Julie Kagawa is, for sure, one of the first ladies of paranormal YA. Everything she releases turns to gold and this pleases me greatly because everything I’ve read on her twitter and blog lends me to believe she is a lovely, lovely lady. It’s great when that happens, isn’t it?
Anyway, the first installment in her new series, The Immortal Rules, is out now and kicking up a storm in the world of YA. I’ve read fantastic review after fantastic review so, even though I’m not the world’s biggest paranormal fan, I’m excited to give this one a go. Plus, I’ve been promised actual vampires, rather than sparklers so, yay.
Julie was awesome enough to take the time to answer a few of my questions as part of her blog tour to promote The Immortal Rules so here you go, lads and ladies:
1. 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?
Average depends on whether or not I turn off the internet. J When I leave it on, I sometimes get distracted by the goings-on on Twitter. In general, though, I try and get at least 1,000 words per day. Sometimes it’s more, sometimes less, but that’s what I shoot for. If I’m doing something like NaNo (National Novel Writing Month), that jumps up to 1,667 words per day. And the business side of writing can make that number less sometimes… I love doing signings and marketing and interviews, but all of them take time away from the word count thing.
2. What sort of research did you have to do for The Immortal Rules? How did you go about doing this?
A lot of research went into The Immortal Rules. This was the real world, albeit a futuristic, vampire infested world, but the real world nonetheless, and things had to make sense. A large part of my research involved watching the entire season of The Discovery Channel's Life After People, to see how long it would take buildings and other structures to fall apart. I researched what would happen to dams, power plants, bridges, ect. if there were no humans around to take care of them. What would happen to the wildlife? What would happen to normal pets? How long would it take for the plant life to retake everything? Do guns fire underwater? Lots of questions, and lots of research, but it was essential to make the world of The Immortal Rules even remotely believable.
3. Which scene did you find most difficult to write in The Immortal Rules?
The most difficult scene to write was probably the stay at the Archer farm. I knew something had to go down, something big, for the repercussions between Allie and another character to happen.
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?
I think that characters have to be real and relatable, even when they’re full of super-natural awesomeness. They have to have the kinds of problems that readers can understand and empathize with. Without that, the “big” problems (crazy army of poisonous Fey marching on your homeland, perhaps) seem less important, somehow. Characters also need to be flawed. How boring would it be to read about someone who had tons of power, no relatable problems, and was Mr. or Ms. Perfect?
5. What would you say is your worst bad habit when it comes to writing?
The lure of the internet. I spend a lot of time on Twitter and reading blogs. Some days I pull the plug on my modem so I can’t give in to temptation, but on the days I don’t, I lose writing time messing around online.