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What is your novel The Eye Dancers about?
Thematically, it’s about childhood, growing up, the courage to believe in magic and hope for things unseen. It’s about exploring the very concept of what we term “reality” and all the layers that entails. It’s about the connections we share with others, even people who, on the surface, seem so far away. More than anything, it’s about friendship, bonding, and reaching for your dreams.
The synopsis for The Eye-Dancers is as follows:
Seventh-grader Mitchell Brant and three of his classmates inexplicably wake up at the back edge of a softball field to the sounds of a game, the cheering of the crowd. None of them remembers coming here. And as they soon learn, “here” is like no place they’ve ever seen. Cars resemble antiques from the 1950s. There are no cell phones, no PCs. Even the spelling of words is slightly off.
A compulsive liar, constantly telling fantastic stories to garner attention and approval, Mitchell can only wish this were just one more of his tall tales. But it isn’t. It’s all too real. Together, as they confront unexpected and life-threatening dangers, Mitchell and his friends must overcome their bickering and insecurities to learn what happened, where they are, and how to get back home.
The answers can be found only in the mysterious little girl with the blue, hypnotic eyes. The one they had each dreamed of three nights in a row before arriving here. She is their only hope. And, as they eventually discover, they are her only hope.
And time is running out.
How do you come up with new ideas?
In reality, I don’t! What I mean by that is—I can’t “think” of good story ideas. Whenever I try to force them, they don’t work. I have found that, for me, ideas come to me—not the other way around. I can be walking on a quiet road, mowing the lawn, or dreaming—and that’s when an idea hits. Ideas always arrive unplanned for, unasked. It’s almost like ideas are preexisting things, floating somewhere out there in the universe. We as writers just need to discover the ones that are meant for us.
What is your writing process? Do you plan ahead, outline each scene? Or do you prefer to let the story unfold on its own? Do you stick to a daily word count, etc?
A little bit of both. Before writing a story, I will have a general idea where I’m going, and a pretty good idea of how the story will end. But—I try not to be rigid, and for that reason, I don’t do chapter-by-chapter outlines. The characters always do and say things you don’t expect, and sometimes the story can take unexpected twists and turns. I value these experiences, and try to let the creative process unfold naturally and without restraints. I can’t tell you how many times I thought I had a good idea how a chapter would end, and then, halfway through, something happens I just didn’t foresee. That’s always exciting.
I don’t have a daily word count quota. It just depends on the day. Some days I can only spare a few minutes, others I am more fortunate and can devote hours to the story.
What are you currently reading?
I do freelance proofreading for a handful of book publishers, and they keep me busy! So, much of my reading is assigned. It’s an eclectic mix of publishers, and I generally proof sixty to seventy books per year—which doesn’t leave as much time for “pleasure reading” as I’d like. But I still do a fair bit of that, too.
If you could invite any five authors from any time period to dinner, who would they be?
Interesting question! William Shakespeare, Truman Capote, Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, and H.G. Wells would make for some lively conversation, I think!
Do you remember the first thing you ever wrote?
I do! It was a short story called “The Magic Key,” which I wrote in the second grade for a school project. It was a very “out there” story, and, looking back, I really wonder what my teacher must have thought about it!
What made you decide to write a book for young adults?
I think childhood and adolescence is a magical time of life, one full of wonder, self-discovery, and growth. Writing a novel featuring young adults came very naturally to me, and I hope the young adult audience will enjoy The Eye-Dancers. That said, I also hope the novel will appeal to a broad spectrum of readers, encompassing all age ranges.
What do you enjoy doing outside of writing?
Reading, of course.:) I also enjoy sports, with tennis as my favorite. I love geeky collectible old comic books, and have been a collector since I was a kid. I enjoy pop-culture history, history in general, astronomy, nature, animals, and just learning new things.
Have you been involved in any other projects you’d like to talk about?
I have written many short stories, a few of which have been published in small literary magazines. I also periodically post short stories on The Eye-Dancers website (www.eyedancers.wordpress.com).
What are you working on at the moment?
I have begun a sequel to The Eye-Dancers. I am hoping to complete it sometime in 2014. I am definitely in the beginning stages at the moment. I look forward to delving into that world again—I really enjoy the characters, who are inspired by friends I knew growing up.
Where can we find you on the web?
The Eye-Dancers website is at www.eyedancers.wordpress.com.
The Eye-Dancers Facebook page is: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Eye-Dancers/213004492164436.
You can also find me at Twitter: https://twitter.com/msfedison27
To play, just click the image above or go to http://lindseybethgoddard.polldaddy.com/s/amazon-gift-card-contest-1. You don’t have to get the answers right. Everybody has a chance to win. Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for the winner announcement!