Seth, what was your inspiration for writing THE DARK WATER?
This, of course, is book two in a series, following up on The Well's End. The inspiration toward this type of book, this strange location, was all the fantastical novels I've read throughout my life and my realization that setting doesn't really matter, it's story and character. So for me I was inspired to write a DIFFERENT book than The Well's End, which was grounded in very real events.
What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?
This is a SPOILER so don't read on if you don't want the book ruined, but when Mia finds the Source, that scene was by far my favorite. I worked so hard on making it an actual emotional payoff and who knows if that worked but it felt right to me. Part of the problem with fantasy is explaining or justifying a major event with or without magic - it has to stand on it's own regardless, and I think this one did; at least I tried to make it.
What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?
The answer to that might differ per book in the series but this one I'd think Leigh Bardugo's wonderful Grisha series or Laini Taylor's series might be interested in this one.
How long did you work on THE DARK WATER?
About a year. The most difficult part was that a major edit was due 3 days after my first son was born. He was in the house and I hadn't slept and I was just churning the rewrite out. Then 4 weeks later I had to do it again. It was the most difficult project I have ever worked on.
What did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?
Ha, well, this sounds negative but it taught me that I like having more than 1 year to write a book. Most authors get years for their first book and if it's a series, then 1 year for book 2, which is much different. I have a full time job, I have a kid, I like writing and I do it all the time but I also like sitting on it, thinking more, taking more time and I applaud anyone who has to finish in a year. So very difficult.
What do you hope readers will take away from THE DARK WATER?
I kinda want non fantasy readers to grudgingly admit that fantasy is OK.
How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?
I've been writing since I was in 8th grade, and have three books in drawers before The Well's End published, so it's taken quite a while. Giving up wasn't much of an option, though.
Was there an AHA! moment along your road to publication where something suddenly sank in and you felt you had the key to writing a novel? What was it?
Well, I always wrote adult fiction and when I tried YA I realized how much more fun I was having. Adult I took myself way too seriously and in YA I focused on character, fun, plot, movement, emotion. Adult I would get stuck on a word; silly.
What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?
Gosh I wish I had a better one. But when I'm on deadline I try to write 15 pages a week, and then daily in the morning and night, about 3 pages a day, as I get closer. At home, at the dining room. We have an office table in the bedroom but it's darker in there (smile).
What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Writing is like any other activity. Some people are naturally talented, others have to work hard on it, others just won't cut it. But for any of those it takes practice to get better, to get good.
What are you working on now?
A cross generational spy family book.
ABOUT THE BOOKThe Dark Water by Seth Fishman
Hardcover Putnam Juvenile
To escape Blake Sutton’s army at the end of the enthralling The Well’s End, Mia and her friends jump into the newly gurgling fountain of youth and swim to its very bottom. When they resurface, an astounding world awaits them—an entire underground civilization of humans, the Keepers of the Well. But instead of finding a safe haven, Mia and her gang are quickly embroiled in a dangerous, high-stakes battle royale. If Mia wants to save everyone she loves and make it back home alive, she’s got to get to the water’s Source before Sutton and his troops, who are still hot on her trail. With new characters and new threats, Seth Fishman has upped the ante fantastically and delivers another tense, fast-paced adventure in a richly imagined world just below our feet.
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