So today I present you the interview of Merrie Destefano, the author of Lost Girls. I read this book in December and quite enjoyed it. You can read my review of the book, here. So, without further ado…
1. Describe your book in 140 characters.
BLACK SWAN meets FIGHT CLUB.
2. What was your inspiration for the plot of Lost Girls?
I started with an idea that changed quite a bit as I worked on the story. In the beginning, Lost Girls was a book where part of the story was about kidnapped teens that had strange new abilities when they came back home—a bit like superheroes. It was always a mystery, though, where the main character, Rachel Evans, was trying to figure what had happened to her and who had kidnapped her.
3. What genre do you enjoy writing the most?
I really love writing science fiction and fantasy. When I started Lost Girls it would have fallen into one of those categories, but with the changes, the book went through, it became a YA contemporary. I actually think it’s a much stronger book without the fantastical elements.
4. What was the thing that you felt was the hardest to write in Lost Girls?
I’ve been answering this question as the fight scenes, so I’m going to go for a different angle this time. The scenes that were the hardest for me to write because of the emotional content were the scenes that dealt with Nicole. The information Rachel learns as she investigates who Nicole was is pivotal to the story and, to me, it’s heartbreaking. Maybe because Nicole reminds me of a girl who was my best friend for many years.
5. Is the lead protagonist of this book, Rachel inspired by anyone in real life?
That’s a great question! Actually, most of the other characters were inspired by people I’ve really known, but not Rachel. She was born for this story. She’s much stronger than I am, emotionally and physically, so she’s not based on me! Maybe a very tiny bit of her is like Nancy Drew, one of my favorite heroines when I was a young girl, because Rachel finds herself in the midst of a mystery and she’s the only one who can solve it.
6. Have you learned anything in the process of writing that you wished you’d known when you first started?
Yes! There are many things about who I am as a writer that I wished I had known. In the beginning, I didn’t know that I’m an intuitive writer and it’s really best if I get to discover the story as I go. If I do too much outlining or planning it will take away my excitement for the project. So now I usually work with a loose plot point outline, where I know the basic turning points and, most especially, the doorways that lead from Act 1 to Act 2 and from Act 2 to Act 3.
7. What is your advice for aspiring writers?
Don’t give up. It’s a long road. That does not mean the journey isn’t exciting or rewarding. I’ve learned that I’m happiest if I focus on the joy of writing. For me, the process itself is more meaningful and creative and nurturing than getting published. Since I realized that, I’ve been able to have joy even during those seasons when I don’t have a contract with a publisher or an agent. The other thing that I think is very important is the act of nurturing relationships with other writers. It’s awesome to be able to support another writer when they have a new book coming out or when they get a contract. It’s not a competition. The writing community is very supportive. I recommend starting friendships with other writers who are at the same level you are. They are the ones who will be there with you throughout your career.
It was great having you on my blog today! Thank you so much and I wish you much success in the future.
And thank you for inviting me! I had a great time!
Title: Lost Girls
Author: Merrie Destefano
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Romance, [Young-Adult]
Published: January 3rd, 2017 by Entangled: Teen
CURRENTLY A FULL-TIME NOVELIST and magazine editor, Merrie Destefano’s next novel, LOST GIRLS, releases on January 3, 2017. Her other novels include AFTERLIFE and FEAST, both published by HarperCollins, and FATHOM, which was self-published. The editor of Victorian Homes magazine, she has also been the editor of American Farmhouse Style, Vintage Gardens, and Zombies magazine, and was the founding editor of Cottages & Bungalows magazine.
With 20 years experience in publishing, she worked for a variety of publishing/broadcasting companies that include Focus on the Family, The Word For Today, and PJS Publications (now Primedia). Besides editing and writing, her background includes print buying, writing/producing radio promos, directing photo shoots, developing new products, writing jacket copy for books, creating sales media packets and organizing direct mail campaigns.
Born in the Midwest, she currently lives in Southern California with her husband, two German shepherds, a Siamese cat and the occasional wandering possum. Her favorite hobbies are reading speculative fiction and watching old Star Trek episodes, and her incurable addiction is writing. She loves to camp in the mountains, walk on the beach, watch old movies, listen to alternative music—although rarely all at the same time.
(All prizes listed below will be given to one prize winner. Prizes listed are for a US winner only; if an International winner is chosen, the prize will be a $50 Amazon gift card.)
• 1 – Kindle Fire Tablet, black: 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB, 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, with the Alexa cloud-based voice service—just press and ask.
• 1 – digital Kindle copy of LOST GIRLS
• 1 – Pack of 14 vintage-style Swan Lake postcards
• 1 – pr. Black Swan earrings, handmade by author
• 1 – “Always” temporary tattoo
So guys did you enjoy the interview? Are you interested in reading this book? Or have you already? Share your thoughts with me!