Saturday, April 25, 2015

0 Stacey Kade, author of THE TRIALS, on the importance of writing to the end

THE TRIALS is the final book in the Project Paper Doll series, and we're thrilled to have author Stacey Kade here to tell us more about her writing process.

Stacey, what did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?

Writing this book was an education in a couple of different ways. After reading 2K to 10K by Rachel Aaron, I decided I wanted to keep track of my daily word count. I'd never done that before. It was uncomfortable at first--I felt like I was telling on myself on the days where I didn't quite make my goal! But it was very eye opening to see the patterns in my productivity and the way that even days with small word count add up quickly. (I wrote about the experience here: http://staceykade.tumblr.com/post/102698100788/how-i-wrote-the-trials-a-post-about-process)

This was also my first book with a new editor, which is always a little scary! You never know if they're going to like your style or your ideas. But working with Tracey was fantastic! I learned a great deal from her about tightening my story and my sentences.

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

If I have to, I can write anywhere. But I prefer working at my local Starbucks at my favorite table, with a hot chocolate (yes, year round) in my hand. And yep, headphones on with my playlist playing.

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

There are two things I wish I'd known earlier, when I first started writing.

1) Your character needs to have a story goal. What is he/she trying to accomplish over the course of the story?

I'm a pantser, so I used to just jump in and start writing. The problem with writing a character without knowing his/her goal is that you may end up sort of wandering all over the place in the story, going off on tangents and taking side trips that have nothing to do with the main part of the story. Knowing your character's goal helps keeps you on track.

2) Write all the way to the end.
I have yet to write a book that I did not HATE with an all-consuming fire at some point during drafting. I'm always convinced that it's terrible, that I should quit now and start revising. Or just scrap it and start over.

Sometimes I'm right, and it's bad. Sometimes it's just that I have no perspective on the story so far. Yeah, maybe the scene I'm working on clashes horribly with the beginning. But it might be because the beginning isn't right and this scene is, rather than the other way around.

Sometimes it's just insecurity screaming really loudly in my brain. :)

I used to follow that instinct to scrap and start over. But when I went back and reread the drafts later, I realized that they weren't as bad as I'd thought. In fact, I'd wasted time and effort by starting over.

So, now I make myself write all the way to "the end," even if it's the crappiest of crappy first drafts. I may end up scrapping it or I may end up using pieces of it or maybe it only will only require a few tweaks. It's impossible for me to know until I get to the end and look at the book as a whole.

What are you working on now?

I'm working on edits for my first New Adult novel, 738 DAYS. It's about Amanda, who was abducted when she was fifteen and held captive for two years. Now, she's nineteen, and two years after her return home, she's still suffering from anxiety and agoraphobia. A publicity stunt throws her together with the former TV heartthrob--Chase Henry--whose poster was her only friend in captivity. And it seems like they might be the only ones who can save each other.

I'm also working on--and very excited about--my 2016 YA release with Simon & Schuster. LIFE, AFTER is the story of the twin sons of a pastor. The boys are in a car accident and only one of them survives, which raises all kinds of questions about faith and fate and the secrets his brother was keeping. I'm the daughter of a pastor so I was able to draw on some real-life experiences for this book, which was really fun.

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Trials
by Stacey Kade
Hardcover
Disney-Hyperion
Released 4/21/2015

After being on the run, Ariane Tucker finds herself back where she started—under the cruel control of Dr. Jacobs, head of the research facility that created her. Now she must participate in the upcoming trials; a deadly competition pitting her against other alien hybrids, each representing a rival corporation.

But Ariane is no one’s weapon. She is prepared to die if it means taking down those involved in Project Paper Doll. They destroyed all that she holds dear, including Zane Bradshaw, the one person she trusted and cared for the most—the person she was forced to leave behind, bleeding and alone.

As her plan takes shape Ariane will need to depend on, now more than ever, the other side of her heritage—the cold, calculated instincts born from her alien DNA. With Zane gone she has nothing left to lose.

With heart-pounding action, and plenty of surprises, the gripping conclusion to Stacey Kade's Project Paper Doll series delivers a powerful finish that will keep fans hooked to the very end.

Purchase The Trials at Amazon
Purchase The Trials at IndieBound
View The Trials on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

As an award-winning corporate copywriter, Stacey Kade has written about everything from backhoe loaders to breast pumps. But she prefers to make things up instead.

She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, Greg, and two retired racing greyhounds, SheWearsThePants (Pansy) and Shutter. When she’s not reading or writing, you’ll likely find her parked in front of the television catching up on her favorite shows (Scandal, The Vampire Diaries, Almost Human, The Walking Dead, and Sherlock, among others.)

Stacey is the author of the The Ghost and the Goth trilogy (THE GHOST AND THE GOTH, QUEEN OF THE DEAD, and BODY & SOUL) and The Project Paper Doll Series (THE RULES and THE HUNT). You can find her (far too often) on Facebook and Twitter as well as http://www.staceykade.com


What did you think of our interview with Stacey Kade, author of THE TRIALS? Let us know in the comments!

Happy reading,

Martina, Jocelyn, Shelly, Jan, Lisa, Susan, and Erin

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