Book Nerd Interview
What was your first introduction to YA literature, the one that made you choose that genre to write?
I didn’t choose to write YA, it’s just what came out when I started writing. But in terms of a YA book that got me started, I’d say Twilight. Though I’d been reading YA before that, and it wasn’t the book itself so much as it was Stephenie Meyer talking about how the book came to be, it got me thinking about writing.
What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?
I write in spurts. For weeks at a time I will barely pass as a fully functioning adult. So I’m really not very good at multi-tasking if I’m in the middle of a draft or revisions or edits.
What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
You’re going to get crappy teachers, but you’ll also get great ones. The great ones can make all the difference in what you get out of school and making you see what’s possible. Filtering is important, especially as you get older and realize how much really is under your control. Once you’re out of school, it still applies—you’re going to meet great people and not so great ones. Ones who will support you and ones who won’t. Hang on to the great ones and treat them well.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Writer, fangirl, insomniac.
Did you learn anything from writing Divided and what was it?
It’s my first sequel, and it’s a totally different process than going into a book 1. Writing Divided really helped me learn how to juggle story components properly and how to add complexity and connections within a book.
For those who are unfamiliar with West, how would you introduce her?
She’s an average 15 year old girl trying to survive in a very difficult world. She’s not special, she’s not super kick--ass, she’s just trying to make it through the day. Don’t get me wrong, I love kick-ass characters, but my favourite ones are the ones who are also vulnerable and—at times—stupid . It makes them more real.
What do you feel is the most significant change since book one?
Book 1 was all about West and her very personal story about survival—the world was seen through her eyes and what she had to focus on. Book 2 has the world opening up a bit more now that her challenges go beyond her own Alt.
If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
West to Lisbeth Salander from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Jason Bourne from the Bourne series. She’s their love baby.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Out there, really out there in the stratosphere, Stephen King is kind of perfect. I grew up reading him, and I love his On Writing guide. He’s an amazing storyteller. But I also like to pick the brains of Ellen Oh and Mindy McGinnis because they are awesome authors and writer friends and I love them.
You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
Go through life being a positive influence instead of a negative one—the effort’s the same. Let the small shit go. Strive.
When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
There are two: How is the writing going? Good. Are you almost done? Yep.
What's the most memorable summer job you've ever had?
I did graveyard at a gas station one year. Which I actually didn’t mind too much because I’m a night owl and there’s something nice about being awake when everyone else is asleep.
What scares you the most and why?
Personal loss, like something happening to family or friends. Things that can’t be replaced.
Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?
True love and heartbreak!
If you had to go back in time and change one thing, if you HAD to, even if you had “no regrets” what would it be?
I think I would have tried to write seriously way earlier. Not trying to get published earlier but just really taking advantage of the time to hone the craft. I would have focused more on it in university instead of just more or less floating through.
What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
I guess the 80s or 90s. Simply because I was a teenager then and I’d like to redo my fashion and hair choices, please.
When was the last time you cried?
I don’t really cry, so I can’t remember.
Where can readers stalk you?
Tumblr (my author one)
And I just reactivated my Instagram
West Grayer is done killing. She defeated her Alternate, a twin raised by another family, and proved she’s worthy of a future. She’s ready to move on with her life.
The Board has other plans. They want her to kill one last time, and offer her a deal worth killing for. But when West recognizes her target as a ghost from her past, she realizes she’s in over her head. The Board is lying, and West will have to uncover the truth of the past to secure her future.
How far will the Board go to keep their secrets safe? And how far will West go to save those she loves? With nonstop action and surprising twists, Elsie Chapman’s intoxicating sequel to Dualed reveals everything.