I am so happy to have the chance to share Errin's answers to my interview questions. Enjoy :)
Updrift Interview Questions
1. Here it is, the question I ask everyone, when it comes to planning out your book do you consider yourself a plotter, or a pantser (just letting your ideas come as they come)?
I’m a pantser first and a plotter second, and I have the most excellent rationalization for my approach! Here ‘tis:
In the ongoing argument over plot vs. character, character takes heavy precedence in my opinion. Characters lead us to care what will happen, they make us question which direction a plot might take based on their motivations and reactions… which means they give plot the bulk of its dynamic. Consequently, when I have a story in mind, I start by writing character scenes without any idea on how/if they’ll knit up. Because I need to know who my acting agent is, what he or she wants and fears and feels must be done.
From that point I kind of free-style a narrative until I feel I can’t any longer – usually around 30K words – and then I write a story map, which is a chapter-by-chapter grid containing the most lifeless notes possible about what’s occurred and what should happen as the story progresses.
2. Have your characters ever changed in ways that were unexpected?
Oh yes lots, but I’ll pick on my main character in Updrift to answer this one. When I first wrote Kate, she looked exclusively at examples outside herself to puzzle out all her reactions, i.e., she watched her mother and aunt and friends and their influencers to decide on the course her own life should take. She did this because she was introverted and a little socially insecure… and I think I made her too tentative. Anyway, as I was trying to sell the story to publishers, my sense was that the prevailing editorial preference out there was for a certain kind of heroine – one I find a little tiresome and overdone to be honest. But. I consequently went back to make Kate more assertive – without turning her into a man-bashing combat queen – and I think this was a good change.
3. Can you tell us something about your characters that you don't share in the book, for instance favorite music, hidden talent, celebrity crush, favorite color, etc.?
As much as I adore Kate and Gabe, I confess I had the most fun writing my villain in Updrift, Peter Loughlin. He was just so deliciously complicated and broken and beautiful. Had I met him in my late teens/early twenties, I would have tried to save him! Well, it turns out Peter loves to dance to electro-soul, and who knew? On the rare occasion he would escape his ruling responsibilities to venture inland, he would seek out a GRiZ concert and lose his mind to the music and movement and the crowd. Yep.
4. If you could chose to spend the day with one of your characters who would you chose and what would you do?
If Peter were behaving himself, I would find a swim through a shipwreck or tour of a reef with him terribly exciting; or I’d take his arm for a walk through the palace while he told me about every little thing.
5. How many books in this series have you completed/ what stage are they in at this time?
Breakwater, the sequel to Updrift, comes out in November; and Outrush is written-ish, the front end more than the back end, but I’m very much hoping to have it ready late next year (2017). And I have vague, very much un-written concepts for a couple more in this series – a love story for Parker, and maybe another one for Peter? We’ll see.
6. Have you always loved mermaids/sirens? If they existed would you want to be one?
Always. My dad had an anthology of original fairy tales I read rabidly as a child. If you’ve seen these stories then you know how powerful (and horrifying) they are. But Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid” really captured me, heartbreaking as it is.
However, as much as my sirens dazzle, I wouldn’t be one. Don’t throw up, but I’m too in love with my husband and little boy to be anywhere but where I am. A swim with a mermaid/siren would be dreamy and ever so fun, though; and I wouldn’t mind an extended stay on Shaddox in that Blake cabin overlooking the sea…