Saturday, March 12, 2016

0 Riley Redgate, author of SEVEN WAYS WE LIE, on getting excited about rejections

We're excited to have Riley Redgate join us to share more about her debut novel SEVEN WAYS WE LIE.

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

I write anywhere, anytime. At school, I usually write at about 2 AM in my bed, after I'm done with homework and such. You know, like someone who has no respect for her circadian rhythms. As for music, I listen to a lot of movie soundtracks: favorites include Atonement, The Imitation Game, Pride and Prejudice, Argo, and, uh, the theme songs from Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Lord of the Rings ... it kind of depends on the mood of what I'm writing. You don't want to write an epic battle scene to delicate violin, you feel?

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?

Of my narrators, the Envy character is the most morally gray. Most of her scenes were hella tough to write, since they play on insecurities that I—and, I think, a lot of people—struggle with. Forcing myself into the headspace she occupies felt like walking into quicksand—she's chock-full of thick, sticky negativity, which clung onto me after I was done writing her.

But I'm proudest, I think, of another scene. One character has lived in a state of detachment for a long time, assuming he's figured the world out. Nobody's figured the world out at seventeen, but he thinks he has, and there's a scene in which he realizes he must necessarily engage with the world to gain any understanding of other people or himself. I'm happy with the way it turned out.

How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?

Oho, it's terrible statistics time! SEVEN WAYS was actually my 7th novel (fittingly). Before it, I wrote—in chronological order—2 deeply horrible contemporaries, 2 deeply mediocre sci-fis, a less mediocre dystopian, and one pretty good sci-fi. Despite the quantity of these trunked novels, I wouldn't call the road long or hard, because I'm kind of a glutton for rejection. I used to get all excited about rejections on my early projects, because oh my God, someone in publishing actually read this! The more 'no' I get, the harder I work, so I'm glad to have all that as part of my experience.


Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate
Amulet Books
Released 3/8/2016

Paloma High School is ordinary by anyone’s standards. It’s got the same cliques, the same prejudices, the same suspect cafeteria food. And like every high school, every student has something to hide—whether it’s Kat, the thespian who conceals her trust issues onstage; or Valentine, the neurotic genius who’s planted the seed of a school scandal. 

When that scandal bubbles over, and rumors of a teacher-student affair surface, everyone starts hunting for someone to blame. For the unlikely allies at the heart of it all, the collision of their seven ordinary-seeming lives results in extraordinary change.

Purchase Seven Ways We Lie at Amazon
Purchase Seven Ways We Lie at IndieBound
View Seven Ways We Lie on Goodreads


Riley Redgate is a senior economics major at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. Her expected graduation date is May 21, 2016. Seven Ways We Lie is her first novel. She grew up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and hopes to work in a bookstore after college.


Have you had a chance to read SEVEN WAYS WE LIE yet? Do your characters' emotions cling to you after writing a scene? Have you ever been excited by a rejection? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy reading,

Jocelyn, Shelly, Martina, Erin, Susan, Sam, Lindsey, Sarah, Sandra, Kristin, and Anisaa

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