Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ask The Author #1

Today's question was a rather long one so I decided to only answer one question this time.

Elly Marks: 

“Tell us about The Year of the Elephant. Where did you get the ideas for that? How did you motivate yourself to stick to it? How long did it take to write, from its conception to the final edit? Finally, what's your favorite thing about your first novel?”

I really don’t think I can answer this question without giving quite a lot of background info on it. For those people who don’t know, The Year of the Elephant was the first ever novel I’ve written, and actually one of the first creative writing projects I’ve ever done in the first place. I actually got the idea to write it when I was in seventh grade. Our grade had to participate in battle of the books, and one of the books we had to read was Alex Rider: Stormbreaker. Now, before I read this book, I was really into girly books like the Clique series and Secrets of my Hollywood Life.  I really do consider reading this book as a life-changing moment for me, and it really got me into the action-adventure genre, which is what ultimately got me into reading more kinds of books. After I read this book, I went and researched all of the spy books that existed. I read the rest of the Alex Rider series, read the entire Young Bond Series, and practically order the entire CHERUB series off Amazon since a majority of those books aren’t sold in America. However, I was very disappointed to find that none of them really had any female characters. The only series I found that had a main character as a girl was the Gallagher Academy series, which ended up boring me to death in the first chapter because it was just overall too girly of a book for me to take seriously as a spy novel. This is when the thought occurred to me, if there are no good books about girl spies out there, why don’t you write one yourself. This is what really inspired me to write this novel, and that was when The Year of the Elephant was born. It actually was not called The Year of the Elephant at first. The original name was Jade Tooth, but as the plot progressed the name no longer made sense. The title The Year of the Elephant didn’t really make all that much sense either, so I had to add something into the plot line to make it make more sense. What really motivated me to stick with it, was just the fact of finishing it. Another one of the things was that a group of boys in my grade had self-published a book when I was in seventh grade and I figured that if they could do it, so could I. This book took me about three to four years to finish. I started it in seventh grade, and self published it in the summer before my sophomore year in high school. I actually wrote a majority of it during freshman year of high school, because before freshman year, I only had about 36 pages written and when freshman year was over, I had about 60-100 pages. In all honesty, I really don’t like my first novel all that much. Compared to my writing now, the writing in it is terrible, and a lot of the plot seems over dramatic and doesn’t really make a lot of sense. I also didn’t edit it that much, just because since it was my first book, I wasn’t really sure what to do about anything. If I had to pick something that I liked the most about it, I really liked the prologue I wrote because I think it’s some of my best writing in the book, and it is also very interesting. 

 I hope you enjoyed this answer! Comment with any more question you would like to hear me answer! 

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