Welcome to my interview with Amy Kathleen Ryan, the fabulous author of GLOW and SPARK!
1) What in your life made you want to become a writer?
Reading! I love to read. I think nothing gets your mind off your problems like a great book. As soon as I caught the reading bug, I wanted to be a writer.
2) Where did the idea for GLOW come from?
Well, from lots of places. I took a great class in graduate school taught by Mary Lou Kete about the early puritan settlers in America and how they impacted the country we would become. That kind of brewed in my head for about ten years. Then I read Jean DuPrau's brilliant Ember, and I was enthralled with the way her circumscribed setting heightened the tension of the story. I thought, there'd be no better way to trap characters than to put them on a spaceship, completely alone, with no one to turn to for help.
3) How do you feel about the new covers for the series?
I like them a lot! I loved the original cover for GLOW, too, and was kind of sad my publisher wanted to change it up. But then I saw the cover from across a room and realized you can't see that graphic of Waverly at all. The new covers show up better from far away, so I think in some ways the new covers might be more attractive.
4) Do you plot your books out before you write them, or do you "write by the seat of your pants?"
I'm a seat of my pants writer! I find the process of writing a novel much more fun if I don't know anymore than the characters what will happen from page to page.
5) If GLOW became a movie, who would you cast as Waverly and Kieran?
That's a tough one! I really liked Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit. She's a great actress, and she looks like Waverly to me. Kieran is tougher! I think Jacob Kogan might have the right looks and intensity for the role.
6) Is there anything you can tell us about Book Three in the Sky Chasers Series?
Now Waverly, Kieran and Seth have to figure out how to live on the New Horizon. Anne Mather and other shadowy figures seek to control them and use them for their own ends, and our heroes have to figure out how to determine their own fates in the midst of these overwhelming forces.
7) How many books are going to be in the Sky Chasers Series?
I only have 3 planned right now, but I'm open to continuing further. I'm still interested in these characters!
8) What was your favorite part about writing GLOW and SPARK?
With Glow, I didn't know how long the story was going to be until I was literally writing the last page, and the last word, and I lifted my fingers from the keyboard and realized, Wow, that's the end of Book One! Until that moment I didn't know I was writing a series. With Spark, I liked getting to know Seth. I found out he can be funny in a wry, sardonic way, and that even though he's confused and very damaged, he wants to find a way to redeem himself.
9) What was the hardest part about writing them?
Writing Glow, I really thought it might be way too dark. I didn't know if anyone would want to publish it. I was about 3/4 of the way through the first draft when The Hunger Games came out, and I realized I was fine. With Spark, I had "SecondBookItis." I'd gotten a huge reception for Glow, and I didn't know how I was going to do it again. That was daunting, but I think I pulled it off.
10) If you could change one thing about either GLOW or SPARK, what would it be?
I'll never tell! ;)
Thanks, Amy, for answering my questions! :)
Amy Kathleen Ryan earned her MA from the University of Vermont, and her MFA from The New School in New York City.