The Kim Challenge has changed a bit over years, as I have. It’s no longer a daily account of what I eat (although, I do try to update that once and while), but more of a look into my day-to-day trials, tribulations, and the wonderful and funny things that happen along the way–with a few recipes and reviews thrown in for good measure.
One of the things I talk about a lot more these days is writing, the writing process, and the sometimes glamorous, but mostly-sweatpants-centric life of a professional author and editor.
I’m only one writer, and my experiences while not completely unique are not representative of the whole author clan, so I’m opening up TKC to interviews with some other writers; authors whose areas of expertise and experiences differ from mine.
Today, I’m interviewing Rebecca Jaycox, author of The Other Inheritance, a YA fantasy novel that published earlier this month.
So, what’s The Other Inheritance about?
The Other Inheritance is about a girl named Reggie who discovers she has magical abilities. She lives with her alcoholic mother; her father went missing when she was a baby. She’s struggling just to get through the day when she brings a dead frog back to life in biology class. That changes everything. Reggie learns her father was from a parallel world known as the Other, and she has inherited his powers. Her father’s killer is after her, and Reggie has to cross over into this violent new world with a complete stranger to save her loved ones. Mayhem, romance, and betrayal ensue.
How does Reggie differ from the recent onslaught of spunky female YA protagonists?
In a lot of ways, Reggie is an adult. She takes care of her mother; she is the grownup in that relationship. Sure, Reggie is spunky, but she’s also a bit of a control freak. And she doesn’t sweat the small stuff. She’s all about the big picture. The other thing that I love about Reggie is that while she has a scary amount of raw power, she doesn’t automatically know what to do with it. Her magic is unpredictable and scary, and when she loses control of it, she has to live with those consequences.
The Other Inheritance is your first book. What surprised you about the publishing experience?
It’s so subjective. I mean, intellectually, I know that. But it’s hard to hear, “you’re a great writer, but I’m not in love with your character.” I learned agents might like you enough to take you to dinner, but they don’t love you enough to get in bed with you. That’s difficult to deal with. The process also takes a long time. The Other Inheritance took eight years to get published!
What does your writing practice look like?
Sporadic! I’m terrible at putting myself on a schedule, so I’ll have a period where I write three chapters in a few days and then weeks of nothing. I also find that when I outline the first half of the book, my writing is a little smoother.
What advice would you give other aspiring authors?
Be patient, really patient. And remember, persistence pays off. What also pays off is good editing. The Other Inheritance went through six drafts, and it’s a much better book because of it.
If you could jump into any other YA author’s series and take on the next novel, which would it be, why?
Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series. Her heroine is an assassin in a place where magic has been suppressed in an evil king’s attempt to take over the world. Ms. Maas’s world building is complex and breathtaking. It has a Game of Thrones vibe going on.
What’s next for you?
Promoting The Other Inheritance and finding time to write the sequel; I have it completely mapped out in my head. I also want to finish an adult Urban Fantasy novel I’ve been working on.
I’m giving a way a copy of Rebecca’s book, The Other Inheritance. I’ll use a random number generator to choose a winner on Monday. To enter, please leave a comment with the best book you’ve read recently.