R. J. Wade is a fiction writer and author of YA dystopian action adventure novel Aura. She also gives great interviews. Like this one.
First of all, congrats on the recent release of your novel, Aura. How have things been going?
Thank you! It has been going well. It’s such a strange feeling when you’ve been working away on something for so long to finally put it out into the world - I felt sick with nerves the day before publication, knowing that my book would be landing on the Kindles of my friends and family the next morning! The response has been great though and I’ve had some wonderful reviews. Making time for marketing the book as well as writing the next one is taking some getting used to. I’m really having to battle with the social media time suck and trying to resist the urge to check my notifications every five minutes!
Readers are already praising Aura for its "heart-stopping twists" and comment that they couldn't put it down. What devices do you like to employ/what helps you keep us guessing until the end?
I’m a massive fan of Shawn Coyne and the Story Grid so I'd like to think that studying that methodology has helped. It's a really useful tool for plotting out scenes and making sure that each scene has a value shift to keep the story moving forward. I also like to keep my chapters quite short to keep readers wanting to read a little more... and a little more!
Who are your influences?
My favourite author is Max Barry. I love his take on things, his ideas and his sense of humour. I also love Michael Crichton, Suzanne Collins, Malorie Blackman, S.J. Watson, Scott Westerfeld and Blake Crouch. I’m a fan of thrillers, YA and sci-fi and I tend to read in those genres.
What are your thoughts on the ebook revolution? How do you think going digital is changing the game for readers? Writers?
I think for readers and writers, digital has made the route to entry so much easier. Writers can get their words out into the world with the push of a button and readers can discover more books and authors than ever before. Books aren’t cheap and it's much easier to take a punt on a new author with a free book or a book that costs a couple of dollars to download. On the flip side, it means there are so many more books out there and it is harder to make your book visible. I was in a band before being a writer so I know the blessings and curses of digital all too well! I think curation is going to become more and more important in the coming years.
What's your process like?
I’m a plotter! I started out writing into the dark or ‘pantsing’ as they say but I quickly ended up writing myself into a corner and getting really stuck. I discovered K. Weiland's books on outlining and structure and became a plotter from that point on. I have a pin board and index cards and I use those to put the skeleton of the story together. Once I have the outline it doesn't mean that it is set in stone though, and I do deviate and re-plot as new ideas emerge. I write with Scrivener and I like to write first thing on a morning so that no matter what happens during the rest of the day, I know my writing is done. I try to get at least an hour of writing done before I go to work.
Do you begin a project with a theme in mind, or does it emerge for you as you go?
The theme emerged as I went along. I definitely needed to get to the end of the first draft to work out what it was I was getting at!
What do you think attracts readers to stories about Big Brother-type societies?
On some level I think the constrictions and rules in these kind of societies mirror how we often feel in real life - especially when we're younger. We feel we're not in control, we're powerless, we're unable to express ourselves... When the downtrodden hero takes a stand and tears down the evil dystopian regime, it gives us hope that we can take control and have agency in our own lives. I also think people are just generally really interested in where all of this technology and surveillance is going as it encroaches ever more into our lives.
Is there anything else you would like readers to know?
I would like them to know that I am very grateful to them for reading this far and they can sign up for my mailing list and get a FREE Aura Extras PDF featuring juicy exclusive content right here: www.RJWadeBooks.com/extras
Buy Aura here.
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