Today I’ve got a couple special guests over from Moxie Writers. Rebecca Green Gasper and Susan Oloier are both young adult authors out on their Break Out Against book tour.
Rebecca is the writer of young adult fiction. Before becoming a writer, she was a high school special education teacher working primarily with students with emotional disabilities. She also worked as a tutor and coach. Rebecca grew up in the mountains of Colorado. She now resides outside of Denver with her husband and two children.
Susan is a mom, a wife, and a writer of YA and Adult fiction, as well as non-fiction. She has been published in Inside/Outside Magazine as a columnist, at http://www.fertilesource.com/, and in Cliterature Journal. She just finished a travel memoir about her family's year in the national parks.
Rebecca and Susan take on some of the tougher issues in young adult fiction nowadays and I thought you might like a closer look at what they write and how they go about writing it.
Where did you get the idea for your book?
Rebecca: Break From You started with a dream about a fire and a cowboy, and another element I can’t tell you about because it will give away the book. Eventually the idea developed into a story about dating abuse and became Brooke’s story. I did a lot of research about dating abuse, abusers, and victims.
Susan: Outcast has been a part of me since junior high. I was the victim of bullying in both junior high and high school. The experience of being picked on and singled out has been with me my whole life. It was a book I needed to write. Initially it was for catharsis, but it later turned into something more.
How long did it take you to write?
Rebecca: It doesn’t take me long to write once I get going. Break From You took around two or three months to write. The editing and publishing took a lot longer.
Susan: I started Outcast in 2001. It went through many drafts, edits, and revisions over the past 11 years.
Are you a planner or a pantser? (do you plan your novel before writing or do you write by the seat of your pants)
Rebecca: I plan, but not always on paper. I will make notes and write some scenes. I also write out a brief outline, but for the most part, when an idea comes, I spend a lot of time brainstorming and developing the story in my head long before I start writing. I also spend a lot of time researching. For Break From You, I did research on dating abuse, victims, and abusers.
Susan: When I have an idea, it brews in my mind for 4-6 months. The characters become real to me in that time, as do the details of their lives and situations. Then I begin taking notes and write a rudimentary outline. With two of my books, I wrote detailed outlines (Outcast being one of them). So I’d say I’m a plotter, but I always leave room for the characters to do what they want—as they always seem to do.
Do you edit as you write or wait until the first draft is finished?
Rebecca: I do some editing as I go, but most is done when the story is finished. I find that I need the whole story laid out in front of me before I can start working on the editing.
Susan: I am notorious for editing as I go, which is why it takes me a year or so for a “first draft” to be finished. I always go back and reread what I wrote, then revise and edit before the version is ever complete. Writers as a whole seem to frown on this, but it’s a process that works for me.
Was there any part of this project that gave you more trouble than the rest?
Rebecca: Brooke’s emotions gave me the most trouble. Brooke has strength, but she also displays a lot of weakness and showing why she made the decisions she did was a very difficult task.
Susan: I didn’t like a lot of Noelle’s choices. They weren’t things I would do in a million years. So letting her get involved in decisions I didn’t approve of and allowing her to plot revenge were really hard for me.
Where can we find your books?
Noelle dreams of a different life, one where Trina Brockwell doesn’t exist. Trina has bullied Noelle since junior high. Now she’s tired of it. With the help of her black-sheep aunt and a defiant new classmate, Noelle seeks revenge. But vengeance comes with a price: Noelle risks friendship, her first love, and herself to get back at those who have wronged her.
Website- susanoloier.blogspot.com twitter- @narrawriter
Thank you, ladies for stopping by. If you want to see more from Rebecca and Susan, stop over at moxiewriters.blogspot.com and be sure to follow the rest of their tour as it's sure to be interesting.