Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Q&A with Wendy Delsol

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by Wendy Delsol
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“What gave you the idea to write Stork?”

Years ago, on the TV show Unsolved Mysteries, there was a story about a boy who claimed to have a pre-birth memory of choosing his mother. It gave me the willies and stuck with me! When brainstorming for a fresh paranormal angle, I decided to weave this with the cultural symbol of childbirth, the stork, and invent a clan of white witches charged with pairing souls and mothers.

“Which character is the most frustrating to write?”

Hmm. Possibly Kat’s dad. He’s a good guy but self-centered and immature (he’d cheated on his wife, after all). Still, Kat loves him unconditionally. It was, therefore, a tough balance to show him flaws and all but still have Kat adore him. My intent was for his character to have an arc that spans all three books. He’s not perfect at the end of book three, but he has grown. (And his character allowed me to explore the concept of old soul versus new soul.)

“How hard was it to choose your titles?”

STORK was my original title, and I still love it. It also serves as the name for the trilogy. FROST was my title for book two all along. Had I known that two other YA books entitled FROST would be released around the same period, I would have changed it. Titles are not copyrighted, by the way. FLOCK was more difficult to encapsulate in a single word (ideally five letter or at least one syllable). It had the working title TIDE for quite a while. Originally, Candlewick had the idea of putting a guy (Marik) on the cover. TIDE, therefore, made sense for a hunky merman. When it was decided to go with Penny (Kat’s best friend) on the cover, we needed a new title. We batted around a few things before settling on FLOCK, which I love, by the way.

“Now that you’ve used a blonde, a brunette and a redhead as your cover images, will your next cover model have green hair?

Love the question, but the answer is no. For several reasons. First off, there is no book four planned for the series. I think Kat and her friends are tired of my snooping around. Secondly, authors don’t have control over cover art. This is an area that is contractually signed away to the publisher (unless you’re J.K., Stephanie, Suzanne, or someone with their clout).

“What made you decide to write a retelling of Pride and Prejudice?”

It’s my small homage to my favorite novel. Plus, we need a contemporary Mr. Darcy. Sigh.

“Do you decide on what your book title will be before you begin to write, or do you leave it until later?”

I almost always have a working title. So far, of my four published books, two titles have made it to publication. STORK and FROST are unchanged. FLOCK was originally TIDE (see my reply to Stephanie for more details), and THE MCCLOUD HOME FOR WAYWARD GIRLS was originally WAYWARD.

“I saw that Jane Austin is really what brought the reader out in her. I don't know much about Jane Austin, but I never really thought of her as a supernatural writer, in fact none of the books she listed in her bio section really seemed to have any supernatural elements in them, so I was just wondering what made her want to write Stork, a supernatural book?”

I’m not sure there was a paranormal genre back in Jane Austen’s day. Anyway, no, Jane Austen did not write about the supernatural; she wrote contemporary (to her, of course) fiction with a touch of satire. My adult novels are in this same genre. For my YA stuff, I tap into my more spiritual side. I believe in it all, by the way: ghosts, angels, UFOs, Big Foot.

“What is your writing mantra in 15 words or less?”

Write what you like to read.

“Can you recommend some titles or authors that your teen sons love to read?”

I have two teen sons (almost fifteen and seventeen). They’ve both recently read MOCKINGJAY and CATCHING FIRE (and really enjoyed them. It wasn’t assigned reading).

My fifteen year old likes anything by Darren Shan, the I AM NUMBER FOUR series by Pittacus Lore, and Anthony Horowitz.

My seventeen year old likes his reads a little darker: Stephen King,

“Is there a genre you would not contemplate writing?”

A bunch, actually. I don’t read enough mysteries or thrillers to tackle those genres. Horror, forget it. I like to sleep at night.

@Sarah Elizabeth
“How did Wendy come up with this unique idea?”

See first question (from @Doodle).

“I have never read any books that have storks in them. How did you come up with the idea for this series?”

The stork angle was a product of my imagination. Once I wanted to explore unborn souls, the cultural symbol of childbirth, the bundle-bearing bird, came to mind. This is partly why my main character’s hair is white blonde. Her hair color also symbolizes her status as a white (or good) witch and is consistent with a Scandinavian background.

“Where does Wendy get ideas on the book’s title? Does it have something to do with words that connects to the main theme?”

Titles are so important yet so subjective. Personally, I think there should be a word that encapsulates the story and is memorable. Not easy to do or describe, I know. LIKE WATER FOR ELEPHANTS is a good example. The word “elephant” in the title captures the circus theme, and it’s different, thus easy to remember. For me, ambiguous or

“How did you decide what would be on the cover for Stork?”

I didn’t. Candlewick Press did. Contractually they own the book jacket, image and copy. I have liked all my covers so no complaints from me.

“Favourite cover of your books?”

That’s kind of like asking me to pick a favorite child. That I couldn’t do, but I think FLOCK is my favorite. Possibly because it’s my shiny new toy, but I think it’s very dramatic.

@Veronica W
“Favorite series?”

Harry Potter. It changed literature for children and young adults forever. And it’s just plain old bloody brilliant.


Guest post created by Wendy Delsol, author of Stork
based on questions from comments from giveaway post
© 2012. All rights reserved.

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by Wendy Delsol
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--~ Book Giveaway courtesy of author ~--

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Wendy has thrown in a signed copy of Stork
so there will be 2 winners for this giveaway
- one for a signed copy of Stork from the author
- one for winner's pick


* image source steampunk stork

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