Saturday, September 27, 2014

1 Scott Westerfeld, author of AFTERWORLDS, on stealing from reality and a secret collaboration.

What is your favorite thing about AFTERWORLDS?


Afterworlds is two interleaved books, really. The odd-numbered chapters
tell the story of Darcy Patel, a young writer moving away from home; the
even chapters are the entirety of Darcy's first novel, which she's
rewriting throughout that same year. The most exciting part of writing a
dual novel was linking the two narratives, having things spill over from
Darcy's day-today reality into her fiction. All writers steal from
reality, so what Darcy experiences in her life always bubbles up in her
novel, whether it's a setting, a realization about true love, or just a
new word.

Collectively, the two books are my really long answer to the question that
all writers dread, "Where do you get your ideas?"

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


I try to make habit my ally. I write in the same chair at the same time
each day. Maybe some days I'll fail at writing, but I still don't let
myself do anything else in those hours. This tells my brain that it's
Writing Time, which will be rigidly enforced. After many years, this kind
of discipline has made my brain say, "Okay. I can't do anything else. So
I'll write."

The great thing about habits like these is that they create writing
triggers, instead of the procrastination triggers that result when you sit
down at your desk and check twitter, shoot zombies, or crush candy.

You have to find your own rituals, of course. Anything that establishes a
pattern‹setting, music, time of day, lighting, magic rocks, or whatever.
The specifics don't matter. As long as you're consistent and disciplined,
ritual will be your friend.

What are you working on now?


My current project is a secret collaboration. Two other writers and I
have been meeting at a pub once a week to plan the novel, then writing
chapters at home and exchanging them. After a year and a half, we're
almost done with the first draft. I can't tell you about the plot yet,
because the publishing deal is still cooking. But the collaborative
process has been fascinating. Working face to face engages the social part
of your brain, which is a very different from the text-staring-at part of
your brain. It feels like an older kind of storytelling, with lots of
argument and oneupmanship and joking. This book is from six points of
view, so we're each taking two characters. We have ownership over  them,
so there are lots of fights where we take our characters' sides.

I'm also working on an ebook book called How to Write YA, which I hope is
self-explanatory. It's already started appearing on my blog. It came out
of Afterworlds, which naturally has lots of scenes of writers talking
about writing. I wanted to pursue some of those conversations farther, and
give young writers a place to go after they've put themselves in Darcy's
shoes.

Giveaway ends 9/28/2014 at midnight EST.

ABOUT THE BOOK


Afterworlds
by Scott Westerfeld
Hardcover
Simon Pulse
Released 9/23/2014

Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she's made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wings…

Told in alternating chapters is Darcy's novel, a suspenseful thriller about Lizzie, a teen who slips into the 'Afterworld' to survive a terrorist attack. But the Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead and as Lizzie drifts between our world and that of the Afterworld, she discovers that many unsolved - and terrifying - stories need to be reconciled. And when a new threat resurfaces, Lizzie learns her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she loves and cares about most.

Purchase Afterworlds at Amazon
Purchase Afterworlds at IndieBound
View Afterworlds on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Scott Westerfeld is a New York Times bestselling author of YA. He was born in the Texas and now lives in Sydney and New York City. In 2001, Westerfeld married fellow author Justine Larbalestier.

He is best know for the Uglies and Leviathan series, and his next book, Afterworlds, comes out September 23, 2014.

His book Evolution's Darling was a New York Times Notable Book, and won a Special Citation for the 2000 Philip K. Dick Award. So Yesterday won a Victorian Premier's Award and both Leviathan and Midnighters 1: The Secret Hour won Aurealis Awards. Peeps and Uglies were both named as Best Books for Young Adults 2006 by the American Library Association.

1 comment:


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