Today, I am interviewing Amelia Atwater-Rhodes as part of her blog tour! See the full schedule below the interview. This also marks my return to hopefully more regular posting after quite some time of not regular posting. Anyway, the interview:

Other authors have said that, as much as they wished for it at the time, they’re glad now that their early writing was not published for the world to see. Do you ever regret your success at an early age, or would you recommend that young people try to publish their writing?

I too would have been horrified if my first work had been published, too. In the Forests of the Night was actually the seventh or eighth manuscript I finished. I needed the earlier works to build on the world and stretch my writing muscles, to figure out how to string together two sentences much less an entire story, and to get feedback from my peers on what worked and what didn’t.

As for what I recommend to young people, if publishing is their dream, I will always encourage them to work for it. Part of that work is knowing when one has to step back and decide if this manuscript is actually the one that will make it, and the willingness to put something aside if necessary to refine one’s abilities first.

Do you have a favorite one of your books? Why or why not?

My books tend to be my favorite when I’m writing them, my least-favorite when I’m editing them, and then gain a nostalgic fondness after they’re published. My favorite at the moment is probably Persistence of Memory, but that may also be because it’s in the exciting pre-publication phase.

What is the book that you would most like to publish? It can be one you’ve written, or one you haven’t yet written.

The easy answer to this question (and the honest one) would be that I choose which book to send to Random House based on which I would most like to publish, so you can judge by that.

Beyond that… I have a high fantasy trilogy that has been my pet project for the last couple years that I would love to share at some point, but which is nowhere near ready yet.

Do you ever plan to or have you ever written in other genres, or for other age groups?

I play around with other genres frequently, but I find publishing young adult particularly rewarding because that’s an age group where I feel I can really make a difference.

What is your writing process like?

Sporadic, chaotic, and random-abstract. Sometimes I start at the middle of a story. Sometimes I have no idea what I’m writing about until half-way through. Sometimes I write in five-minute intervals during classes, and sometimes I write for forty-eight hours straight with brief naps or a lot of caffeine to get me through a bout of inspiration. Sometimes I even outline, though I rarely follow it.

Your books are connected parts of the same world, rather than stand-alone novels. How is it that this happened–did you set out to write individual stories from the same world, or to have completely different pieces of writing?

I think of my books as snapshots of a world. In the real world, there’s no such thing as a self-contained story; people’s lives overlap and interact with each other in countless ways. I like working in the same world from different times and points of view, because it enables me to explore further with each story.

I started out with no particular plan, but by the time I was writing In the Forests of the Night, there was enough to the world that the stories were inspiring each other to an extent. Risika was actually a minor character in a previous work whose tale I decided I needed to know. Demon in My View was to a large extent inspired by a desire to have another story with Aubrey, and Shattered Mirror brought in more of the hunters introduced in Demon.

I hope believe they can each be read on their own, though, particularly my newest, Persistence of Memory.

What are you working on now?

Right now, I’m playing in Castrili, which is my other (unpublished) world, while waiting for the proof pages of Persistence of Memory and my editor’s comments on Night’s Plutonian Shore (tentative title), the next book in line for publication after Persistence.

What are your writing influences?

Real life and music probably have the greatest influence on my writing. Other books or movies may occasionally spark ideas, but real life has the best meat for story-telling. Many of my college classes, especially those dealing with psychology or philosophy (I was almost a philosophy major), have also been strongly influential.

Is there any question that you’ve always hoped to be asked, or thought people should ask?

I enjoy having long conversations with people about my works, my world or my characters. I have a lot of conversations about my writing process or philosophy or advice to writers, but I rarely get to sit down and actually discuss the part of my writing that interests me the most. I really enjoy when I get IMs or get to talk in real life with readers who aren’t too shy to “bug me” about every last detail of my world.

Thanks so much!

Make sure to visit the other stops on Amelia’s blog tour:

Bildungsroman July 22nd
Cheryl Rainfield July 24th
BookLoons July 25th
Mrs Magoo Reads July 28th
Teen Book Review July 30th
Saundra Mitchell July 31st
Bookwyrm Chrysalis August 4th
The Reading Zone August 5th
Through a Glass, Darkly August 7th