Judith Graves, author and tour organizer extraordinaire (girl put this whole thing together — she’s awesome!), joins us on The Book Swarm today. Judith writes the Skinned series, which includes UNDER MY SKIN, SECOND SKIN, and SKIN OF MY TEETH. She also collaborates with Dawn Dalton and contributed to the SPIRITED anthology. Welcome!
Eryn, the main character of your Skinned series, is “dynamic, strong, and a little fragile.” Did you set out to purposely write her that way or did she evolve into that person?
Eryn’s got a pretty complex life as a half-human/half-shapeshifting teen with missing parents. Her tough-girl facade hides a lot of hurt and abandonment issues. I always intended for her to be a strong female character, but it’s her vulnerability that makes Eryn one of my favourites to write. Some of that was intentional. However, she often surprises me — providing layers to her personality that I didn’t see coming.
Any advice for teen writers?
Thrilled to hear your students participate in NaNo! I do as well, although I’ve never officially completed the 50k requirement. If you’re like me and don’t make it to the finish line within the month of November — who cares? You’ll have more words written than usual and the extra motivation – aka – taking time to write is what’s important. Best advice I could give? DO NOT give up on your manuscript–keep writing until you get to the end. Then go back and make it shine.
What’s your writing process — how do you go from the idea to writing that final draft?
I’m a plotter, which can be a bit of a curse. I don’t need to know exactly how my characters are going to accomplish the near-impossible tasks I plunk in front of them, but I can’t start writing until I have the key scenes figured out.
Generally, I start with a character, situation, or setting. I build the world, establish the rules, choose the supporting cast and conflicts, plot the big showdown and a few major points of action that will get me to the end of the story. Then, I sit down and write. I think of the story as a series of scenes with actors and sets that need designing. My first draft is dialogue-heavy and sparse — very script-like. As soon as I take the story to a logical conclusion, I go back and flesh it out, adding description, cranking up the emotion, etc.
How do you refill your creative well?
Talking about projects or ideas ALWAYS spark additional ideas or tangents, so does watching a great movie, reading a book, hearing a funky tune, or even sitting outside a cafe watching the world go by. Life offers an endless supply of material. The challenge is sorting through those tiny sparks of inspiration for the one that’s going to burn the brightest.
The Book Swarm’s Crossroads Giveaways
Giveaway #1 (International):
TWO GRAND PRIZES:
A book by Judith Graves (author’s choice)
A book by Amanda Ashby (author’s choice)
Giveaway #2 (US/Canada):
Leave a comment on this post (along with your email address)
for a chance to win one of several fabulous swag packs from
The Crossroads Authors of Awesome.
The Crossroads Blog Tour Giveaway
Each day of The Crossroads Blog Tour, a new research question will be revealed on The Crossroad Blog Tour main page here, and each day the answer to that question will be found within one of the different blog posts by Crossroads Tour authors.
- Your job is to get the question, read the blog posts, and collect all answers by the end of the tour, on Halloween.
- Answers are to be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 31st at MIDNIGHT.
- Winner of the grand prize will be announced on November 1st, the DAY OF THE DEAD.
- Follow the tour on Twitter: @TheCrossroadsBT and Facebook.
BRIDGE Social Media is holding a special promotion for public libraries. Libraries that actively promote the Crossroads tour (post a link on their website, mention it in their newsletters, etc) can email us proof of their promotional activities by midnight on OCTOBER 31st to be entered in a draw to win a FREE SKYPE AUTHOR VISIT FOR THEIR LIBRARIES – WITH BEST-SELLING YA AUTHOR, RACHEL VINCENT.
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