My road to publication was rather short, without many detours -- and for that I feel very fortunate. I wrote ~3 books before DOVE ARISING/DOVE EXILED, and never intended on publishing any of them. I'm so grateful to my agent for offering to represent me after reading the DOVE manuscript, even though I obviously had a lot to learn about writing at the professional level. To this day, he and my editors are continuously offering feedback that helps me improve.
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?
It was so hard for me to write the scenes involving Lazarus Penny, a morally upright man from Wes' hometown, because I based him on a real person who made me grow up a lot. I'm also proud of those scenes, since I got to pass that growth along to Phaet.
What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
I'm usually the one taking advice, but here's what I've figured out: Read a lot, write a lot, and don't forget to go outside once in a while. Sometimes life provides the answers to your most pressing writing challenges.
ABOUT THE BOOKDove Exiled by Karen Bao
Viking Books for Young Readers
Phaet Theta fled the Moon and has been hiding on Earth with her friend Wes and his family. But Phaet’s past catches up with her when the Lunar Bases attack the community and reveal that Phaet is a fugitive. She’s torn between staying on Earth with Wes—whom she’s just discovered her feelings for—and stowing away on a Moon-bound ship to rescue her siblings from the wrath of the government who killed their mother. But when Phaet makes the agonizing decision to return to the Moon, she finds the rebel movement there has turned her into their “Girl Sage,” a symbol of their struggle. She’s the biggest celebrity on the Moon: half the people worship her, and the other half want her dead.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Karen Bao is a writer, musician, and aspiring ecologist. She’s three years older than her brother and sixty years younger than her violin. Born in California and raised in New Jersey, she currently studies environmental biology at college in New York City. Karen began writing Dove Arising at the age of seventeen. Dove Exiled is her second novel. Visit her at karenbaobooks.com.
Have you had a chance to read DOVE EXILED yet? Do you find it harder to write scenes with characters based on real people? Do you remember to go outside to enjoy life? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!
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