Darkstars Fantasy News

17. Mai 2015

Interview with Carrie Jones & Steven E. Wedel

Category: Interviews – Darkstar – 09:59

After ObsessionA few days ago the german translation of AFTER OBSESSION hit the shelves – the first collaboration between authors Carrie Jones & Steven E. Wedel.

Their novel is about Aimee and Alan, two teenagers with secrets and unusual pasts and abilities they prefer to keep hidden. Until they meet each other. When Courtney – Alan’s cousin and Aimees best friend – becomes a victim of a haunting, they need to work together to exorcise the ghost …

They’ve been so kind to follow my interview invitation to talk about the book:

Interview with Carrie Jones & Steven E. Wedel

Dear Carrie and Steve, which key words and which colors describe the atmosphere of AFTER OBSESSION best?

Steve: This is a question I haven’t been asked before!

I think a key word would be “family.” There’s a lot of extended family elements here with cousins and grandparents and Alan’s search for his father’s heritage and Aimee’s connection with her late mother.

Colors? There would be a lot of gray and black, but also something warm and fun that can’t be held down, maybe a light orange.

Carrie: Family. Fear. Those words for the reason Steve outlines.

Both Aimee and Alan care so much about their families and the risk of something harming those loved ones, propels the story. For both, I’d say the word ‘family’ extends beyond their relatives and into the world.

For Aimee, the colors of this book would be all. She’s an artist. But right now her internal world is overwhelmed by darkness with only tiny pieces of light coming in.

So there is black hole that has sucked all the other colors into it. Other times though, the green of the Maine trees and the blueish gray of the river predominate.

What do you like most about your two main characters: Aimee and Alan?

Steve: Giving up is never an option for them. People need help, and they don’t hesitate in trying to provide it.

Carrie: I love how much they care about others, and how heroic they are; how self sacrificing and how honest.

Are there any queer characters in the book?

Steve: No, I don’t think so. What was published is quite a bit shorter than the original draft, which had several more secondary characters, and it’s possible one or two of them might have been. It’s been quite a while, though, and the only cut character I can remember right now is Rusty, a band geek who is Alan’s only friend.

Carrie: When I wrote Aimee she wasn’t 100 percent straight. Her mother wasn’t either. Steve just doesn’t know that because it doesn’t factor into the story. I’m not super good with labels about sexuality. Also, I miss Rusty.

Wait a minute: Alans only friend got cut from the book?!?

Steve: It was to streamline the story. The editor felt that the bits with Rusty didn’t really add to the dramatic action of the plot. The reader doesn’t lose much by the omission of Rusty. I felt like it showed a little of Alan’s nature in bonding with other guys, but not having any other friends helps make the fast relationship with Aimee more believable, I think.

That’s probably true. What compelled you to write this story?

Steve: Thumbscrews. Carrie really knows how to apply them. Actually, I’m a big fan of The Exorcist and I read a lot about demonic possession and exorcisms in various cultures. I’d wanted to write a book about possession, a Native friend and I had been talking about the Navajo ghost sickness, then I met Carrie and the rest fell into place.

And, especially, what compelled you to write this novel together?

Steve: I paid her off in Skinny Cow fudge bars. We met at a convention in Oklahoma and hit it off immediately. We joked about writing a book together then, but after the convention we stayed in touch and kept talking about it, and next thing we knew we were just doing it. We wrote the first draft in one month.

SpiritHow do two authors write one book together? Have there been times in which you wanted to murder each other during your collaboration, because you had different opinions?

Steve: She may have wanted to murder me, though she’s way to nice to ever admit it. I never felt that way. We’ve actually written four books together now and they have been amazingly fun.

We don’t outline, so we never know what the other person is going to do until we read it.

Carrie: I always want to murder people. No. This is a lie. I only want to murder Steve. :)

I think that because we don’t outline and we pass chapters back and forth via email, it makes it an adventure. The other person’s chapters bring you places where you as a writer may not have ever gone and you have this opportunity for growth.

Plus, it becomes a puzzle; you stare at the new chapter and think, “How am I going to deal with this? How will they survive being stuck in an elevator with a rapid hamster?” And so on. . .

How does After Obsession differ from the novels you wrote / write separately?

Steve: Well, for me, at the time, it has a happier ending than a lot of what I write for adults. It was also my first attempt at first person, present tense, and that really took some getting used to.

Carrie: I am all over the place as a writer. I started off as a poet and newspaper editor, sports writer and columnist.

Now I write historical non-fiction picture books about spies, young adult contemporary novels, young adult fantasy and middle grade fantasy. I think these novels with Steve are more stream-lined and a wee bit scarier.

Well, they are a lot scarier than the picture books.

What are you looking for yourself in fiction / popcultural media?

Steve: The unexpected. One of the reasons I love George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire is because he makes me get attached to characters, then he kills them. Who does that? It’s logical but unexpected, and well written.

Carrie: I kill off people all the time. I like it when other authors don’t. I think I look for different kinds of surprises than Steve. I like the surprise that comes from a twisting sentence, an objective correlative that comes out of nowhere, a phrase that evokes emotion or pathos, a voice that is strong and wild and free.

What do you like best on writing for young adults?

Steve: The library of the high school where I teach will actually put the YA books on the shelf so my students can read them. That’s pretty cool.

I also like that there’s an innocence to YA, even if the characters have undergone some really nasty stuff, they still have a childlike sense of hope that adults seem to lose.

Carrie: Young adults themselves. They are brilliant and awesome and enthusiastic and full of passion and hope and brains. That last bit makes me sound like a hungry zombie, but what I mean is that young adults are so intelligent. They love what they love. They hate what they hate. And they are not shy or constrained about it. That genuine nature is why I adore and am honored and so freaking lucky that I get to write for them.

What has been the weirdest thing you ever did research on?

Steve: That’s a tough one. Psychic warfare? No. I suppose the possibility of capturing human emotions in jars of bear fat via a flush of electricity through the test subject.

Carrie: So many things!

Alien possession. How to make bombs. How to make meth. How hamsters mate. Rabbit feces. I swear, I am on some major FBI watch lists.

Steven, do you have an explanation what calls you to write about such very dark themes such as the ones in Inheritance?

Steve: Sadly, that one was inspired by a real event. What the mom sees when she gets home in the beginning of that story happened to someone I know. She did not react in the same way.

The rest of the story, though, is based on how I’ve seen far too many women and girls behave while in abusive relationships. I’m actually a pretty happy, normal person. That’s probably because I get my demons out in writing, though.

Carrie, would you tell us what you are currently working on? Do you consider writing another novel together?

Carrie: I currently have six books under contract.

Two are YA and with Tor. I’m doing line edits on the first, which is a story about a girl who learns during a high school basketball game that there is a major alien threat going on. She and her friends get embroiled in the mess.

I’m working on a three-book middle grade series with Bloomsbury, which is about a girl who learns she can stop time and her new best friends, a boy who was raised by trolls, the last elf, and a dwarf with a major boasting problem. They have to save a magical town from an evil ex-time-stopper-turned-demon.

And then I’m just randomly working on another middle grade fantasy where this girl is the last ladies of the lake and she has to save her class from a skeleton eater, and a young adult romance set in Nashville, USA. It’s very country oriented and deals with a lot of race issues.

If you could meet a fictional character for one evening – either from your works or from somebody elses: Who would it be and why?

Steve: From my own it would be Josef Ulrik. From somebody else’s … either Steinbeck’s Tom Joad or Dickens’s David Copperfield, which, of course, is really just Dickens.

Carrie: This is the hardest question in the universe.

Doctor Who. I know he’s in television but he’s in books, too. Oh! And Captain Kirk and Spock. Because I want to see if they are a couple and I wrote my first story ever (in fourth grade) about them falling in love with me.

Thank you so much!

Want to buy “After Obsession” online?

Kaufen bei Amazon

Visit the websites of the authors: Carrie Jones & Steven E. Wedel

Ein Kommentar »

  1. […] To mark the German-language release, Darkstars Fantasy News has published a brand new interview with me and Carrie. You can read it here. […]

    Pingback by Das ist gut! | Steven E. Wedel — 17. Mai 2015 @ 19:19

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