I STOP SOMEWHERE is a dark contemporary. Are there any trigger warnings that you’d like to tell potential readers?
The entire novel is about rape culture and sexual assault, so it should be pretty clear from the start that this is a tough read. It’s not graphic necessarily but it’s certainly very clearly about this topic.
Is there any symbolism behind the cover?
I didn’t have any say in the cover, but I think the symbolism is definitely there. The leaves are covered in frost, yet these flowers are somehow still growing. The color and the life in the flowers represents how we fight even in the coldest, darkest times. The title is huge, but Ellie has been ignored and forgotten her whole life. So it’s somewhat symbolic of how desperate she is for someone to hear her or to notice.
Do you foresee yourself always writing dark contemporaries?
I’ve written across genres and age groups. However, even in other genres, I do tend to write dark. I don’t want to lock myself in necessarily to only writing dark YA contemporary, but I’m drawn to darkness and stories that touch upon the parts of the world we often pretend don’t exist. A friend recently said my writing is like introspective crime fiction, which I like as a descriptor. I don’t write mysteries or thrillers, but I am interested in the way crime affects regular people.
What’s your favorite food? Curious minds want to know… 😉
Well, realistically, it’s pizza. However, I’ve been a vegan for some time and there isn’t much in the way of decent vegan pizza. So now it’s got to be something else, I guess! There’s a really amazing vegan and gluten-free bakery nearby and their cupcakes are epic! They make “Hostess-style” cupcakes, which taste like I remember the real thing tasting (I’ve been a vegetarian for pretty much forever, so take that with a grain of salt as I have not eaten a real Hostess cupcake in decades).
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
Probably any of Gillian Flynn’s books. I really love her and I love how dark her characters are. I love that the women are evil, too, because there’s this weird sort of unspoken rule that feminism has to also embrace this unrealistic goodness in women. I don’t think that’s always the case and I think women can also be corrupt and evil, just like men. That seems like a pretty basic tenet of feminism – the idea that we’re not perfect or pure just because we’re female? Gillian Flynn writes such unlikable characters who are also so intriguing that you kind of want to meet them in real life despite their awfulness.
Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how have you gotten past it?
Yes and no? I basically hate everything I write, so I’m in a perpetual state of writer’s block. I do believe you can’t fix something that’s not written, though, so I force myself to get it onto the page. Every second I’m writing, though, is spent with my internal voice reminding me of how terrible it really is. I’m a rare writer who much prefers editing and revising. Once there are bones, I like the process of molding the flesh and muscle around the skeleton. Getting those bones to resemble even something close to a body, though, can be a challenge!
Are there any people that influenced your writing style and/or started your desire to write?
So many, but I’ve been writing a very long time. I think we always take in the influences of the people we admire and those people have changed as I’ve gotten older. I don’t have one particular influence and I don’t really have one moment that inspired my passion for writing. It just sort of felt natural to me to try to say the things that often feel like they’re clawing at my skull to escape. As far as my writing style, I try not to think too much about it, because then I worry it’s not the “right” writing style and I can’t let myself go down that rabbit hole.
If you could talk to Ellie (your MC) in real life, what would you say?
I would tell Ellie or anyone like Ellie that everyone matters. Every person, no matter how little it seems to be true, counts in the world and affects the universe. Ellie struggles to believe she exists at all because no one sees her and I would want her to know that someone does.
*~~About the Author~~*
Don’t forget to come back tomorrow to check out another enchantingly epic #EE18ers post! 😉