Here are some of the most common questions I receive from readers about SCHISM, the series, and my writing process:
How often do you write? How much do you write in a day?
I write as often as I can. Some days are more productive that others, but I strive to write 500-1000 words a day, or 4,000-5,000 words a week. I’m not a quick writer. Somedays I wish I could pour out 3,000 words!
Do you think kids today could do the things they are able to do in SCHISM?
**Check out my recent world-building post here.**
Children are sponges with an innate curiosity about everything they see and hear. They learn and adapt much more quickly than adults. So given everything that is thrown at them in the beginning of the novel, I do believe they would figure out how to feed themselves, protect themselves, and even figure out how the technology that they grew up on before the virus works.
In the story, I focus on a group of kids who are above-average in intellect because I think it makes for a more interesting plot. Most novels are centered around extraordinary characters, both protagonists and antagonists, and when confronted with either living or dying, their advanced aptitudes for problem-solving would become heightened.
But summarizing this dilemma best was a good friend of mine: “Kids today could figure out a way to get nuclear launch codes if you gave them a smart phone.” Exaggeration, yes, but it’s not entirely far-fetched.
Are any of the characters modeled after yourself?
My heroine Andy’s appearance was written to reflect my own. For more than 20 years, I have envisioned her as a younger (now), cooler version of me. She’s blond with green eyes, has a slightly crooked smile, and an athletic build…just like me.
Have you been to all of the places you write about?
I have been to most, or at least places/towns that are nearby. I believe in doing location research not just for accuracy but also because I enjoy it as part of the writing process. I once researched the size and location of a manhole cover near Times Square in New York City because I wanted to make sure that its description would be accurate. Millions of people walk through Times Square yearly, and I wouldn’t want someone to point out my inaccuracy!
When will you (finally) finish the second book?
I can handle this question more now (May 2016) than I could a year or even six months ago, mainly because I have finally finished publishing SCHISM and have taken time away from work to focus on my writing. I should be done with the draft this summer/fall and have the book ready for publication in December or Winter 2017. I am working on another unrelated writing project now, but my passion for getting the next book, RAVIN, into readers’ hands is still a huge priority for me.
Do you plan to write any more books after this series is complete?
There are some plot lines for other stand-alone novels that have been brewing in my mind for years. At this point, I want to focus solely on the SCHISM series, but I rule nothing out. I enjoy writing too much to stop once this endeavor is finished.