The first draft was originally called GIVING LIGHT, but as the story and characters changed over the dozen or so years of working on it, that title no longer fit. I had another project called WHITE LIKE ASHES, a contemporary sci-fi, but I felt that juxtaposition of words better fit my fantasy book. Thus, SNOW LIKE ASHES was born, and shockingly, my editor loved it! I had quite the fairy-tale title experience — all the titles for all three books in the trilogy were accepted without a fight.
Thus far, the hardest part of it all has been coalescing my twelve-year-long dream of having this book get published with the reality of what is happening. Not that what is happening is by any means bad — quite the opposite! — but it’s been very hard on a number of occasions to let go of little details that logistically make no sense, but matter to me on a personal, this-character-has-been-here-since-I-was-a-wee-preteen-I-can’t-get-rid-of-him! way. Luckily, I have a very patient editor, who is well aware of my sometimes absurd sentimental attachment to certain areas of the book!
So much music! I adore music, and am constantly scribbling down song lyrics I hear that strike a particular chord in me. Just last night I found the song Bring on the Wonder by Susan Enan from an episode of Bones and fell in love!
I love the transitions that happen in YA. For instance, my main character, Meira, is at a crossroads (as most YA MCs are) — deciding who she wants to be, who society is turning her into, and who she NEEDS to be. That pivotal life moment is so packed with possibility and joy, fear and development, and so many amazing things happen. It’s a time of growth, of newness, of unbecoming, and I think everyone has a soft spot in their hearts for that time in their life — the first moment where you really, truly realize yourself as an individual with a unique and moldable future.
Despite my more-than-a-decade of writing/trying to get published, shockingly, no! I’ve always known this is what I wanted, and even when it wasn’t at the forefront of my mind (thank you for that, College), it was still a part of me. Like SNOW LIKE ASHES, I never could quite get the desire to be published out of my heart — and honestly, I never wanted to. Yes, it’s been hard (quite miserable sometimes, not gonna lie), but there’s something unspeakably amazing about the whole book-creation process, and I wouldn’t trade any of it — miserable times included!
One quote kept me going through the years above all: Keep Moving Forward. So watch Meet the Robinsons and plow on ahead! Like I said above, yes, it sucks sometimes, but I promise you that it’s worth it.