1. Where did you get the idea for Within's plot?
The very basic idea came to me a couple years ago during the winter when I was piling wood with my sister. I thought, What if this pile of wood fell on one of us? How would our lives be different? Later, I realized that the story would be better in an urban setting, so I changed the woodpile accident to a car crash.
2. Why did you name it Within?
Originally, it was titled Buried, as was Trinity’s manuscript, to signify that pre-accident Trinity might still exist within her shattered mind. I changed it to Within after I realized that there was a recent movie release under the title Buried.
3. What other name would you give your book?
I would still call it Buried, but the name Within has grown on me since changing it.
4. What represents the cover? Is it Trinity?
Yes! My boyfriend, Dave, and I went through many images before choosing this one. I wanted to make sure she had the right expression and physical characteristics. The leafs were a late addition, signifying the story that grows within her mind.
Just as a side note, the two of us run a small freelance editing and design business for indie authors called Woulds & Shoulds Editing and Design (http://editinganddesign.com). Just in case you’re in the market for a pretty cover. :)
5. This isn't your first book, but how was it to write this one? Hard... easy, and why?
Fairly easy, all considered! I wrote it as part of the 3 Day Novel Contest last year. It was my first year in the contest and I had pretty much all the scenes planned out before I started writing. That way, writing it felt more like a catharsis than a chore. Later, I went back and developed the characters more, taking it from about 32,000 words to 51,000 words.
6. What song would you say describes your book? Why?
The song “Winter Winds” by Mumford & Sons, because I think it accurately describes the romantic tension in the novel, especially between Ellie & Zack.
7. Which character was your favorite, and why?
I think Edmund was my favourite character to write. I think it’s fascinating when we can see into the villain’s mind, and what makes him tick.
8. Where did you get your character's names?
Most of these character names just came to me. That doesn’t happen often! Usually I will assign a character a temporary name until I have the time to spend researching a proper name for them. The hardest character to name in this book was Edmund, my villain. In my 3-Day-Novel-Contest madness, I named him Baldar, which was just horrible. I spent a lot of time trying to come up with a classier, more refined-evil name for him.
9. How was it, the first time you published this book? Did you feel relieved, or anxious? And why?
After taking the Creative Book Publishing program at
, the whole publishing process really lost its whole mystified quality for me. I know the business behind it now so it’s easy to view your books as products that have to be sold. Some writers hate this mindset, because they see their books as part of their soul; their baby. While I share this to an extent, I think that it’s important to balance the business and creative sides of being a writer in order to be successful. Humber College
Overall, though, it’s exciting going to through all the steps of publishing--editing, more editing, layout, cover design, marketing--and I’ll be repeating them in a couple of months with my next book.
10. Do you feel like you could still change a bit of your story? What would it be?
The ending was originally quite different--and without spoiling it, I’ll say that it was basically the opposite! I changed it at my editor’s suggestion. I don’t really regret it, as I think it adds a real punch to the story, but I think if I were ever to write a screenplay version, I might go with the original ending.
11. Who is your favorite author, and did she/he inspire you to write? Why?
My favourite author changes with the books I read. Right now my favourite author is probably Maggie Stiefvater. She knows how to write in a way that makes the reader feel something powerful, be it infatuation, hope or despair. I’m not sure what initially started me writing. It was just something that I’ve always wanted to do because I’ve always had stories to tell.
12. What is your favorite book ever (non-classic) ?
It changes every so often, but at the moment, my favourites are Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater and A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin.
13. What is your favorite classic?
Definitely Gone with the Wind. The ending just really resonated with me: the idea that Scarlett was projecting her idea of Ashley onto him, and that he was completely different than what she thought--I think that’s an easy mistake to make when we think we have feelings for someone.
14. Will there be a sequel. With Ellie and Zack?
Nope! This is a stand-alone work. They are far and few between, these days. I do have other book ideas that span multiple books, though!
15. What should we expect for your next book?
My next book is coming out in May 2012, and it is called The Violet Fox. It’s a YA fantasy, and I’m especially excited about it because it’s one that I’ve been meaning to write for a while now!
There are two types of people: those that live on the surface (the Marlenains) and those that live underground (the Freetors). The story follows Kiera, a young Freetor girl who must impersonate a Marlenian princess to retrieve stolen documents that contain the secret to her people’s magic. Not everything is as it seems, however, as she uncovers an assassination plot, and falls in love with the Marlenian prince.