Today I was lucky enough to get to interview Victoria Aveyard, fantasy expert and fellow 2015 debut. 🙂
Her debut fantasy novel, THE RED QUEEN, is set in a world where society is divided by the color of blood. It features a 17-year-old who, to save her family, must assume the role of a long-lost princess while secretly aiding a revolution.
It was pitched as Graceling meets The Selection. In other words – LET ME READ IT NOW PLEASE.
Victoria Aveyard is the author of The Red Queen, out Winter 2015 from HarperTeen. She is also a screenwriter, USC grad, and map enthusiast represented by Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary. She currently splits her time between Los Angeles, Massachusetts, and Westeros.
Can you tell us a little about the inspiration for your debut book?
I wanted to write a book that, above all things, was entertaining, but also had grains of truth in it. The current economic climate in the US, particularly the insane disparity of wealth and level of government corruption, inspired a lot of pieces of The Red Queen. But beyond all that, I really wanted to write my own fantasy tale.
How did you come up with your title? Were there any you considered first?
The first title I had (Silver), didn’t last long. The Red Queen came to me in very early stages and was informed by a particular plot point – the color of blood – and how it relates to the world.
What was the hardest part of writing this particular book?
Getting it done! I had an amazing experience once the manuscript was finished, and things really fell into place publishing-wise. But getting my butt in the chair, making the words happen without any promise of success was definitely the hardest thing to get past.
Is there anything that helps you get into the writing zone – music, for example?
I’m very into music, Spotify especially, and I have certain playlists for editing, different writing projects, and for the RQ sequel.
What is it about young adult fiction that draws you in as a writer?
I think YA is amazingly current and so tapped into its audience. Not only that, but it’s sort of the foundation block for all readers. Everyone was a teenager once, and it’s surprisingly easy to fall back into that mindset and understand teen characters and their motivations. Not only are you losing yourself in a literary world, but in characters as well.
Was there ever a time when you seriously considered giving up on your writing dream?
Now that I think about it, not really. I studied screenwriting in college, and a year after graduation my career really took off. I didn’t have time to doubt!
Do you have any advice for writers trying to get published?
Trends shmends. Really, if the work is good enough, it will find a home and it will find an audience. The great ones – Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games – didn’t follow anything, and were forces all their own. And of course, keep writing. Write about everything if you need to, but only write about what you want. Passion comes across on the page, and it’s more attractive than any trend.
Can you say anything about your next project/s?
I’m currently hard at work on the sequel to The Red Queen, as well as the film side of my career. Things are happening!
You should go add THE RED QUEEN on Goodreads so you can freak out about it with me come 2015. You can also follow her on twitter @VictoriaAveyard. She’s a total nerd, in a good way. (Is there a bad way to be a total nerd? The answer: probably not.)