Hello, fellow bookish folks! If, some time ago, you read by post dedicated to some books I rarely talk about (but I should do it more), I wrote about a little surprise. And in fact, here we are!
I was able to contact the author some time ago, thanks to Vicky @ Vicky Again (once Vicky Who Reads), and I still keep a note with some useful contacts, but remember that I won’t repeat anything like this for a long time. All just to say that is not a new feature I’ll publish with frequency.
More details to read about it are just below.
Dear Amy, if you’re seeing this interview so late… I’m incredibly sorry. I had the chance to interview Amy a lot of time ago. I even discussed with her when it was the best time to publish this one.
But I never did until now. I do have a reasong behind it: my mind… was not fine. Probably someone who follows the blog can tell you how it has been a contastly up and down. It’s that one day I realized I missed the posting date and I kept falling behind.
Yet, today I’m here with the interview. I hope that everyone who will read it, will also give their support to Amy and her works!
Hello, Amy! Time to start. This is a question that I asked many times. It’s important for younger readers to know some facts. Amy, I wanted to ask you: what made you chose to write a young adult book? Did you first novel start as such or became one? Or something else again?
One of the big things you learn early on as a writer is where your strengths lie. For me every time I started a draft, the voice always gravitated toward YA. When I began to formulate stories, the ideas were always for a YA audience so I knew that is what I wanted to, and should, write.
On Goodreads you answered a question about what inspired Nothing but Sky. Is there something else that developed the idea? Also, what inspired you for the upcoming Across a Broken Shore?
For some weird reason I always come across little snippets about forgotten women in history. Women who should be heralded, but never are, for how they changed the world in both big and small ways. With NOTHING BUT SKY, I wanted to bring attention to the brave women who pushed against society’s boundaries to live the life they wanted. The same thing holds true for ACROSS A BROKEN SHORE. The inspiration for one of the characters in the book comes from a woman, Dr. Lucy Wanzer, who was the first female west of the Rockies to become a physician in 1876. No one really knows her name or her story, but I was driven to immortalize her bravery on the page.
Both novels explore two historical periods with a particular focus, at least in my opinion. Aside from inspiration, what in the end made you stick to those times and draw the final choice?
The 1920s aspect of NOTHING BUT SKY was hard for me because I did not want to write the “typical” 1920s book. I wanted to focus more on what was going on in the world outside of Prohibition, gangsters, and speakeasies. While yes, they are a part of the fabric of U.S. history, there were many other exciting things happening in the world like the leaps and bounds in aviation which I wanted to illustrate in NBS. For my new book, ACROSS A BROKEN SHORE I knew it had to take place in the 1930s due to a key element in the book being the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge.
I’m pretty curious to know… your second novel is an historical book just like the first. What made you stick and feel passionate about the genre? It’s a big one, with almost infinite possibilities when it comes to narrating different times and stories. Narrating the stories of teens from the past, opens the doors for so much potential. In your opinion, what historical young adult can do for teen readers?
There are so many issues that happened in the past that we are still struggling with today. Women pushing back against societal expectations is still very topical. Equal rights. Equal pay. Women’s healthcare. These are things women were fighting for 100 years ago, and we are still struggling with today. My characters may have lived in the past, but I want young readers to see themselves in Grace’s struggle to be her own woman. In Willa’s (the main character in my new book) determination to live the life she wants. We may believe we live in a modern age, but sadly it seems we are still fighting the same battles as our grandmothers and great-grandmothers.
Nothing but Sky gave me feminist vibes and Across a Broken Shore seems to promise the same. The first novel also had a representation for PTSD. Is possible to know if the upcoming book will have a particular representation or more than one? If not, is there something you wish to represent in the future and why?
Grief is a big part of ACROSS A BROKEN SHORE. How each individual person processes it and how, if we do not recognize it, it weaves itself into the future choices we make. ACROSS A BROKEN SHORE also speaks to societal beliefs in gender roles and how many women must face constant prejudice in their pursuit of a dream that may not be considered traditional.
Is there another genre that you wish to explore in your future novels? If so, why would you chose that one?
I have a speculative YA book that I really want to tackle. It’s THE LOVELY BONES meets the movie, HEAVEN CAN WAIT. It is outlined, but I have not been brave enough yet to tackle it. I’m hoping that will happen soon though!
I’m curious to know, as a research nerd, what is the most curious thing you found during the plotting of your novels? Something that impressed you?
What struck me in researching both books is the risks people are willing to take in order to care for their families. As I mentioned above, the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge is a big part of ACROSS A BROKEN SHORE. During my research, I was amazed to discover what workers faced every single day to build that bridge. Because of the times (The Great Depression) men worked at dizzying heights in terrible conditions (mist, rain, fog, high winds) just to bring a paycheck home.
I think I’ll move my questions towards another direction. Writing is a huge part of my life and I wanted to ask you: how did young adult novels impacted your writing? Did it change something in your previous writing style, method and mood?
Like many YA writers I know, the first book that introduced me to the category was TWILIGHT. I know people have issues with this book, but however you feel about it, it must be recognized that Stephenie Meyer opened the door for many of us. Much like reading Judy Blume’s more adult books, Stephenie’s ability to capture that period between childhood and adulthood struck a chord with me, and I knew that if I was going to be a writer it would be within the YA category.
As an author, who are the other authors that inspired you and/or you looked up? Someone that made you think: one day I want to be like them! Some of them motivated you during the writing of the novels?
As mentioned above, I am a huge fan of Judy Blume. I’m also in complete awe of Cassandra Clare (I will admit that I have read CITY OF BONES ten times). While I don’t believe I have it in me to write fantasy, Cassandra Clare’s books are filled with incredible examples of how you can improve your writing. She has a real gift for crafting plot and is a genius when it comes to writing witty dialogue.
Last question! What would you say to the many writers out there, hoping to become authors? And how would you define for the readers your upcoming novel?
Here is what I tell young writers during book club meetings and school visits: anyone in the room can be a writer. If you have a story idea, and dedication to improving your craft, you can do it. Most people start and then stop because they don’t believe they have talent, but the truth is that talent is only a small part of publishing. Those who have been published are those who decided that even in the face of rejection they would not give up. They may have not sold their first, second, or even third books, but they continued to work at it.
One of my favorite quotes is from Ray Bradbury. He said, “You fail only if you stop writing.” That is something I whole-heartedly believe.
AMY’S BOOKS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT…
Title: Nothing But Sky
Author: Amy Trueblood
Publishing date: March 27th 2018
Grace Lafferty only feels alive when she’s dangling 500 feet above ground. As a post-World War I wing walker, Grace is determined to get to the World Aviation Expo, proving her team’s worth against flashier competitors and earning a coveted Hollywood contract.
No one’s ever questioned Grace’s ambition until Henry Patton, a mechanic with plenty of scars from the battlefield, joins her barnstorming team. With each new death-defying trick, Henry pushes Grace to consider her reasons for being a daredevil. Annoyed with Henry’s constant interference, and her growing attraction to him, Grace continues to test the powers of the sky.
After one of her risky maneuvers saves a pilot’s life, a Hollywood studio offers Grace a chance to perform at the Expo. She jumps at the opportunity to secure her future. But when a stunt goes wrong, Grace must decide whether Henry, and her life, are worth risking for one final trick.
Title: Across a Broken Shore
Author: Amy Trueblood
Publishing date: November 5th 2019
The last thing eighteen-year-old Wilhelmina “Willa” MacCarthy wants is to be a nun. It’s 1936, and as the only daughter amongst four sons, her Irish–Catholic family is counting on her to take her vows—but Willa’s found another calling. Each day she sneaks away to help Doctor Katherine Winston in her medical clinic in San Francisco’s Richmond District.
Keeping secrets from her family only becomes more complicated when Willa agrees to help the doctor at a field hospital near the new bridge being built over the Golden Gate. Willa thinks she can handle her new chaotic life, but as she draws closer to a dashing young ironworker and risks grow at the bridge, she discovers that hiding from what she truly wants may be her biggest lie of all.
YOU CAN FIND THE BOOKS ON
Amy Trueblood grew up in California only ten minutes from Disneyland which sparked an early interest in storytelling. As the youngest of five, she spent most of her time trying to find a quiet place to curl up with her favorite books. After graduating from the University of Arizona with a degree in journalism, she worked in entertainment in Los Angeles before returning to work in Arizona.
Fueled by good coffee and an awesome Spotify playlist, you can often find Amy blogging and writing. Nothing But Sky, a 2018 Junior Library Guild selection, is her first novel.
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