Monday, July 6, 2009
Author Interview: Michelle Zink author of the upcoming Prophecy of the Sisters
Yay! It's another author interview. Check out what the lovely Michelle Zink has to say.
I’m a mother of four who is also a YA writer. I love music, concerts, reading, hanging out with my kids and teens (and other young people), cooking, learning, traveling… Basically, there’s not too much in the world that doesn’t interest me!
2. What got you sta rted writing? What brought you to YA?
I’ve always been a writer. I was one of those teenagers who wrote angsty poems and short stories, and if you’d asked me back then what I wanted to do when I got older, I would have said, “Write.” Like most people, though, I got sidetracked along the way in search of a well-paying job with good benefits. It wasn’t until I was about thirty and just hating my career that I started thinking about doing something more fulfilling. Even then, it took me a while to organize things so that I could make such a dramatic change, but eventually I was able to start reading again and that naturally brought me back to writing. The YA genre feels almost effortless to me, and I can’t really explain why. I just connect on a gut level to young people, so writing about them and for them just feels right.
3. Tell us about your most recent/ upcoming release?
Prophecy of the Sisters is the first in a three-book series revolving around twin sisters who discover they’re on opposing sides of an ancient prophecy. Unraveling their respective roles – and their commitment to seeing them through – involves a riddle found in an ancient book, an ominous mark, and apocalyptic consequences for the rest of mankind. It’s a very dark, Gothic thriller with supernatural overtones and all the stuff I love about the genre – fantastic old houses with creaky floors, romance, torrential rain, and supernatural elements like séances, legends, and demons. It also features a smart, strong female MC (very important to me) and, let’s not forget, a hunky, swoon-worthy guy!
4. Do you plot out in advance, or just start writing and see where things go from there?
I don’t actually outline, but I have a general idea where I’m going with something when I start. I usually have a document with names and characteristics of the main characters, details of the setting, and a one- or two-paragraph plot summary. Working without an outline means I have to stop sometimes to figure out what’s next – and it definitely means revising heavily on the back end – but=2 0I’ve tried working with an outline and it just killed all my creativity! I just can’t seem to get the atmospheric quality I love in a book unless I let it flow on its own.
5. Many authors have told me their characters talk to them, and sometimes even have different ideas of where the story should go than the author. Do you hear your characters?
I totally hear my characters! And especially because I DON’T outline, my stories often take unexpected (even to me!) turns. I think that’s the thing I love about writing in such an organic manner, and why I’m willing to accept the heavy revising that comes along with it. My stories and characters really take on a life of their own. I feel almost like a vehicle for the story, and when someone asks me why I did this or that in a story, I have to say, “Because that’s what happens!”
6. Who is your favorite character (of your own)?
That’s like asking me to pick a favorite child! Impossible! I love them all for their flaws and strengths – Lia for her strong sense of right even at great personal sacrifice, James for his unwavering devotion, Aunt Virginia for her stoicism, Henry for his inner strength, Sonia for her gentleness, Luisa for her spirit, and even Alice for the vulnerability she tries not to show.
7. What hobbies do you have when you're not writing?
Like any writer, I’m an avid reader. I’m also crazy about music of all kinds and love taking my kids to concerts. There’s just nothing in the world like live music, and my favorite bands include Brand New, Sick Puppies, Coldplay, U2, and Mat Kearney. My other favorite pastimes are traveling and experiencing anything I’ve never experienced before.
8. If you had not become a writer what would you have done instead?
I would have loved to be an actress or a musician, but I probably don’t have the talent! Aside from that, I’d love to try my hand at screenwriting someday, though I guess that counts as writing, too! It’s staaaaaaalking me!
9. Where can readers find you online?
Where CAN’T they find me! Seriously, though, I’m on Twitter quite a lot (for general craziness) and also check into Facebook and Myspace (for email and news) about once a day. My website is www.michellezink.com (everything from book updates to video blogs illustrating random events from my life) and the Prophecy website run by Little Br own is at www.prophecyofthesisters.com (official and fun-type stuff!). Take your pick! I’d love to hear from you! Oh! And I have a Goodreads profile as well.
10. Your turn. What question do you have for readers of Want My YA?
I would love to know what one quality about an author and/or their work turns you into full-fledged, card-carrying, lifetime fans! You know, the kind that makes you tell all your friends and really spread the word about a book and/or its author? That kind! :D Thanks so much for having me! These were fantastic questions and I really enjoyed answering them. Bloggers have changed the dynamic in the publishing world, and I truly value the energy and effort you put into spreading the word about great books!
Thanks so much Michelle! It was great having you here. I can't wait for the release of Prophecy of the Sisters. *sigh* With all of these great titles coming out I'm never going to catch up. lol