Jodi, 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?
The entire ending was the most difficult. Right from the start, I knew where I wanted to leave the characters and the world. I knew what images I wanted the readers to see on those very last pages. But I wasn't sure how to get there . . . until about a week before my hard deadline to turn the book in or push it an entire season.
I worked hard that week -- 20 hour days -- to recast and rewrite those last 20,000 words and make my deadline on time. I did. Barely. It was not glamorous work. I was exhausted after all of that. I could barely think. My skin was actually gray from lack of sleep. But the end of the book is so much stronger now, and it leaves off exactly where I hoped it would from the start, and ultimately I'm glad I put in the effort.
What did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?
This book definitely taught me to trust my instincts. If it feels like something is wrong, there probably is, and I need to push to figure out what it is. Whether that's brainstorming with my editor or agent, or talking it out with friends, or just taking a closer look at it myself -- it's worth it to get the book right. My readers deserve only my best effort.
What do you hope readers will take away from AS SHE ASCENDS?
In this book, one of Mira's friends tells her "Stumbles mean you aren't standing still." It's about Mira's anxiety, when she feels like she keeps failing to contain her panic attacks. Her friend reassures her that if she's stumbling, it's because she's making progress.
That's something I want my readers to know, too, whether it's about their own mental illnesses, or goals in school or work, or anything, really. Stumbles mean you aren't standing still.
What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?
I prefer to write at home and in silence, or with music that is practically white noise because I know it so well, but I don't have a ritual. As an author who travels, I need to be able to write on airplanes, in hotels, and anywhere else work takes me. Deadlines can be very unkind.
But when I have things my way, I'm writing in the middle of the night, with a big cup of coffee, maybe a candle or fairy lights, and the entire world paused and quiet.
ABOUT THE BOOKAs She Ascends
by Jodi Meadows
Katherine Tegen Books
Mira the Dragonhearted is on the run with her friends following a fiery escape from the prison where she’d been condemned for speaking out against dragon trafficking.
And she wants answers. Has the treaty she’s been defending her whole life truly sold out the Fallen Isles to their enemies? Did her own parents lie to her? Will she lose control of her power and hurt the ones she loves?
The only way to find the truth is to go home again, to face the people who betrayed her and the parents she’s not sure she can trust. Home, where she must learn to rise above her fears. Or be consumed.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Have you had a chance to read AS SHE ASCENDS yet? When you feel something is wrong with your writing, how do you figure out what it is? What is your ideal writing environment? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!
Jocelyn, Halli, Martina, Erin, Susan, Shelly, Kelly, Laura, Emily, and Lori Ann