by Dawn Metcalf
As reality slips and time stands still, Consuela finds herself thrust into the world of the Flow. Removed from all she loves into this shifting world overlapping our own, Consuela quickly discovers she has the power to step out of her earthly skin and cloak herself in new ones-skins made from the world around her, crafted from water, fire, air. She is joined by other teens with extraordinary abilities, bound together to safeguard a world they can affect, but where they no longer belong.
When murder threatens to undo the Flow, the Watcher charges Consuela and elusive, attractive V to stop the killer. But the psychopath who threatens her new world may also hold the only key to Consuela's way home.
Dutton Books, June 30, 2011 (YA)
Hello welcome! The readers and myself are so happy you could join us today!
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I hope so! I'm a native Chicagoan living in rural Connecticut who is passionate about gender issues, chocolate, and books (not necessarily in that order). I live with my husband (who is like Tom Hanks in BIG), my daughter (nicknamed "The Pigtailed Overlord") and my son (who is dancing as we speak). Our two cats are named Tigris and Euphrates and have been supporters of my work for years by looking unimpressed and yet keeping their opinions to themselves. I have a Master's Degree from Harvard, a large collection of various hats and costumes, and a second degree black belt in Shaolin Kempo Karate.
Yeah, that about sums it up.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Truthfully, it was about expressing myself. When I'd want to say something important or emotional, I'd get all choked up so I'd write it down instead. This started out as scribbled notes in crayon slipped under my parents' door that graduated to letters, then poems, then full-length novels.
I have a nice time following you on Twitter. In 140 characters or less, sum LUMINOUS for us.
Thank you! "Consuela Chavez discovers that she can create otherworldly skins out of anything to save ordinary people from dying before their time."
What surprised you the most about the writing/publishing process?
Requiring an "online presence" -- I thought my job was just to write books! LOL! Both my agent and editor were shocked that I didn't already have a website, Twitter, Facebook page, etc. when they Googled my name. I explained that I did, but that I'd been writing incognito, but now that we had a book to market, I'd be out there creating my platform on the web. (Thanks for helping me by doing this, by the way!) It's a balancing act and I'm still learning, but I'm very grateful to have found the communities and awesome writerly folk I've met on the web. It keeps me sane(r) than someone madly typing on a computer all day alone in the house.
What were your inspirations for creating this story?
Joss Whedon, Alan Moore, Jose Guadelupe Posada, and comic book superheroines in skimpy, skin-tight costumes. Coming up with a latina paranormal skeleton as a modern-day Lady of the Day of the Dead was an unexpected inspiration and I take little credit for the way my mind works.
How long did it take you to write it, and did you have any writer’s block along the way?
Six months and yes. I can't even tell you when writer's block happened, but I do recall thinking, "Now what?" but, as they say, that's what friends are for! Soundboarding ideas and questions off talented and creative ears is just what it takes to get me free-thinking again.
How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
Um...no. I have to admit that a character or story just comes to me and it's more like picking up a frequency in my fillings than creating something new. Even if I can follow where the ideas or voices originated, it feels more like taking dictation from something outside my own experience and watching it take shape on the page. But that's the rough draft. The brilliance truly comes in the revision when editors shine their light into the darkest places and find the nuggets gold under all the muck. I was very fortunate to have an incredible editor on my side to bring Luminous out of the earliest drafts.
What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
Voice: that unforgettable quality that says this story wasn't written by just anyone, it was written by you.
Was there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Beginnings are hardest for me. I usually muscle through one to three drafts and keep going straight through to the end then return and rewrite the beginning again so that it frames the story, mirroring and presaging the end, making sure all the points are introduced early to create a satisfying ending. I like that feeling of completeness but the first one to three chapters are oftentimes my first learning about the characters and the plot and by the time I get to the end, those early bits are unnecessary and have to be hashed-out again.
What were your feelings when you first saw the cover of your finished book?
There was an honest-to-goodness gasp.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I'm not a big fan of "message" books, but I borrowed a quote for my bookmark: "Know thyself." If there was a message I'd want anyone to know, it's having the self-confidence to know who you are would be it.
Can you share with us any current projects?
Currently, I have a manuscript that is being shopped around that I describe as "a teenage Meet Joe Black with knives" and my agent describes it as "oddly sexy and sexily odd" -- both of which are good descriptions of my latest YA paranormal romance. The WIP I'm working on is probably the toughest thing I've ever attempted (a dystopian-feeling near-alternate-future reality story...say *that* five times fast!), which is probably why another paranormal romance idea suddenly popped into my head fully-formed to give me more to balk at. I swear, my Muse enjoys watching me scramble!
Thank you so much for joining me during Author Month In April Event!
Thank you so much for having me! It was a real pleasure.
Author of LUMINOUS, June 30, 2011 by Dutton Books
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