Please join me in welcoming Shelley Workinger to My Reading Room today. Shelley is the author of Solid, the first in a series of three young adult books. I reviewed Solid yesterday and it is a major winner in my book so definitely read the interview then check out her book!
How did you celebrate when you found out Solid to would be published?
I didn't celebrate per se, but the day the proof came in the mail was the same day my girlfriends and I were going to see "Eclipse", so it gave us something fun to check out while we waited for the movie to start.
How would you describe the plot of Solid to others?
Genetically-altered teens brought to a secret Army campus develop super-abilities, find love & uncover conspiracy. "Solid" could be classified as sci-fi, though the science is light and accessible; it has a fantastical element, but also has its feet on the ground; and although there is most certainly romance, the developing friendships are the more dominant relationships. Overall, the independence and empowerment aspects are what I see as the core value/message.
Where did the idea for Solid come from?
I dreamt the romantic scene that is now Chapter 12 and the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to explore how those 2 people could end up in that scene.
Did you plan Solid out or do you just write and see where it took you?
I almost wrote it like a screenplay, putting down scenes as I visualized them and then going back and filling in the gaps. I started with Chapter 12, then wrote 5, then 2, and so on.
I'm actually writing "Settling" chronologically, though, because there really is no exposition to deal with and I get to start with action right from the onset.
Do you get time to read? What are your favorite types of books to read?
I definitely wish I had more time to read because my tbr list is hovering around 80 and every time I check out a blog or go to a library, something new catches my eye! I recently read "What You Need To Know Before Joining The Peace Corps" just because it jumped out at me and even though I have no plans to join the Peace Corps, I sure found out some things! So although I love YA fiction, I obviously will read anything :).
What is your favorite room in your house?
The deck - I know that's technically not in the house, but I love to hang out outside.
What is your favorite spot to read in?
Anywhere that I can lie down - bed, couch, blanket in the grass.
What is your favorite snack food?
What is your favorite season?
Do you have a schedule for writing each day or do you just do it when you can?
When I was writing "Solid", I wrote every day for at least 2 hours. The marketing and promotion is now taking up a lot of my time, so I'm trying to find a good balance so I can finish "Settling"!
Where do you do the majority of your writing?
I write out all my thoughts, outlines, and dialogue in bed, then the next day I sit at the laptop and try to clean up and organize all of it into something comprehensive.
Did you find writing Solid to be difficult or did the book just take off with no problems?
Both! The characters came to me very vividly and their voices (thus the dialogue) just flowed. But as a reader, I tend to skim over descriptions and background to get to back to the conversations so I had to really fight to write those parts since they weren't as fun for me.
As I understand it, Solid is the first book in the series, when will the others be coming out?
"Settling" will be out in 2011 (the prologue is up as a sneak peek on the solidnovel.com site) and "Sound" will hopefully follow in 2012.
Any book signings/conferences/public/blog appearances in the near future?
I just hosted a table at a festival in North Jersey, so my next event probably won't be until Thanksgiving - something I'm working on for Baltimore. I basically use the Facebook fan page (facebook.com/solidnovel) like a blog, so becoming a FB fan keeps readers up-to-date on everything book- and appearance-wise.
Do you have a new book in the works?
I have a solid (excuse the pun - I may never be able to use that word with a straight face again) draft of the first 12 chapters of "Settling" and know where the narrative is going; now it's just a matter of fleshing that out.
Anything else you would like to say?
I think blogs are fantastic! I was born just a little too early, because I really lost interest in reading around middle school when the required reading was overwhelming in quantity and, to be honest, overwhelmingly boring as well. I grew up in a very small town with limited access and options, so if I'd been able to connect with like-minded readers on-line and get e-books it would've opened a whole new world for me.
Thanks so much for agreeing to do an interview with me
Absolutely - I'm happy to do it. I love books, talking with other readers, and I thrive on feedback! Thanks so much for having me :)