffee. Before I started on The Unknown Assassin series, I had four books published (including my favorite, the award-winning FOOD, GIRLS, AND OTHER THINGS I CAN’T HAVE) . I want young writers to know the truth, because I want them to understand it’s a long journey to become a writer, and there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact I’m grateful for the slow trajectory because it’s given me time to learn my craft and gain confidence. Also when we write, we share our thoughts and perspectives on the world. If you haven’t lived a little, what do you have to write about?

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I find staying at home alone all day makes me feel crazy. So I split my writing shifts, one half in a local coffee shop, one half in my office at home. Some people can’t imagine writing in coffee shops, but that’s why I’m a big fan of noise-cancelling headphones. I listen to music constantly. It’s my main inspiration as an author. I have eclectic taste, so I’m a hardcore Pandora user, and I have mixes based on Black Keys, The Strokes, Ed Sheeran, as well as country, classical, jazz and hip hop music. As I write this interview, I’m sitting in an outdoor cafĂ©, looking at palm trees swaying in the wind, while listening to the great jazz saxophonist Dexter Gordon.


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Allen Zadoff is the author of the YA thriller series, The Unknown Assasin. The second book, I Am The Mission came out on June 17th. Visit his website here | Amazon | IndieBound | Goodreads

4 comments:

  1. YES YES YES! Thank you for being an author that isn't afraid to revise and rework your writing. It is scary and you might have to kill your darlings, but those last few months before publication are where a lot of magic happens :) Gonna head over to Amazon now and see some of them sparks !!

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  2. That first comment was for Jaclyn.

    Now, Allen, I'm exited. I actually came across Unknown Assassin on my own today and was baffled to then see your interview in my inbox. Must mean I need to read it, right? Probably feels good to know that those 10 years are paying off! Keep it up!

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  3. Two great interviews and two good reads.

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  4. Thanks. As usual, these are very informative interviews. And listening to Dexter Gordon -- that works!

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