Corinne, what book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?
There are a couple of books that I love that, I feel, have a similar mix of “contemporary feel” and “(post-)apocalyptic setting.” Orleans by Sherri L. Smith is set in a flooded, futuristic New Orleans, and is simultaneously grim and beautiful. This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers features a girl planning to commit suicide on the same day the zombie apocalypse hits, and the internal and external struggles that follow. And The Living by Matt de la Peña is about a boy working on a cruise ship when a massive tsunami wrecks his worlds on both the ship and at home in California.
How long did you work on ON THE EDGE OF GONE?
I wrote the first 70-80k in a matter of weeks, but the final stretch of the book dragged on for half a year. After that, though, I edited it rather quickly and managed to send it to my editor a month ahead of my deadline. I think the fact that it dragged on so long was partially because I’d been editing pieces here and there, which also made it so that I didn’t need to do nearly as much editing either before or after my editor read it. So it had its ups and downs. :-)
The short version: I started the first draft in late October 2013, so it’s about two and a half years from first word to publication.
What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?
It’s so up and down! I’ve spent years flailing about: sometimes not writing for months, sometimes writing until 3AM and waking up past noon, sometimes writing 10k a day … The books got finished, but those methods didn’t play nicely with deadlines. I’m now trying to take a more structured approach. I still work at my desk at home and I still don’t listen to music, but I do try to be diligent about waking up at a set time, blocking my browser first thing in the morning, brewing a fresh pot of tea, and trying to reach my word count before lunch.
I’m not a morning person, but it’s definitely easier to write when (a) my head isn’t already filled with other thoughts and worries and questions I’ve accumulated throughout the day, and (b) I haven’t already worn myself out. “Write in the morning, other stuff in the afternoon” is something I try to stick to as much as possible.
Sometimes I light candles because I like the scent; sometimes I listen to the book’s soundtrack beforehand to get into the mood; sometimes I have to step away from the computer and do some plotting/brainstorming in my paper notebook before I can continue to write.
When I really get stuck and I’m on deadline, I go to the library and work there for a few hours. The change of scenery is super helpful in focusing and getting things done.
ABOUT THE BOOKOn the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis
January 29, 2035. That’s the day the comet is scheduled to hit—the big one.
Denise and her mother and sister, Iris, have been assigned to a temporary shelter outside their hometown of Amsterdam to wait out the blast, but Iris is nowhere to be found, and at the rate Denise’s drug-addicted mother is going, they’ll never reach the shelter in time.
A last-minute meeting leads them to something better than a temporary shelter: a generation ship, scheduled to leave Earth behind to colonize new worlds after the comet hits. But everyone on the ship has been chosen because of their usefulness. Denise is autistic and fears that she’ll never be allowed to stay. Can she obtain a spot before the ship takes flight? What about her mother and sister?
When the future of the human race is at stake, whose lives matter most?
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A lifelong Amsterdammer, Corinne Duyvis spends her days writing speculative young adult and middle grade novels. She enjoys brutal martial arts and gets her geek on whenever possible. Otherbound, her YA fantasy debut, released from Amulet Books/ABRAMS in the summer of 2014. It’s received four starred reviews—Kirkus called it “original and compelling; a stunning debut,” while the Bulletin praised its “subtle, nuanced examinations of power dynamics and privilege.” Find out more about Corinne at her website. She is a co-founder of Disability in Kidlit and team member of We Need Diverse Books.
Have you had a chance to read ON THE EDGE OF GONE yet? Do you block your browser to stay focused on writing? Do you have a soundtrack for your book to get you into the writing mood? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!
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