Hi Lydia! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! First, what inspired you to write The November Girl?
The song, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Many people haven’t heard of it, because it’s a really old song, but it has lyrics like this:
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy
How could I not resist this as the setting for a story?
This sounds super interesting! The synopsis of the book written in first person, and I think you did a marvelous job of capturing what to expect from the book! Have you ever visited Lake Superior, and if so, how much did it influence the eerie mood of the novel?
I did! Finally, in August of 2016. It was a long trip, and a long boat ride. They don’t make it easy to get to Isle Royale, but it was worth it. It was rainy and gloomy and cold, lush and wild and I was honestly terrified our boat would sink! But I did visit after I wrote the book. However, I was really glad that I nailed the tone and mood of the book, after my visit!
You also dabble in the world of adult lit! How is it different writing for teens versus writing for adults?
The funny thing is that I did that accidentally. I wrote A BEAUTIFUL POISON as a YA novel, but everyone who read the first chapters told me I had squarely written an adult novel. The characters seemed older, the voice was older, their situations were not YA typical. So yeah—it was a happy accident!
Your YA books are more sci-fi, whereas your adult novels are more thriller/mystery and even non-fiction! Is it even possible to be working on two things at once?
Yes! I do this a lot, actually. It so happens that I love science and chemistry, and so they show up in a lot of my books. But the one unifying thing about all my books is there is a core idea that I absolutely fall head over heels in love with. They happen to be different genres, is all.
While your books are different, writing is writing. What’s your favorite part of the book to write?
I love drafting! Revising for me is like pulling my own teeth out with razor wire.
It is NaNoWriMo, what advice do you have for young writers?
Please, have fun with it! Enjoy the camaraderie. That is one of the best things about writing, which can be so isolating.
Okay, a little bit about you. I see that you’re a doctor as well as a writer! Have you always wanted to be both or what changed so that you chose either?
I wanted to be a writer as a kid, but failed miserably after my first novel was all of two paragraphs long and the MC died in the second paragraph. I thought—geez this is hard. Hehe. But it wasn’t until well after my career in medicine was into it’s second decade that I decided to give myself permission to write. I realized that these ideas I had—that I needed a degree, that I needed to be a full time writer, that I needed to be a different person, really—they were all holding me back. When I realized the gatekeeper was craft and finding an agent, then I just went for it. And I worked really freaking hard on my craft.
Lastly, I see in your bio your also a salty versus savory person. What’s your favorite guilty please salty food?
Anything on a Korean menu? It’s all salty! Bring me a gallon of kimchee for my fridge and I’m good.
Thanks for stopping by, Lydia! ☺
Thanks for having me over!
**A November Goodreads Best Book of the Month!**
I am Anda, and the lake is my mother. I am the November storms that terrify sailors and sink ships. With their deaths, I keep my little island on Lake Superior alive.
Hector has come here to hide from his family until he turns eighteen. Isle Royale is shut down for the winter, and there’s no one here but me. And now him.
Hector is running from the violence in his life, but violence runs through my veins. I should send him away, to keep him safe. But I’m half human, too, and Hector makes me want to listen to my foolish, half-human heart. And if I do, I can’t protect him from the storms coming for us.
“Three-dimensional vividness…An emotional and dramatic tale of an otherworldly relationship.”
I love salt more than chocolate. I’m somewhat small, yet deceptively strong. Sort of like an ant.
I’m a part time doc, full time family member, and if you offer me snacks, I’ll be a friend for life.
My adult fiction debut is an historical forensic mystery, entitled A BEAUTIFUL POISON, coming August 2017 from Lake Union Publishing.
I have a nonfiction adult book written with Nate Pederson entitled QUACKERY: A Short History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything, coming in 2017 (Workman).
And also…a new YA novel, THE NOVEMBER GIRL. Set on a remote island on Lake Superior, a girl with violence running through her veins meets a boy running away from an abusive home life. (Entangled Teen, 2017)
Finally, announcing CYCLO, a space opera about a created, teen girl who’s abandoned on a biological spaceship, and the mercenary boy doomed to die on it. (Entangled Teen, 2018)
My YA sci-fi novel, CONTROL, debuted December 2013 (Dial/Penguin). The sequel, CATALYST, released March 2015 (Kathy Dawson Books/Penguin). I released a short story in the dark YA anthology, AMONG THE SHADOWS October 2015.