The IKR Nekhet Interview

Thanks for joining me this morning!

Thank you. I think IKR was the first interview I did for Reswyt, so I appreciate the invite to come back and talk about the next book.

…The Empire Strikes Back.

It’s got that vibe, yeah. (laughs)

There’s a lot going on in Nekhet. There are two new characters, a handful of new storylines, and a…am I spoilering to say a few high-profile…departures?

No, I hinted at that in the last interview we did, and I’ve been pretty up-front in the book trailers that change was happening. I think I’d be disappointed if there wasn’t change. It was a controlled burn, so to speak; new growth is happening in this book. It really had to happen that way.

I read it twice now – thank you for the prerelease copy –  and it was only on the second read, having had the full experience of part three, that the line in the prologue – “brothers and sisters; mothers and sons; fathers and daughters” – really jumped out at me. At its foundation, this strikes me as being a story about family.

That’s probably a function of my own kids growing up, and beginning to get better visibility on everything that’s required of us as parents. But yes, there’s a definite thread in here about making peace with the realities of our family lives.

I liked, too, how Sabine goes through a period of burning bridges – metaphorically – in her high-school life at the same time she’s burning bridges in the dreaming reality.

You’re the second person to say that, and I have to confess, I didn’t even really think about that until I got some beta-reader  commentary back saying, in essence, “that was really clever.” I suppose I’ll take credit for it (laughs).

It seems like you’re more comfortable this time around in writing for a smarter reading audience. I don’t think there’s another YA book out there with Curie temperatures and Ruby coding and binary data and…I have to look back at my notes, at when you sent me to the dictionary a few times. Orogeny. That was it.

The fun of writing a plot like this one is the research that goes into it. I started with Matthew being tasked with building the siege gun, and then that led into hours of researching what type of ore such a gun would require, and that led into thinking about how Matthew would find it. On and on it went. So, rest assured, if it happened in the story, I researched how it would have happened in real life. I hope that shows through to the reader. I got a lot of correspondence after I released Reswyt, from a pretty focused demographic, about their enjoyment of some of the complexities in the book.

So you feel like you’ve found your target audience?

I think so, yeah. I’d say seven out of every ten emails or messages I receive are from gifted girls, mostly high-school and junior-high aged, basically saying, “thank you for writing a series for us.”

It’s not easy – I can vouch for this, that when other women your age, of any age, probably, converge on a book, and that book becomes THE book, there’s a sense of not belonging if you don’t join in. For instance –

– and I get that, but I don’t want to bash works that are out there. It’s a big literary world, so to speak. Read what makes you happy. I’d like to think there’s literary works for everyone out there. But I did feel like this was an unserved, or at least underserved segment – and that began with my own daughter, who was reading YA and saying, “I don’t see myself in these books.”

And yet, there’s a lot of very fundamental, appealing plot lines to this book. How Sabine continues to deal with the loss of her father. The relationship between her and Josh, and between her and Dylan. Losing a good friend. Those are things everyone can relate to.

I think, for a lot of gifted kids, there’s this broad-brush belief that everything about their lives is easier or somehow detached from the realities of life. But that’s not true. Sabine certainly falls on that gifted spectrum somewhere, or at least, I work to write her that way. Josh does, too.

Matthew, obviously.

Yes. But, regardless of who you are, and how you’re wired, life holds a lot of the same challenges and heartbreaks and triumphs.

So, last time, I told you things didn’t seem to end well, and then I got through this book, and realized that things have gotten even worse.

It’s the second act of a three-act play. But there’s hope among the ruins, so to speak, and the sides are forming up.

I’m so curious to see how all of the dreamers’ abilities come together in the third book  – Dylan’s ability to transport data, and Taryn’s leadership of the horse clan, and –

Spoiler alert.

Yes! Sorry.

You’re right – I have a section in the notes called The Uncanny X-Men for exactly that plotline. (Laughs) And it is developed in the third book, which is going to bring everything to a close. I think.

Any timeline for us?

No – I just wrapped this one, and I’m taking some time off. But my hope is to have the third book underway by the fall, and out late in 2013.

Working title?

Not yet. It’s going to be one of three, but I haven’t chosen it yet.

Thanks for your time today! The book, Nekhet, is on sale now on Amazon.com and BN.com.

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