A few months ago, David Powers King and I discovered that our books had the same release date of January 27, 2015. So, of course it was inevitable that we do some kind of mutual promotion. David and I decided to each write 4 questions, and then we would each answer all 8 resulting questions. Here are David’s answers, pertaining to his debut novel, WOVEN, co-authored with Michael Jensen. My answers can be found on his blog.
1) Which character surprised you most during the writing of the book?
Nels was surprisingly hard to write because he is a likeable, all-around nice guy; hardly any flaws. This changes when he dies. We had to dig deep into his character and consider how dying would change him, how he resents putting his afterlife in the hands of the spoiled princess Tyra.
2) Explain the significance of your title to the story.
In WOVEN, everyone is a thread. When Nels is murdered and becomes a ghost, his thread isn’t completely severed. He is unwoven. The journey he takes with the princess (the only one who can see him) to find a needle that can bring him back to life would make him woven again.
We find it easier to work with material that’s already on the page. It can take a while to write up a chapter. That’s why we prefer the Lead Writing method of collaboration (one author does the initial draft and the other edits and rewrites as needed). We repeat this until the chapter is right.
4) When you hit a snag in your plot — something you can’t figure out — how do you get yourself unstuck?
When this happens, it’s a sign that our story is going in the wrong direction. We backtrack and find where we got derailed, and then we brainstorm a solution until something better shows up.
5) Do you have any favorite stories that helped inspire yours?
We wanted to produce an enjoyable fantasy novel, featuring ghosts, which could be enjoyed by people of all ages, so we took notes from books like Stardust and The Princess Bride. We also watched a fair share of ghost and fantasy movies to get a feel for what’s already been done.
6) Do you do any research for your books? What is your process like?
Lots of internet research went into the creation of Woven: articles and YouTube videos. But we also went to fabric stores and spoke with tailors. We really wanted our magic system to feel real and easy to understand while giving the magic system a setting that feels equally real.
7) What events led to deciding that writing is what you want to do?
We both tried our hand at different arts (Woven was originally planned as a musical before it was shelved years ago), but we both decided writing was what we wanted to do. A collaboration would make bringing Woven to life a reality. It’s been a rewarding experience for us both.
8) Your cover is awesome! Can you say how it ties into your story?
Our characters search for a needle, and you see one lying across the title with great effect. Then there is the ring, which is a cool magical element that the characters find along the way. And if everyone is a thread, imagine the single thread going through the ring is one of the characters.