Friday, January 17, 2014

THE UNBOUND Blog Tour | An Interview with Victoria Schwab

Today we are hosting an interview with Victoria Schwab, author of THE ARCHIVED series. If you haven’t check out this book yet, you will definitely want to do so before diving into the sequel, THE UNBOUND.

THE UNBOUND comes out in only a few short days, January 28th, to be exact. To celebrate, we had the opportunity to interview Victoria and pick her brain a little about the writing process, her inspiration, fictional boyfriends, and so on. So check it out!

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Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Last summer, Mackenzie Bishop, a Keeper tasked with stopping violent Histories from escaping the Archive, almost lost her life to one. Now, as she starts her junior year at Hyde School, she’s struggling to get her life back. But moving on isn’t easy — not when her dreams are haunted by what happened. She knows the past is past, knows it cannot hurt her, but it feels so real, and when her nightmares begin to creep into her waking hours, she starts to wonder if she’s really safe. 

Meanwhile, people are vanishing without a trace, and the only thing they seem to have in common is Mackenzie. She’s sure the Archive knows more than they are letting on, but before she can prove it, she becomes the prime suspect. And unless Mac can track down the real culprit, she’ll lose everything, not only her role as Keeper, but her memories, and even her life. Can Mackenzie untangle the mystery before she herself unravels?

With stunning prose and a captivating mixture of action, romance, and horror, The Unbound delves into a richly imagined world where no choice is easy and love and loss feel like two sides of the same coin.

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– For you, what is the most difficult aspect of the writing process?
I jokingly say that starting is the hardest part, aside from sticking with it, finishing, and revising :p In short, there is no easy part, aside from maybe the hour or two where you forget that you’re working and everything falls away.

– What is the average gestation of a novel from start to finish of a novel for you?
It really depends on the book. THE ARCHIVED took more than two years. THE UNBOUND took 10 months. My adult book, VICIOUS, took more than three years. Other projects have taken as little as three months (for a first draft).
– Every young adult novel that I’ve ever been head over heels in love with, has had an addictive and yummy male character in it. Do you have a particular recipe for making yummy fictional boyfriends?
Haha, no I don’t, in part because I’ve yet to write a true boyfriend. I like to write boyfriend material, but I also feel strongly about grounding relationships. I wanted to make Wesley into the kind of boy that Mac COULD end up with–they certainly care about each other–but their relationship is one that’s not dependent on a romantic aspect. They’re friends and allies first.
– Is it harder to write the second novel in a series than it is the first? In other words, is the continuation of a story harder than the beginning of one?
YES. Much harder, for me at least. Revisiting a world and its characters has its perks, but also its challenges. I wanted to make the world feel fresh again. I have no interest in writing “redux” sequels, episodes that recycle plots. I also really wanted to deal with the emotional fallout from book 1, since my biggest frustration with supernatural series is the way the heroes and heroines survive the ordeals not just physically but psychologically intact.

– The premise of this series is such an interesting one, was there a specific “something” that triggered this idea for you? 
THE ARCHIVED series was actually born out of two seemingly disparate places. I knew I wanted to write an afterlife mythos based on the idea of a “repository of information” since the thing that scares me most about death is the idea that a lifetime of experience could simply be lost. I also knew I wanted to write a story about a girl moving in to a dilapidated hotel-turned-apartment building. One day the two just kind of fit together.
– Are there any characters in this series/book that were inspired by real life people?
I’m very careful not to wholesale drop real people in my books, lest I feel more loyal to the inspiration than the character. But there are small details that work their way in. And in each book, I tend to have a character that was inspired by an actor, if for no other reason than it gives me something to fun to picture while I’m working. In THE ARCHIVED series, that character is Roland, and he’s a nod to David Tennant 🙂
– Describe THE UNBOUND in three words.
Mystery. History. High school. <–okay, high school is two words, but hey :p
– What is your non-traditional piece of advice to novice writers they wouldn’t hear anywhere else?
Fear is totally natural. The trick is to always want a thing more than you’re afraid of it. 
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Thank you SO much for allowing us to interview you, Victoria! Can’t wait to read THE UNBOUND.
Happy reading, everyone. 
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