It sounds like a fantastic story and I seriously can't wait to get my hands on a copy. If you want to read a bit more about Freefall whizz over to the Goodreads page here or click here to visit Mindi's awesome website - make sure you check out the list of bands she's seen live, it's pretty cool.
Freefall synopsis (from Goodreads): 'How do you come back from the point of no return?
Seth McCoy was the last person to see his best friend Isaac alive, and the first to find him dead. It was just another night, just another party, just another time where Isaac drank too much and passed out on the lawn. Only this time, Isaac didn’t wake up.
Convinced that his own actions led to his friend’s death, Seth is torn between turning his life around . . . or losing himself completely.
Then he meets Rosetta: so beautiful and so different from everything and everyone he's ever known. But Rosetta has secrets of her own, and Seth will soon realize he isn’t the only one who needs saving . . .'
1. In case any readers haven’t read the book yet, can you tell me a little bit about Freefall?
The simplest description is that it’s a dark contemporary Young Adult novel about what comes next for a teenage boy who was the last person to see his best friend alive and the first to find him dead. For me, it’s also a story about music, guilt, grief, communication, anxiety, phobias, and most of all, falling in love.
2. Talk me through an average day when you’re working on a novel. Do you have a set number of words you have to write per day or do you set yourself different targets?
I don’t have a goal for output per se. Mostly, I’m just trying to all of my allotted writing hours for actual writing. That said, I do aim to complete one to two polished scenes every week.
3. Can you describe how you felt in the moment when you first heard that Freefall had been accepted for publication?
It seemed like it had taken me so long to get there, and that maybe it would never happen, so when it finally did, I was relieved.
4. In young adult fiction in particular, it’s important that readers bond with the characters - what do you think is the most important thing to get right when you're creating a character?
Voice. If you can nail that, you can do anything!
5. Can you tell me a bit about your journey with Freefall? When did you first come up with the idea and what were the timescales involved between the first draft and the novel being accepted for publication?
I first came up with the idea in late-July 2006. The first draft was completed about six months later and the “final” draft was reading in February 2008. I finally got an agent in January 2009 and the book sold in May 2009. With a release date of October 5, 2010, the whole project from idea to on the shelves will work out to be about four years and two months. In other words, almost 1/8 of my life!
6. Some writers relate take great inspiration from music while they’re writing. Do you listen to music while you’re writing? If so, what artists/bands do you like to listen to while you write?
I do listen to music. What I listen to is less about my tastes or even my character’s tastes and more about the essence of the character. If that makes any sense. While working on Freefall, I mostly listened to Social Distortion, The Killers (Sam’s Town album), Ash, and that one song by Staind “It’s Been Awhile.”
7. On a completely un-writing related note but continuing with the music theme – I noticed on your website you’ve seen a pretty impressive list of bands live. Who would you say gave the best performance and why?
I’ve seen a number of incredible performances. Two of my favorites were Muse and The Killers (both at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle). And yet, the performance that will always stick with me was Nightmare of You at the Music Hall in Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York.
It was St. Patrick’s Day 2008, and my husband, Dwayne, and I had flown into NYC specifically to see Ash perform. We were impatient for the main event, but about three songs into the set by an opening band, Nightmare of You played the song “I Was Never a Normal Boy.” I can’t even describe how it felt, but the sincerity and raw emotion caught me off guard and I was mesmerized for the remainder of their songs. After they finished, Dwayne and I turned to one another and were like, “We need their CD!” As it turned out, we’d both had the same feeling at the exact same moment. It was a-maz-ing.
8. I mentioned before on my blog how much I love the simplicity of the cover art for Freefall – how much of an input did you have with it?
I had zero imput! I’d told my editor upfront that I was hopeful that the characters would NOT be depicted. She agreed and said that they were going for more of a “mood piece.” I was surprised and very, very pleased with what they came up with!
9. Did Freefall always have this title or was that something that came later on?
The original title was The Fake McCoy, which I chose before I’d even written one word of the story. At the tail end of my agent search, I changed it to Scratching at the 8-Ball, which is what it sold as. My editor and I brainstormed over 100 titles and a few months later, agreed upon Freefall. Now I can’t imagine it being anything else!
10. What advice would you give to writers who want to make the leap from writing as a hobby to actively pursuing a career in writing?
Getting published requires tons upon tons of research. Read everything you can in your genre. Check out agent/editor/author/other publishing blogs. Go to writer’s conferences. Join critique groups. Do whatever you can to learn everything you can.
11. There is a lot of argument within the young adult market as to what is appropriate for teens to read. Where do you stand on this matter? Do you think teens should be protected from reading about taboo subjects or do you think they should have the freedom to choose their own reads?
I am definitely a fan of YA representing real life and teens to having access to these books.
12. Thank you so much for your time, Mindi. Before you go, could you tell me about any projects you have in the pipeline we can look out for?
I’m working on another dark contemporary YA—this one with a girl protagonist. At this point, I’m not sure what’s going to happen with it, but I have high hopes!
Well I for one can't wait to read Freefall - how about you? Also, I'm so happy Mindi mentioned Staind; I felt thirteen and angry again :) x