Today we have a special guest – debut author Talia Vance. Not only is she a prolific writer (two books coming out within the year, AND one more under contract!), but I also count her as a friend.
BH: Welcome, Talia! You have not one, but TWO books coming out between now and next spring. Can you tell us a little about them?
TV: SILVER is a dark romance based on Celtic mythology. Brianna Paxton accidentally binds her soul to the one guy it might kill her to love. SPIES & PREJUDICE is about a teenage private investigator, Berry Fields, who sets out to discover the truth behind her mother’s death and ends up questioning everything she thinks she knows about love and the one boy she is determined to hate.
BH: What were some of the joys of writing Silver?
TV: I loved discovering the characters’ secrets as I wrote (and there were some big ones), I loved those moments when they said the exact right line of dialogue, and I especially loved that I finished a book.
BH: We all have favorite minor characters in our own books, those characters we wish could have more page time. Who’s your favorite minor character in Silver?
TV: I am going to cheat here, because there are two characters I wanted to give more time to: Joe is the conscience of the story, a voice of reason among chaos. His past is full of violence and loss, but he’s always so calm and stoic. I know what’s made him the way he is, but I often wonder what it would take to make him break. Someday he may get his own book, just so I can find out.
Portia barely makes an appearance in SILVER, but she definitely has her own story. In early drafts, she began to take over the second half of the book, and I had to cut out her entire story from the final version. All that background wasn’t for nothing, however. She gets quite a bit more page time in GOLD. [note for the audience – GOLD is Book 2.]
BH: Switching from fantasy to contemporary is something I’m doing now with my own work-in-progress. Were there any challenges involved with your switch, and how did you overcome them?
TV: The biggest challenge was switching from Brianna’s voice, which is more introspective and emotional, to Berry’s voice, which is more brash and confident. Both stories take place in contemporary Southern California, but their worlds and challenges are very different. One thing that helped me make the switch was having a separate playlist of songs that fit the mood and tone of each book. I listen to the playlist while I’m writing and revising, and it helps puts me in the “head” of the character and the story.
BH: What does your workspace look like?
TV: I work on a couch with a laptop. This picture is a pretty accurate depiction of how I write, complete with the lapdog lying across my legs.
BH: What is your favorite book on the craft of writing?
TV: I am a fan of James Scott Bell’s Plot and Structure. Plotting is something that I tend to do organically. Which usually means I have to figure out the structure and plan the plot in revisions. Plot and Structure is a great book for reminding me what a story should look like in its purest form.
BH: What is the best writing advice anyone has given you?
TV: Put everything you have on the page. Don’t save your best stuff for another book. Put it in this one. You’ll come up with new stuff later. Make this book count.
BH: Talia, thanks so much for sharing about your books and writing! I can’t wait to hold the published copies of Silver and Spies & Prejudice in my hands!
For more on Talia, including some brilliant blog posts on writing, you can visit her at the YA Muses blog by clicking here.