I started writing this book because I had an idea for a love story between a boy and a girl who had each faced tragedy. Everything just evolved from there, and the emotional journal of Seth (my narrator) became the real focus for me. I loved the challenge of showing how he could change in unexpected ways by letting other people in.
I read a lot of books written in that perspective just to get started. In fact, reading LOOKING FOR ALASKA by John Green was what inspired me to tell this story from the point of view of the boy instead of the girl. Also, I had my husband read all the scenes when I’d finish them. He isn’t a teenage boy, but he used to be one, so he was very helpful in letting me know when Seth wasn’t perhaps being boyish enough.
Ha! You know, I really don’t know what possessed me to do this. I was just trying to think of some content that I could add to my website regularly. For some reason, the journals popped into my head as something I could share.
Carnation is the name I gave the journal that I used when I was 14. Anne Frank wrote to “Kitty”, so that she would feel that there was a friend out there who was reading her words. I stole that idea. Except… Carnation wasn’t an imaginary human friend at all. Carnation was the actual book’s name. Like, sometimes I’d write things like, “Carnation, did you have a nice day today, waiting for me to come home and write in you?”
Music is a big deal in FREEFALL. Seth is in a band and playing music is important to him, so it’s woven throughout the story. (Although, it isn’t the main story.) Other characters that I’ve written/am writing/will write don’t/won’t necessarily have anything to do with music. But I do choose to listen to whatever helps me find a character’s essence while I’m writing.
I have my work schedule and personal life arranged so that I can write on Wednesdays, Thursdays, every other Friday, and some weekend days. I write many of my first drafts longhand while riding the bus. All of my revised work is done at my desk in front of my computer.
I have more contemporary YA in the works. At this time, I don’t have a contract for a second book, so I’m not really sure which is going to be next. I have high hopes for a certain one that I’m working on, though. We’ll see! :-)