Welcome to our weekly special feature post, Author Of The Week!!
Each week we will be interviewing a different YA author and highlighting their upcoming release!
We will also be hosting a giveaway of the book we are highlighting!!
Introducing Jenny Moyer, YABC's Author of the Week!!
Jenny is the author of the YA sci-fi/fantasy FLASHFALL, and its sequel, FLASHTIDE. (Holt/Macmillan 11-14-17) She lives with her filmmaker husband and their three boys in Iowa. Watch the epic, live action book trailer for the novel that Booklist calls "A cinematic page-turner."
Orion has survived the tunnels of Outpost Five, filled with mutant creatures and dangers around every bend. She has traversed the cordons, exposed to the radiation of the flash curtain and hunted by forces that want her stopped, dead or alive. Now, with Dram by her side, she has made it to the safety of the mountain provinces, where free Conjurors live and practice their craft of manipulating matter.
But Orion's story is far from over.
With the effects of the flashfall spreading and the might of the protected city of Alara looming, Orion must travel into the hands of her enemies once again. Heart-pounding action and adventure await in this sequel to Flashfall.
FLASHTIDE is the sequel (and conclusion) to FLASHFALL, and it was really exciting to get to take these characters to new places—both physically and emotionally. When I first wrote Orion’s character, I was inspired by her resillience, and I think with this book, it was Dram’s capacity to endure so much darkness, and still find the light—that I wanted to explore. I took both characters to the edge in FLASHFALL, and in the sequel, I push them right over it . . .
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
It’s a close call between Orion and Dram. I love Dram’s empathy for others, his loyalty, his strength, and the depth of his love for Orion. But he goes to some dark places in this book, and Orion’s ability to love him when he’s at his absolute worst, makes her my favorite. There is something really amazing about a person who can look past someone’s brokenness, and see who they are beneath all the hurt and pain.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
Titles are funny things! Originally, FLASHFALL was called “Subpars”, and then “Ashes for Stars.” I’m so happy we changed it to FLASHFALL. The sequel spent a lot of time being called “Book Two.” The music playlist I listened to while drafting and revising it is still named “Flashfade,” which was the title until we changed it.
FLASHTIDE is an atmospheric event that occurs in the book, but also has a double meaning that becomes clear by the end. I think the title works well, but the novel definitely came first!
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
Without spoiling too much, there’s a scene early on where Orion finds herself back down a cavern. I wanted to juxtipose the life she knew before (growing up as a Subpar at Outpost Five) with the woman she was now, and her life on the other side of the flash curtain. The problem was that it seemed too familiar, and I was fighting the feeling that we’d already been here with her. How could I get this to not feel predictable? I realized I needed the tunnels themselves to become unpredictable to Orion. I figured out a way to essentially take away her mental map-making abilities and present her with challenges she’d never faced before. In this way, I was able to shift the setting in fresh and exciting ways.
Finding a unique way to do that is something I’m proud of. When I first explored the idea I worried it was too strange, and wasn’t sure if my editor would go for it. I’m thrilled she was on board with what I did!
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
That, at the end of the day, I do it for the love of writing. It took me many years (and many books) before I got an agent. I persisted because I loved writing—needed to write--regardless of whether or not I was ever published. Seeing my book on a shelf and having people read my stories was my dream (and it still is!) but that’s not the reason I write.
I’ve had to learn not to get too focused on publishing pressures, or book sales, or reviews, or promotion. If I get wrapped up in all that, I end up in a pretty unhappy place. That’s when I make myself shut it all out, open my laptop, and just start freewriting. It’s a continual balancing act.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I’m currently at work on two young adult fantasies.
YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
There’s a scene down something called “the Tomb,” where Orion goes to help Dram, but instead encounters him as she’s never seen him before. This particular scene has strong personal connections for me, and I still get teary-eyed when I read it. It is devastating to see the people you love torn apart in the way Dram is struggling in that scene.
YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
The non-human ones! It was super fun—but also challenging—inventing new creatures for this book. I did lots of research of real animals—marsupial lions, for instance—and then gave them freaky characteristics. Some of the creatures that exist in nature already have fascinating (and scary!) traits. A male platypus has these horrifying “venom spurs” which hook into skin and release this super-painful, paralyzing toxin. I read that and was like, perfect! I loved knowing there was a real thing out there similar to what I had created in my fictional world.
While I was revising FLASHTIDE, moles invaded my backyard for the first time in the ten years I’ve lived here. If you read the book, you’ll see why that was strangely ironic.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
My favorite stage is line edits, because by then most of the hard work has been done, and you get to go through and fine tune everything. I tend to over-use metaphors, so for me, it’s a lot of trimming back and simplifying. I geek out about word choice and sentence structure and punctuation. I like how a sentence can become lyrical, or carry a different tone or feeling based on the choices made with those elements. It’s like being a composer with words for instruments.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
Empathy. I think it’s one of the most important gifts a writer can have. We have to be able to put ourselves in other people’s shoes. We have to be able to imagine the challenges, the struggles, the pain of others in ways that help us feel with them in order to recreate that effectively in fictional characters.
I think it also help us recognize what themes will resonate with people, and discern what voices audiences are wanting and needing to hear from.
By: Jenny Moyer
Publisher: Henry Holt BYR
Release Date: November 14th, 2017
One winner will receive signed copies of Flashfall and Flashtide, $10 Amazon gift card, climber's knot bracelet handmade by author, glow wristband, sticker, bookmarks and more!
~ (US Only) ~
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*