Merrie, how long did you work on VALIANT?
VALIANT was the fastest book I ever wrote. It took me only three or four months to finish. However, it took years to edit. My agent and I shopped the book for five years, often doing edits for an editor who requested changes. So, to me, it really feels like this book took three months to write and five years to edit.
What do you hope readers will take away from VALIANT?
That we are all heroes and that we each have the capability to either save someone else, or to make a profound effect upon their life. Also, that sometimes you are strong, even when you’re at your weakest.
What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?
I have many different rituals. Some pertain to editing, some to writing. For writing, I need music—preferably a fairly new playlist because new music forces my brain to think in a new and different way. If I’m at home, I also need incense (Nag Champa or Song of India Temple Incense are my favorites), burning candles and/or a string of Christmas lights. A snack and a drink are fun too. I love something crunchy (it actually helps to stimulate your brain) like popcorn or raw veggies, plus an iced latte. And an absolute necessity, no matter whether I’m working at home or at a coffee shop, is a lap blanket. I always get cold when I write, even in the middle of a sweltering summer.
ABOUT THE BOOKValiant
by Merrie Destefano
The Valiant was supposed to save us. Instead, it triggered the end of the world.
Earth is in shambles. Everyone, even the poorest among us, invested in the Valiant’s space mining mission in the hopes we’d be saved from ourselves. But the second the ship leaves Earth’s atmosphere, our fate is sealed. The alien invasion begins. They pour into cities around the world through time portals, possessing humans, forcing us to kill one another.
And for whatever reason, my brother is their number one target.
Now the fate of the world lies in the hands of me, a seventeen-year-old girl, but with the help of my best friend, Justin―who’s suddenly starting to feel like more―maybe if we save my brother, we can save us all…
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Have you had a chance to read VALIANT yet? Does new music force your brain to think differently? Do you find crunchy foods help to stimulate your brain? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!
Jocelyn, Halli, Martina, Erin, Susan, Shelly, and Kelly