Monday, September 8, 2008

Meta Chat! That's Where It's At!

Tip of the Day: has a weekly column called Fine Lines ( where they discuss the best remembered YA novels of their childhoods. They read V.C. Andrews so you don't have to!

We have a special round of interviews this week. For a change of pace, we've decided to interview each other. So welcome to Meta Chat! Pull up a comfy chair and get to know the phenomenal Emily Marshall and her writing. I got to pick five questions for her. How would you answer these?

1. Do you prefer to write in first person or third person? Thoughts on why?

First person all the way! I’ve attempted to write in third person, and that lasts for about a chapter or two before I give up. It’s a good training exercise for me, but for some reason I lose touch with my main character when writing in third. Plus, I love reading first person books for the same reason: it’s easier for me to relate to the main character. Since I love reading first person, I think it’s only natural I prefer to write it. But I would still love to try another third-person book again in the future.

[From Kate: First person can be a lot of work! Obviously Emily's not afraid of it, which totally sounds like her, doesn't it?]

2. If you were forced to name one adjective to describe most of your main characters, what would it be?

Wow, this is a tough question. It would probably be something like “searching” or “lost,” because none of my main characters have a good grasp of who they are as an individual at the beginning of the book. Probably because I feel like when I was a teen I was still trying to figure myself out.

[From Kate: Great answer! I love that searching aspect of writing YA.]

3. Anything exciting you about your latest project you're willing to share with us?

It will have boys, boys, and more boys! I don’t like to talk about specifics of a book, especially in the early stages. For some reason I lose momentum if I talk about it excessively, unless I specifically talk about it with writing friends to brainstorm. So the only thing I can really share is that this book will have more boys than all three of my previous books combined. I think it’s going to be a challenge to differentiate all of their voices, since I have a tendency to make my boys sound a bit girlish at times.

[From Kate: Mmmm, boys!]

4. TV, movies, books: who is your favorite villain?

This would probably depend on how you define a villain. I’m not a fan of any character that’s just mean at the core for no reason. But I have a soft spot for love interests that have villain-like characteristics (what can I say, I’m a sucker for the bad boys.) Logan from Veronica Mars is my favorite that would fit in that category. When the series starts you think he’s the villain, in terms of how he treats Veronica. But as the series progresses and you see more of why he acts they way he does and his relationship with Veronica has much more of a past, he loses much of his villain-like qualities and his character comes full-circle. Jennifer Lynn Barnes just wrote a good blog entry (LINK: that used Logan as an example of a good layered character. That’s the villains I like: ones with lots of depth. But I have a feeling many people wouldn’t classify him as a true villain.

[From Kate: Oh, read Fruits Basket! You'd love Kyo. He's a great good/bad boy.]

5. Name something on your writing desk that isn't writing related. Why is it there?

I have several black and white pictures of Paris that I’ve cut out from a calendar. Sadly its main purpose is to hide the clutter behind my see-through desk cabinet door. But I also picked them because I love black & white photographs and I love to travel. So it’s only natural, I’d love the two combined.

Thanks so much for sharing with us, Emily. It was great getting to know more about you. I'd love to read the book you're working on someday!

-- Kate, Miss Apprentice Writer


Ghost Girl (aka, Mary Ann) said...

I love this idea—great to learn more about each of you! I have a few "not specifically related to writing" items on my desk, and one of my new favorites is my Glitter-filled superball! It just looks like a clear ball with a splash of color in the bottom. But when you bounce it, it swirls and sparkles like the prophesy orb in Harry Potter!! Love it!

Emily Marshall said...

Ghost Girl--I love the idea of a Glitter-filled superball. Great stress reliever, too, I bet.

Lisa Schroeder said...

I'm thinking of stretching my wings and trying third person for the next book. It scares me!!! I need to read some good third person books before then to get me in the right frame of mind, I think.

DeenaML said...

First, no one should have to "get out of" reading V. C. Andrews -- it's a childhood Rite of Passage!

Second, writing in 3rd person is harder for me, too. I only have 1 novel like that so far. Ironically, it's the one closest to selling first....

Third, Em, I would describe your MCs as witty! For sure!

Great interview!

amuse me said...

This is great to be able to learn more about all of you and how you think, work, and grind away at this process we call writing!

Emily Marshall said...

Lisa and Deena, first person is definitely easy for me as well. If you find good third person ones, Lisa, let me know. And good luck with your writing of one.

Deena, I'll take witty :) Thanks.

Marion, I'm excited to hear everyone else's answers, too!

Kristina Springer said...

I'm all about the first person too! I don't know that I can do third. I may try sometime but it's just not comfy to me.

And I just finished Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks (comes out in movie at the end of the month) and that was written in third-person omniscient and drove me nuts. Seriously-- it jumped from person to person way too fast. I did like the book though aside from that.

Kate Fall said...

Ha, Deena, I totally meant to type "they RE-READ V.C. Andrews so you don't have to."

I want a Prophesy Orb!

I must be burned out on first person right now. Being inside my MC's head on this particular book gets to be a little much. I have a draft of a different book saved that I'll work on next, and it's in third person with a much less dramatic MC. I can't wait for a change of view!

amuse me said...

"I Love Your Blog" award has been included in my posting today for this site -- its a great way to spotlight your favorite blogs. Check it out.