Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Stork Brought Shamelessness!

Our first announcement has nothing to do with publishing.  Kate Milford has a new debut, only it's not a book.  She has a new addition to the family, not the bookshelf.  She welcomed Griffin Walter Milford to the family on June 13th.  Yay!  A new (potential) Inkie!!!

We have another launch, of the more tradition book variety.  P.J. Hoover's SOLSTICE hit shelves this month, and she has a blow out party to celebrate!  Man, I wish I could have been there.

And in just five short weeks, we have another Inkie book launch: Dawn Metcalf's INDELIBLE!  For now, we have this amazing trailer:


In celebration, Dawn is running a battery of contests including a giveaway of an annotated, cartoon illustrated copy of Indelible arc to celebrate the book trailer launch, a Show Me Your Ink contest for temp tattoos and downloadbale surprise, and Win A Shiny Copy of Indelible contest.  Not enough?  Well, there's also a Goodreads Giveaway going on via Harlequin Teen.

In addition to all the wonderful Inkie books out there, we've had another just announced! From Publisher's Marketplace:
Martina Boone¹s Southern gothic trilogy‹with a dash of magic‹following Barrie, a teen sent to live with her dead mother¹s twin on a decaying plantation where she discovers a centuries-old feud and dark secrets that require making peace with the local spirits, who may not be as welcoming as the sunlit boy who steals Barrie's heart, to Annette Pollert at Simon Pulse in a pre-empt by Kent Wolf at Lippincott Massie McQuilkin (World).
YAY MARTINA!!! To celebrate, she's got her Friday Giveaway over at Adventures in YA & Children's Publishing, so be sure to check it out!

No joke, we've got a metric ton of book cover reveals today!  Let's start with Leah Cypess's DEATHSWORN!


RIGHT?  HOW AWESOME IS THAT?????

And if her awesome new cover isn't enough, her Nightspell prequel e-novella, BURIED ABOVE GROUND will be published on July 2 by HarperImpulse, selling for $1.99 on all platforms.''



Here's the summary from the publisher:
"In the kingdom of Ghostland, every murdered soul comes back as a ghost, and every ghost has only one desire—vengeance. Emilie had everything she’d ever wanted—beautiful dresses, a perfectly decorated room, a party every night, and the eye of a nobleman. But then she’s killed. And now she’ll stop at nothing to find out who did it. No one in the palace of Ghostland is above suspicion—not even the people closest to her. This haunting fantasy novella is filled with supernatural thrills and surprising plot twists.
HarperTeen Impulse is a digital imprint focused on young adult short stories and novellas, with new releases the first Tuesday of each month.

And we have YET ANOTHER cover reveal!  It's for THE SHADOW THRONE, the third book in Jennifer Nielsen's acclaimed Ascendance series, on sale March 1, 2014!



Speaking of the Ascendance series, THE FALSE PRINCE, Book 1in the series, is a finalist for YALSA's Teen Top Ten List. Voting will take place this fall.  Also, James Patterson lists THE FALSE PRINCE as one of his summer reading recommendations for Barnes & Noble.  How cool is that?

Adding to the list of "things that are cool," Nancy Holder also has a new story out in the world, this time in THE LIVING DEAD anthology from Orbit, UK.



Here's how she described her story to me:
Zombie gets crucified during the Oberammergau Passion Play. God is displeased. Black Plague ensues.
Must read. Must read now.

Phew, I think that's it!  What a wacky week of wondefulness, yes?  Yes.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

INDELIBLE Interview With Author Dawn Metcalf

Today I have the honor of interviewing Dawn Metcalf. Not only is Dawn a funny, supportive, kind, and intelligent person, but she's an AMAZING author. I had the opportunity to preview INDELIBLE and I could not put it down.

Here's the blurb from Goodreads:
Some things are permanent.

Indelible.

And they cannot be changed back.

Joy Malone learns this the night she sees a stranger with all-black eyes across a crowded room—right before the mystery boy tries to cut out her eye. Instead, the wound accidentally marks her as property of Indelible Ink, and this dangerous mistake thrusts Joy into an incomprehensible world—a world of monsters at the window, glowing girls on the doorstep, and a life that will never be the same.

Now, Joy must pretend to be Ink’s chosen one—his helper, his love, his something for the foreseeable future...and failure to be convincing means a painful death for them both. Swept into a world of monsters, illusion, immortal honor and revenge, Joy discovers that sometimes, there are no mistakes.

Somewhere between reality and myth lies…

THE TWIXT



And NOW the interview:
1. I would like to live in your imagination. Where did the idea for INDELIBLE come from? 

A geekish rant, which is oddly enough where a lot of my ideas come from. I was getting a little tired of seeing the immortal male love interest swooping in to show the 16-year old human girl the "way to love." I happen to think there's a lot of immortal characters who are full of innocent bluster and charm and haven't a *clue* what it's like to be a human in love and thought, "What about them?" I adored Peter Pan and Wendy, Shakespeare's Puck and Ariel, as well as Joe Black from 'Meet Joe Black'  and these were immortals who didn't really "get" mortal love and I frankly knew a lot of 16-year old girls who are confident enough in themselves and their hearts to be comfortable taking the lead, so why not switch it up?

I got a lot of feedback from women who said that no girl wants to believe she's the one with the answers, that she has to be the one who calls the shots; girls want older guys to show them how it goes and wouldn't be interested in a "virginal male," and I thought, "They're wrong" and I wrote it anyway.


2. It's probably no surprise that I loved Ink. But the more telling thing for me was that I also loved your protagonist, Joy. What do you think was the key to bringing her to life and making her likable?

Joy wants and so rarely gets. We all want things, but I think we see Joy as someone who was always passionate about not only having goals, but going after them, heart, body and soul. She didn't mind working hard or putting in the hours or making sacrifices or even pushing her way through pain or discomfort, but when these things happen to her family life, it stole the wind from her sails and left her adrift. I think a lot of people know what that feels like--I know I do!--and so we can admire and sympathize with Joy. So when the latest thing happens to upend her life, she's not about it let it walk all over her. Her strength to face it, be powerful and take a stand for herself (and others) is something I really admire.


3. Do you plot or are you a pantser? Do you think you could have written this using the other method? 

Honestly, I'm a pantser who has a rough outline in mind as I go. But for this novel and it's sequel, I tried something new: I borrowed ideas from screenwriting (specifically Syd Field and Blake Snyder as well as hometown pal, Jeremy Bernstein) because I think that we've grown up on television and film and that pattern has set a lot of the pacing expectations and payoffs that we've grown to expect in our stories. It's been a great experience and one which I may stick to in the future!


4. I love the Blake Snyder Beat Sheet myself! How long did it take you to write this book? 

Roughly 6 months. I write 2-3K a sitting but I have a tough time turning my inner editor off!

6. What can readers expect from Dawn Metcalf next?

Something unexpected! I am like the ninja!

Seriously, I have this sequel for INDELIBLE which is due out April, 2014 and have been working on my very first steampunk story, which I hope will be a hit with some lucky editor soon! I also have a project that is close to my heart, an alternate-near-future-now speculative fiction idea that I nicknamed "The Gender Book." I can't wait to get back into it! Basically, I always have something brewing.


7. You are the master ninja. What did you use in creating the lore for the Folk? I noticed some fairy similarities, but I know it was more complex than that. Can you explain the process in creating the world of the Twixt?
My mind, it is a scary place! While I admit that there is a lot of fairy lore, I also borrowed myths, legends, magics and cultural images from around the world and around the gaming table so there are sprinklings of characters who look or sound familiar and those who are so unfamiliar, I figure that they should be real somewhere--*that* is the realm of the Twixt; the in-between places where magic still exists and explains the echoes of what was once a shared world between humans and whatever else lives beyond the campfire light. There's a bit of Dungeons & Dragons, a little Norse mythology, some random Amazonia influences as well as Chinese, Irish, German, Jewish, and Japanese cultural myths. I wanted a place where all these things could live together, sharing similar advantages and concerns with humanity, affecting us and our reality with equal chances of being just as real. I wanted them to need us as much as we needed them, whether we knew it or not. I had a lot of fun spinning out the Folks' history and how we got to this point and what might happen in the future. I don't think I'm spoiling anything by saying it all starts here in Book One of the Twixt.

Thank you, Dawn! I can't wait for book two!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Tiny Shells, Each With a Wilderness Inside

I’m trying to reclaim my yard and garden this summer, which is hot and unending work, but for some reason this year I’m in that mood. Maybe because of that, I’ve been thinking an extra lot about a metaphor that I find enormously useful when I’m writing: the idea of the seed.

Happy-looking seedlings.
I borrowed this image from two writers whose work I greatly admire: the playwright Kirk Lynn and the Newbery-award-winning novelist Rebecca Stead.

As one of the co-artistic directors of the nationally-known theater group the Rude Mechs, Kirk often works collaboratively. His terrific, widely-reblogged piece about collaboration was revelatory for me even as as a solitary writer (“Never take your own side in an argument” is surprisingly good advice when you’re alone).

But the most useful bit of all for me is Kirk’s #8:
"Seeds are small things. Learn to recognize them. Learn to plant them in your rehearsals. Big ideas have nowhere to go. They leave no room for the rest of us."
I have terrible habit of coming into a new project, sometimes even a new chapter, armed with a Big Idea. Sometimes I think of it as not so much a big idea as a really cool idea—a cool idea for a theme, or a Larger Motif, or an abstract idea about character or story.

Big, cool ideas mesmerize me, for some reason, but they don’t get my writing anywhere but stuck. Starting a writing project with a big idea is like trying to start a garden by transplanting a fully-grown oak. It’s never going to work: even if you manage to wedge the oak in, it will just wilt and die. Then your garden is crammed with dead tree, with no room, as Kirk says, for anything else.

I don’t know why I can’t learn not to start that way; I don’t know why I can’t remember that it doesn’t work. Every time, I have to circle back and start my writing-garden with little bedding plants, at best—but better yet, with seeds.

A seed in writing is the smallest thing — a little knot of pain, or a fragment of beauty, an image or memory-flash you keep coming back to for no good reason at all that you can see. In fact, that’s how you’ll know it’s a seed: because you can’t see inside it. All you know is that something is in there, and if you plant it in your writing, something magical, something you cannot now imagine, might grow.

Unlike that fully-grown oak, a seed will unfold delicately, shape itself against what’s around it, become an essential element of a closely-woven and lovely thing. Seeds will grow and grow, tangling with threads from all the other seeds. Behind a few dark, inscrutable shells are vast gardens and acres of gorgeous wilderness.

On the other hand—there is always another, useful hand—what I borrowed from Stead is the reminder that seeds don’t always grow. On a panel at the Texas Book Festival last fall, she said that part of her revision process is to go back through all the seeds she planted in the first draft, to see which ones seem especially healthy and cultivatable, and which just need to be pulled.

It’s true: some writing-seeds, once planted, pop open and spread their arms out to the sun like they thought you’d never ask. But others put up a pale, weak tendril and not much more. Some even stay stubbornly curled behind their dark little shells.

That’s okay. It just means this is not their right ground, or not their right season.

But you know what’s a great thing about seeds—the gardening kind, and the writing kind? There are a zillion of them out there. Every day, the world spills them out for you (and for writing-seeds, that means both your inner and outer worlds). Every day, something bites you, or haunts you, or strikes you, or somehow otherwise troubles the stream of your life. Those are seeds.

And here’s what I think I know. Whatever will be living and wild in your book is contained inside those tiny seeds. Whatever will weave together as if it could have been made no other way: that will come from those seeds. It will not come from your prefab, fully grown, extremely dead cool ideas.

Or anyway, it won’t come from mine.

I have another writing metaphor having to do with hedges—and if things carry on as they are now in my garden, I will soon have some about the heartbreak of tomato blossom drop—but I’ll save those for another time.

But if you have any yourself—any gardening metaphors, any thoughts about writing-seeds—I’d actually love to hear them.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Interview with PJ Hoover on SOLSTICE


Today, the Enchanted Inkpot is thrilled to host one of our own, PJ Hoover, for a chat about her newest release, SOLSTICE, which has just been launched into the world.

From the Goodreads summary: Where Mythology and Dystopia meet...

Piper’s world is dying. Global warming kills every living thing on Earth, and each day brings hotter temperatures and heat bubbles which threaten to destroy humanity. Amid this Global Heating Crisis, Piper lives with her mother who suffocates her more than the chaotic climate. When her mother is called away to meet the father Piper has been running from her entire life, Piper seizes an opportunity for freedom.

But when Piper discovers a world of mythology she never knew existed, she realizes her world is not the only one in crisis. While Gods battle for control of the Underworld, Piper's life spirals into turmoil, and she struggles to find answers to secrets kept from her since birth. And though she’s drawn to her classmate Shayne, he may be more than he claims. Piper has to choose whom she can trust and how she can save the people she loves, even if it means the end of everything she’s ever known.

Okay, now on to your burning (no pun intended) questions!

PJ Hoover: I am the queen of hell and hot jokes, so bring on the puns! J

When building this world, which came first: the dystopian, dying world? Or the mythological world? What specific detail/setting do you think will captivate readers’ imaginations best?

PJ Hoover: Great question! It was totally the mythological world that came first. I wanted to use myths in a young adult novel, and so I started planning out the idea for SOLSTICE. I wanted the story to be more of a “what happens next” in the myth rather than a retelling of the myth. When I started brainstorming and was just a bit into the writing, the dystopian world fell into place. There was no other choice that made sense!

I thought Piper had some interesting relationships with several of the characters in the book, perhaps because many of them reflected our own complicated relationships with others. As you wrote this book, which of the relationships did you most enjoy exploring?

PJ Hoover: The relationship that was the most enjoyable to explore was that with Piper’s mom. Many teens think their parents are controlling and give them so little freedom. I totally felt this way when I was a teen. So I think the idea of a controlling, over-protective parent will help teens relate to Piper. Of course, Piper’s mom is a bit off her rocker, so their relationship goes beyond the normal teen/parent relationship I believe. Adding that slip into the crazy made it all the more fun to write.

Global warning obviously plays a role in this book. Is there a message from that which you hope to communicate to readers?

PJ Hoover: I’ll be right up front. I am not much of a “message” writer at all. My hope for SOLSTICE is that teens will pick it up and read it and enjoy it. And if they happen to walk away wanting to know more about global warming and helping the environment, then that is awesome. If they think about the book anytime the temperature rises, that is also awesome. But I also think there should be room for a book to just be a book.

What is one of the lessons you learned about writing as you worked on this book?

PJ Hoover: There are about a million things I learned while working on SOLSTICE, and the best part of that is that I can use all those things as I move forward in my writing. Maybe the most important thing I’ve learned which can never be iterated too many times is to never ever give up. Believe in your story and your world, and find the right advocates for it. I found those advocates in my agent and my editor, and I am thrilled to be able to bring SOLSTICE to publication with their help.

Is a sequel in the works for SOLSTICE? Or if not, what are you working on now?

PJ Hoover: I adore writing the world of SOLSTICE and would certainly entertain the option, but as of right now, there is no sequel in the works for SOLSTICE. As for what I am working on next, I have a middle grade Egyptian mythology story, TUT: MY LIFE AS AN IMMORTAL 8TH GRADER, coming out from Tor in Fall 2014. It’s a story about King Tut who is 14, immortal, and living in Washington DC with his one eyed cat, Horus. His crazy uncle from 3000 years ago shows up, and Tut wants revenge. It’s a blast to write and a story I can’t wait to share with the world.

Okay, now it’s time for some quick questions:

Mountains or Beach?
PJ Hoover: Beach!

For sure! The snack/dessert you can’t refuse?
PJ Hoover: Popcorn J

A unique goal on your bucket list?
PJ Hoover: I want a behind the scenes tour of (1) The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, and (2) DisneyWorld.

If you’re not writing, then you’re probably…?
PJ Hoover: Playing Wizard101 (http://www.wizard101.com)

Book on your nightstand right now?
PJ Hoover: THE LOST SUN by Tessa Gratton. I got the very first signed ARC!


PJ Hoover: Thank you so much for interviewing me! It was so much fun!



P. J. Hoover first fell in love with Greek mythology in sixth grade thanks to the book Mythology by Edith Hamilton. After a fifteen year bout as an electrical engineer designing computer chips for a living, P. J. decided to take her own stab at mythology and started writing books for kids and teens. When not writing, P. J. spends time with her husband and two kids and enjoys practicing kung fu, solving Rubik's cubes, and watching Star Trek. For more information about P. J. (Tricia) Hoover, please visit her website www.pjhoover.com.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Can You Guess These Popular Fantasy Books from their Covers?

Here at the Inkpot we’re fans of the Guess the Phantom Book Covers game over at PWxyz. Today we thought we’d do our own variation, using MG and YA fantasy book covers from the past 50 years.

As you can see, the author names and titles have vanished. Are you clever enough to identify the books anyway?

Super bonus points to the cover aces who can name them all – and extra twinkly gold stars if you know the pub years, too!

Answers at the bottom!

Book 1

Book 2

Book 3

Book 4

Book 5

Book 6

Book 7

Book 8

Book 9

Book 10

Today's post was a tag-team effort between me, Lena Goldfinch, and the wonderful Amy Greenfield. We had so much fun putting it together, we're tossing around the idea of doing it again!

Confession, I'm to blame for stripping these beautiful books of their titles & author names, with sincere apologies to book designers everywhere, and Amy deserves the credit for scouting out a fabulous selection of book covers for me to choose from & for introducing our game.

Here's a little more about us and a look at our own book covers stripped of their titles & author names – just for fun.

AMY BUTLER GREENFIELD was on her way to a history PhD when she gave into temptation and became a novelist. She loves music, romantic adventure, alternate history, and twisty plots, which explains how she came to write her first YA novel, CHANTRESS(McElderry/S&S, May 2013).


LENA GOLDFINCH writes young adult fantasy with a healthy dose of "sigh-worthy" romance. In her creative heart, she loves travelling to all sorts of exciting places, past and present, a perk of making things up for a living. Her new release, SONGSTONE, comes out in July 2013.




Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Interview with Mary G. Thompson, author of ESCAPE FROM THE PIPE MEN!

Today it’s my pleasure to interview fellow Enchanted Inkpot member, Mary G. Thompson, about her fabulous, fantastical, novel, ESCAPE FROM THE PIPE MEN!, which is available now!



Here’s a brief description from Amazon:

Thirteen-year-old Ryan Hawthorn has spent his life on display as a human exhibit in the multi-eyed Pipe Men’s intergalactic zoo. When his father is accidentally poisoned, it’s up to Ryan and his seven-year-old sister, Becky, to scour the universe for the antidote. Along the way, they encounter many strange creatures—from the doglike Hottini to the spindly-legged, hairy Xaxor—and learn that the Pipe Men (or, as Becky calls them, “overgrown drainpipes”) are not kindly overlords, as they had been led to believe. It's not only the humans who are planning to rebel! A wildly imaginative middle grade space-travel adventure.




















Mary G. Thompson

I loved your unique concept, of having humans in alien zoos, traveling to and from their “cages” through portals. Can you tell me a little about where the concept came from?

I always wanted to do something about an alien zoo. The original kernel of an idea was that these kids lived in a house on Earth, but they hardly ever left their house, so everyone thought they were these very religious home-schooled kids. But in reality, they were spending most of their time in the zoo living with aliens. So after that I had to create the aliens who ran the zoo, and the Pipe Men popped into my mind pretty much whole.

You did a significant amount of world building – since you had to create different species, planets and aircraft, and all were so distinctive and memorable. What was your world building process?

I made a conscious effort to make each alien species unique but still somewhat recognizable. Well, the Pipe Men aren’t that recognizable! Part of the point is that you can get used to anything if you live with it day in and day out. But Ip the Horn-Puff is a big galoot; the Xaxor is buglike; the Hottini look like big blue dogs. All the aliens have their own TV shows. Aside from the aliens, the big world-element is the portals. I started with the passage with the doors and then created the calculator and figured out what it could do. Once I figured that out, it became clear why everyone would want it, and the motivations of the different species fell into place.

I loved how you seamlessly wove the seeds of revolution into your story, and nothing was how it seemed. How did you keep track of it all?!

Many drafts! To me it actually does not seem that complicated. I had a few species that all basically wanted the same thing in their own way—freedom. For some people that meant getting out of the zoo, and for others it meant taking over from the Pipe Men. But all Ryan and Becky want is to save their dad and be reunited as a family, so that simple concern kept the story grounded.

I had so many favorite characters. Becky was so funny, smart and dead on right all the time, and I loved Front and Ip.  Which is your favorite character, and why?

How can I choose?! Of course I love Becky because she is smarter than her big brother and is probably going to rule the universe some day. My favorite alien is the Xaxor because he has complex motivations. He’s out for his species like everyone else, but at the same time he understands friendship. He’s actually the most individual to me even though he technically doesn’t have a name!

If you had to visit one of the planets from the book, which one would you choose?

The kids don’t actually go there in the book, but I’d like to visit Ip’s planet, Hdkowl. Even though the Pipe Men have ruined the environment, I imagine the Horn-Puffs would be a lot of fun. I think they probably like to sing and dance.

I was struck, when I finished the book, by how all the “froms” were so distinct in appearance and personality and yet most all wanted the same things. The issues of bigotry and racism are powerful and thought provoking in the book.  Are you planning a sequel?

Everyone petition Houghton Mifflin Harcourt! I would love to do a book starring Becky that begins five years later. Ok, let’s be real. I would love to make it a trilogy!

What are you working on now? (if you feel comfortable sharing that)


My next book is a fun, humorous middle grade called Evil Fairies Love Hair. It’s about a town full of ravenous, hair eating fairies. If you grow one hundred fairies, you get a wish. But you can’t let them near your own hair, and you have to follow all the rules. Be careful—there’s a reason everyone calls them evil fairies. Look for it next spring!

That sounds fabulous, Mary! I look forward to reading it!


Interview conducted by Erin Cashman, author of THE EXCEPTIONALS.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

An Interview with Mallory Reaves, author of THE SILVER DREAM




Mallory Reaves is the young writer of (among many things) the new young adult fantasy novels based in a world conceived of by her father, Michael Reaves, himself a novelist and famed animation writer, and author Neil Gaiman. Mallory comes from a writing family; at one time her mother, Brynne Chandler Reaves, was the highest paid female animation writer in Hollywood, and her father was the highest paid male animation writer. Today she talks with the Inkpot about her new collaborative novel with her father and Neil Gaiman.



NH: Can you briefly tell us the story of THE SILVER DREAM?

MR: THE SILVER DREAM continues Joey Harker's adventures from INTERWORLD. He's a little older, a little wiser, and immediately winds up in a lot more trouble. It's not just fate-of-the-world stuff now, it's fate of all worlds—and on top of that, there's a new character and a new faction introduced, though Joey really isn't sure if they're on his side or not.

NH: Can you tell us about the story behind the creation of INTERWORLD and its sequel, THE SILVER DREAM?

MR: I know my father and Neil first started talking about it in the 90's, and they were hoping to do it as a T.V. series. They shopped it around a bit, and I remember them being very excited about it, but it wasn't the kind of concept that was easily explained. They decided to do it as a book, instead.

The book came out, it did well, and some people started asking about a sequel. I know Neil mentioned his son was hoping for one, but Dad and Neil were both very busy, and couldn't get to it for a while. Finally, since I had been present for the evolution of INTERWORLD and was a writer in my own right, Dad asked me to help him get THE SILVER DREAM down on paper. He sent me the emails he'd been exchanging with Neil, and the outline they'd both put together, and I wrote the book from that—along with a few of my own additions.

NH: How did your collaboration work? What excited you most about working with Michael and Neil Gaiman? What surprised you?

MR: When I was brought on to do THE SILVER DREAM, it had mostly been outlined. In some places I stuck to what Dad and Neil had laid out, in others, I veered off into something else entirely, and they were always happy to run with my ideas. I would write a certain amount, then send it to my father, who would add things here and there, write more, then send it back. Once we had a full first draft, we sent it to Neil, who was very happy with it. He suggested a few changes, we implemented them, and we had a book!
They're both such great writers with such a great sense of story, which made things very easy. When talking about THE SILVER DREAM and outlining the third book, we would occasionally stop and say “Wait, when did we decide this should happen?” and the rest of us would go “I don't recall, but hasn't it always been that way?” It would turn out we were all on the same page about major plot twists, even though we hadn't ever said it out loud.
Working with Neil was sort of like “Who was that masked man!?” He would vanish into other projects for weeks on end, then send a long email full of encouragement and a few helpful suggestions before flapping off into the night. I've always also considered my father to be Batman, so while I'm really not cowed by celebrities, it was a little like working with superheroes.

NH: What is your writing process like?

ME: Um. “Oh God, who's driving this thing!?” No, really. I often surprise myself when writing, but it all tends to fall together rather neatly. I'm blessed with the ability to keep track of a lot in my head, so I don't generally have to outline on paper. I keep tabs on where all the characters, widgets, and conflicts are and how they're progressing, and some buried subconscious part of my brain will suddenly pop up and go AH-HA! THAT'S why that was there!
It's a little disconcerting, really. As far as the process itself, well, I just sit down and do it. It's the only way I'm going to get it done. I try to get at least 1k words a day. And four or five levels on Candy Crush Saga.

NH: What else have you worked on, and what are you plans for the future?

MR: I spent four years working for a publishing company that mainly did Japanese comics. My co-worker would translate them, as directly as possible, and I would adapt them. I made sure the character's personalities and dialogue came through, as well as setting the tone in the narration. It was a lot of fun! I did over thirty titles, and one of my series was nominated for an Eisner Award. After that, I did a lot of freelance writing, including game development for a web-based MMO game. I had just finished doing that when my father approached me about THE SILVER DREAM.
As far as the future goes, I had always known I would be a novelist, so I'm throwing myself into that. I've written another book that's had some interest, though it's on hold in favor of the next INTERWORLD book. After that, I plan to keep writing and hope people will keep reading!

NH: Will there be more INTERWORLD novels?
MR: There will be at least one more after THE SILVER DREAM, definitely. Neil and I have talked some about ideas for what would happen after this next book, but it has always been in an “if” capacity. Nothing is solid.

Interview conducted by Nancy Holder, who is the author of HOT BLOODED, the second novel in the Wolf Springs Chronicles young adult dark fantasy series.