Author Chat with Darcy Woods
YABC: What surprised you most while writing your latest book?
DW: When I began researching to write Summer of Supernovas, my working knowledge of astrology was pretty much: "Cancer is feely and Taurus is bullishly stubborn." So I was completely blindsided by the sheer complexity of the zodiac! Then the panic really set in as words like decanates, degrees, and nodes got tossed around. I sprouted hives. One Benedryl later, I reminded myself that the goal here was not to write a reference guide. It was to keep the astrological elements accessible--regardless of a person's star savvy--and of course, ring true to the cosmologically-obsessed main character, Wilamena Carlisle.
YABC: Do you have a mantra that gets you through the drafting phase?
DW: I have two. 1. Write faster than the Fear. Which can be tough when Fear uses a jetpack. But I think this is key to spilling your most authentic YOU on the page. Overanalyzing can be the kiss of death. And 2. NO WIP PICKING! There's always that irresistible urge to compare your work in progress to its shinier, more polished predecessor. Which isn't fair. Because eventually that ugly duck of a story will become a swan, and you'll all live happily ever after.
YABC: What is your favorite hobby when you're not writing?
DW: Besides reading? Probably escaping to the woods for a hike. Sometimes you need to get a little lost to get found. But for the times I'm feeling less ambitious, I enjoy mushrooming on my couch with a stellar rom-com. I will forever fancy Bridget Jones Diary and mini gherkins with toothpicks--the height of sophistication.
YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
DW: To be honest, each of them took turns kicking my ass during one scene or another. But I'd say the trickiest to handle was Wil's Russian piercing artist BFF. Irina is such a tender heart swaddled in thorns. I think Wil says it best here: "Irina Dmitriyev just . . . is. She transcends labels. She loves who she loves, and hates who she hates, with little that falls in the cracks between." So given Iri's ferocity, it was also important to allow for her duality, her raw sensitivity, to shine through.
YABC: What's a book that you've read recently that you would recommend to your readers?
DW: I just finished The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood. Absolutely phenomenal book! It’s a gorgeous (and often hilarious) journey through the seasons of friendship, love, and grief. And did I mention the wormholes and snags in the space-time continuum? That too. Next up, The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi, because it sounds lush and amazing and THERE ARE STARS!
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
DW: Without a doubt revising. Drafting always feels a little like turning myself inside out through my belly button. Uncomfortable to say the least. However, once the shell of the story is in place, I loveadding in all those little details. Fleshing it out. Making it real. That's the magic part to me, because it's when you breathe LIFE into a story.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
DW: I am The Rationalizer. Part girl, part rationalizing machine. What's that you say? You really really love those shoes but they're waaay too expensive? Well, those shoes happen to go with 87.8% of the things hanging in your closet. Plus shoes (unlike clothes) will always fit. You can't afford NOT to buy those shoes! Still not convinced? No worries, I've prepared a PowerPoint presentation . . .
Meet Darcy Woods!
Meet Summer of Supernovas!