Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Into The Light - Blog Tour

A big thank you to author Caroline T.Patti for answering my Q&A as part of the Into The Light blog tour!

1. What inspired you to write Into The Light?
Into the Light is the follow-up to Into the Dark. I wanted Mercy’s story to come to a satisfying end because I knew this would be the last in the “series.” I’m not sure if you can consider two books an entire series, but for lack of a better word, that’s what I’ll call it. At the close of Into the Dark Mercy made a pact with Isadora, aka the villain, in an effort to protect her family and friends. Into the Light certainly had to address this conflict, but I also wanted a great deal of the story to be about Nathaniel. To me, he became the most interesting and complex character. He’s certain not very likable in Into the Dark, though he is quite delicious at times. I wanted the readers to be able to fully understand his motivation, to know the reasons for why he is the way he is. I focused on that while writing Into the Light and Mercy’s story came together and, in a way, overlapped with Nathaniel’s.

2. Have any elements of your life made it in to the story?
I don’t include huge aspects of my life into my writing. What I do like to include are Easter eggs, if you will, for those who know me personally. Lyla’s last name is McCrimons, which is the same last name of one of my closest friends. When I was a kid and my dad made pancakes, he always cut it into little squares and then ate the middle piece himself. I included this in Into the Dark when Jay and Mercy in Lyla’s body make pancakes. When picturing Mercy’s high school, I did picture my own, which I’ve never done before, so the layout is exactly the same.

3. If you could go back in time and give yourself one bit of advice before you started writing Into The Light, what would it be?
There is so much pressure for sequels. Way more pressure than a first book! Readers are engaged, they have expectations, and the idea that I could somehow fall short of those expectations is really scary. What happens, though, when I let those thoughts into my head is I start thinking too much about the reader and I question every single word. I made things way too difficult for myself in the early stages of writing. At some point I had to resign myself to the fact that it’s impossible to make everyone happy. Readers of Into the Dark will end up #TeamGage or #TeamNathaniel, and they might never be okay with the choice Mercy makes in Into the Light. I have to be okay with that. When an author publishes a book there’s this odd change of ownership and the characters belong to the readers and therefore they feel they should control the outcome. Of course their outcome might not match up with mine, and for that they may end up disappointed. And while I feel for them, I have to remember that this is my story with my characters and so long as I’m proud of my craft, that’s all that really matters.

4. Which books/authors inspired you to start writing?
I wanted to be a writer before I truly understood what an author is. I knew I wanted to write books, to tell stories from the time I was five, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t quite grasp the concept of authors just yet. Once I did, however, Lois Duncan had a huge influence on me. I gobbled up her books when I was young, and when I set out to be a “real writer” I sent her an email. She was so kind to reply and to wish me well on my journey.

5. Who's in the fantasy movie cast for Into The Light?
I hope you don’t hate my answer. The truth is, I’ve given it no thought. This is not to say that I don’t want my books turned into film. I would be honored. But I’ve never thought of who might play the characters because right now they only exist in my imagination and no one is going to resemble them enough. I’d much rather have someone else’s vision when it comes to casting because I think their argument could persuade me. I’d love to know who readers would want to cast, and then I’m sure I
could get behind their choice.

6. Sum Into The Light up in five words.
The real enemy is revealed.

7. Do you have any writing rituals?
I’m kind of a neat freak, so I try to make sure my house is clean first. Of course, if I’m on deadline, I have to forgo this ritual because I simply don’t have time. But for the most part, I like to know things are taken care of around the house so that I can devote all of my attention to the story. I will listen to the same two or three CDs on repeat until I’m finished with a book. It’s amazing that I don’t get sick of the music, but I honestly don’t. As soon as I’m plugged in, and the notes are playing, I’m transported right into the story and the rest of the world melts away. When I’m in the thick of it, I write every day, and I try to get out at least 1700 words. I do not write every day. I’m a wife and a mom to teenage daughters—there’s just no way to write every day. While editing Into the Light I watched a lot of That 70s Show. I don’t know why; it sort of became like a soundtrack. It was awesome.

8. Who was your favourite character to write?
Nathaniel. By far. I love a good complex character. I love the idea that it’s possible to love someone and hate someone at the same time. He’s tortured and he’s very hardened when we first meet him in Into the Dark. Originally, he was going to be the villain, but then his story unfolded and my heart went out to him. All he wanted was to be in love, and when he was denied that opportunity because loving a human was against the rules, he changed completely. I wanted to give him the chance to change back. I can’t promise that he does, but I at least wanted him to make the effort. And I wanted him to think of someone else besides himself.

9. How different is this version to the one you sat down to write?
Night and day. Seriously. The first version only moderately resembles the completed version. This happens to me a lot. I tend to dump a first draft knowing that I’m going to go back and revise. Maybe some writers think of this as a waste of time, but it’s part of my process. I get it all out, sort of verbal vomit style, and then I hone and tighten the story until it’s the way I want it. In early drafts I tend to make things too complicated. So during revisions I try to find the simplest, most direct way to tell the story. And I always keep Quentin Tarantino with me when I’m revising. I like to follow his format of jumping right into the action, and going back and explaining later. This means that during the revision process I might flip the entire book if necessary. I’m better at the back half then I am the start, so sometimes I’ll make the back part the beginning part and go back in time if necessary. Now that I’ve typed this all out, I realize it sounds a bit nuts, but what can I do? It is what it is.

10. How did Into The Light make the journey from your head to print?
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I had an agent. And I pitched that agent the idea of Into the Dark, which was then called Seven Days. She loved the idea, but my writing wasn’t where it needed to be. We ended up going round and round for years. YEARS. And then I “met” Georgia McBride through Twitter. She ran #yalitchat, and she did freelance editing. I begged her to please help me pull Seven Days out of the depths of despair. And she did. But not without listening to a lot of whining from me about how I should just give up the whole thing and write something else first. Eventually, my agent dropped me, as happens to lots of folks and Georgia founded Month9Books. I remember being so nervous to ask her if she might consider publishing what was now called Into the Dark. She gave me the green light to submit, and Into the Dark went through the same process as any other submission. Into the Dark was published in August 2015, and I finished writing Into the Light by December 2015.

Into The Light
Mercy’s family is back together and the threat of danger appears to have passed. But any relief she feels is short lived as she is ripped from her body and thrown in jail. Gage and Nathaniel’s plans to break Mercy out won’t exactly be easy. Stuffed full of a chemical binding agent, Mercy is trapped inside the body of a convict without the ability to breach and set herself free. Unfortunately for Mercy, being trapped in jail becomes the least of her problems when she meets her evil twin, Justice.

BAM | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | TBD

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