Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wrapping Up Wayfarer with an Interview of RJ Anderson

I am honored to have RJ Anderson as a guest on my blog today. The super cool thing is that my students (who inspired me to read in my adult life) have had an opportunity to ask her some questions that she so graciously answered. I was able to squeeze in a couple as well! Thanks so much for stopping by RJ!! I appreciate your time!
1. What inspired you to write this series about fairies?

Originally I just wanted to take the idea of small faeries as inherently "cute" and "sparkly" and turn it on its head, by writing about faeries who had lost their magic and were struggling to survive in the modern world. But once I got into the writing, I realized that what really interested me was the idea of how human beings might appear strange and wonderful to a faery who knew little or nothing about family, community, trust -- things we humans take for granted. That gave me the plot of the first book, Spell Hunter. But there were still a lot of loose ends to deal with after the events of that story, and Wayfarer was meant to address those outstanding issues, and also show how the world of the faeries had been changed by their contact with humanity.

2. How do you choose the personality of your characters? (Especially Knife)

Knife's character came straight out of my desire to write a small faery who was not cute, but fierce and fearless and dangerous despite being only seven inches tall. She started off as a sketch in my notebook when I was sixteen, and then she refused to get out of my head until I'd written her a story.

I'm really not a fanciful or mystical person, but I find that my characters tend to take on a life of their own, and it's my job as the author to listen to what they're telling me about what they would and wouldn't do, think and say. So rather than a systematic approach to character-building that uses notes and lists and questionnaires and so on, my approach tends to be more intuitive. I write a line of dialogue for Knife or Linden and I think, "No, that doesn't feel right, she wouldn't say that," so I delete it and try again until it feels right.

3. What keeps you motivated to write?

It used to be that I would get these fabulous ideas in my mind and I just had to write them down before they drove me crazy. I'd sometimes go months without writing anything, waiting for creative lightning to strike, and then I'd start typing madly for hours and days on end until I got the project done. But I don't have time to wait for that to happen these days, because now I have deadlines. And children. So I have to use boring old self-discipline (and large quantities of tea) to keep myself on track. I set aside time to write every day, and I shut off the Internet during that time, and force myself to write either a certain number of words, or work for a certain number of hours. I try to budget extra time into the schedule in case I get sick or something else unforeseen comes up. And when I get stuck, I pray a lot! It's not always fun -- in fact sometimes it's miserable. But the finished book is worth it.

4. Who inspired you to become a writer?

The authors I read as a child -- C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, George MacDonald and others. And my father, who read those stories out loud to me and awakened in me a love of fantasy that's lasted my whole life.

5. How many books do you plan to write in this series??? I love them
and hope to read several more in this series or any other series you
choose to write!!

Thank you! I have at least two more faery books coming, Lord willing -- Arrow will be released in the UK on January 6, 2011 and Swift in January 2012. There might be more books beyond that, but we'll see!

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
6. If you could give your readers any advice on life, what would it be?

Don't follow the crowd. Think about what kind of person you really want to be, and what you really want to do with your life, and what you believe in, and stand for those things.

7. If you could have dinner with any one of your characters who would
it be and why?

I think I would choose Knife. She'd have such an interesting and unique perspective as someone who's lived in two very different worlds, and done some exciting (and scary) things, and faced all kinds of challenges.

Thank you so much for your time Rebecca! I have sincerely enjoyed our time together and I look forward to more of your works! In the meantime, please stop by and visit with these other bloggers. You never know what else you might learn about this great book! :)

Whispers of Dawn, The Book Cellar, The Hungry Readers, My Own Little Corner of the World,, Reading is My Superpower, Book Crumbs, Becky’s Book Reviews, Fireside Musings, A Christian Worldview of Fiction, Homeschool Book Buzz, Homespun Light, Book Review Maniac

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  1. Rebecca LuElla MillerJune 23, 2010 at 6:11 PM

    Julie, I loved your interview. You did a great job, doubling your tours. I only doubled one day and will continue my discussion of Wayfarer the next couple days.

  2. squeeee indeed! I didn't know we were getting two more books! And maybe more, huh? What a good thing to look forward to.

    And I would have dinner with Knife, too, I think...maybe Paul. Well, you know, I really liked Linden and, I must admit, Thorn worked her way into my heart. And Valerian. OK here's the deal. I want to have dinner with them all. I want a movie. I want to eat in the Oak.

    Loved this interview! Thanks, Julie and Rebecca. I am so sorry for scheduling the tour on the CSFF blog tour dates. Thanks, Julie, for keeping it all together and going the extra mile.

  3. I enjoyed doing this interview, and appreciate the kind review of WAYFARER as well! Thanks for hosting me and my book.