A few posts back I mentioned I would be interviewing Sarah Negovetich, debut author of Rite of Rejection, soon and asked for questions and such here as well on social media. All the questions were compiled and sent over. Now I'm here to share with you my lovely readers the interview and the giveaway down at the bottom. Enjoy!
Your book Rite of Rejection came out in December of 2014. How would you describe the book in your own words to someone who hasn't picked it up yet?
In order to escape from the world's most dangerous prison, a wrongly accused teen girl will have to embrace the criminal within. I'm calling it a cross between The Hunger Games and Minority Report.
I totally had a semi Minority Report vibe reading it. Haven't thought of that movie in forever. I believe Rite of Rejection is your debut novel, congrats again. How has this changed your everyday life?
Thank you! Honestly, my day to day routine hasn't changed much. Though I will say getting reader email is a great perk. The one thing that has changed is the pressure to write faster. Before I published, I only had a handful of critique partners asking for more. Now, I have amazing readers wanting to know how much longer until the next book. It's equal parts awesome and terrifying.
Women took a huge step back to the Stone Age here to make the world "perfect". How did you come up with this concept of "perfect" for you book?
We always hear the older generations talk about "back in my day" as if the past was absolutely perfect. So I took some of the more prominent aspects of the culture from turn of the century America and combined them to create my society. People look back at that period as a simpler time with fewer problems (even though we know that's not true) and I really wanted to explore that idea.
|Amazon / Goodreads / B&N|
How did your story start? Was it a character, an idea, or something else? What inspired you to write Rite of Rejection in particular?
I read a story in my local paper about a really senseless crime and wished there was a way to know who was going to go from normal guy next door to murderer so we could stop them first. The Machine was born from that idea and then the rest of the story just fell into place.
One of my absolute favorite parts is the continuous idea in the book of right and wrong. You are innocent but you are rejected as a future criminal. To survive you have to do criminal things. Is that proving the machine right? Or are you simply adapting to your surroundings? Without giving away too away what are your thoughts on this?
I'm absolutely fascinated with the duality of human nature. Good people are often forced to make bad choices or choose between the lesser of two evils. One of my favorite quotes comes from Sirius Black in the Harry Potter series. Besides, the world isn't split into good people and Death Eaters. We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are. There are no clear cut right and wrong answers to life and that's what keeps things interesting.
Along that same line if you went through right now, would you pass through or be rejected like Rebecca? If so why?
Oh, I would definitely be in the PIT. I like to think I'm generally a good person, but I have a hard time keeping my opinions to myself when it comes to unjust situations. With my big mouth, I'm thinking the Cardinal would ship me off to the PIT well before I was old enough to go to the Acceptance ceremony.
Don't worry I'd be right there with you for the same thing. I'm both strong willed and hard headed as my mom would say. She'd also say I was contrary.
In the book Rebecca finds a group she is able to relate to and join. It's amazing how even in the grimmest circumstances we are drawn to others both for friendship and even romance. Was it difficult to build friendships and romances out of such surroundings?
The relationships that Rebecca develops are one of my favorite parts of this book. As humans, we crave that closeness. As dangerous as the PIT is, I think being alone is what Rebecca was most afraid of. Even during humanity's darkest periods, friendships and love are always present.
Casting Call: If your book was made into a movie and you got to pick the cast who would be cast for our core group?
|Emma Roberts as Rebecca|
|Micah Williams as Daniel|
|Alexander Ludwig as Eric|
|Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting as Elizabeth|
|Josie Loren as Molly|
As a writer do you have a favorite or hardest types of scenes to write?
My favorite scenes to write are ones in which the character realizes something about themselves they had to work for. Like when Rebecca realizes just how strong she is. The hardest by far are the kissing scenes. I never know where everyone's hands are supposed to be. Just so much awkward.
Bo asks, why did you decide to write YA? What draws you to this particular genre and would you ever consider writing in other genres? If so which ones?
I love how many possibilities there are in YA, both as a reader and an author. Chaacter are still figuring out who they are and where they fit in the world. There are so many unknowns, and that can be scary, but also exhilarating. I can't say I'll never write for a different audience, but right now I'm having too much fun in YA.
What is your writing process? Is there something you must do or have? Rituals? Do you work from an outline or just write it as it comes?
My schedule is way to erratic to have any must have writing rituals. I do outline using the corkboard method from Save the Cat before I start writing. It's not a rule, but I tend to write in silence and then use music as I edit to get into the emotional frame of my characters. I've been known to play the same song on a loop while working on a different scene.
With that do you do a lot of research before writing?
It depends on what I'm working on. I tend to leave myself comments as I write to look up little details that I want to make sure I get right. For Rite of Rejection, I did some research on concentration camps to help with the world building inside the PIT. I also did a ton of research on how to build a microphone from spare parts that ended up getting cut completely out of the manuscript.
Facebook question, if you could collaborate on a book with any YA author who would you pick?
Great questions! And a tough one. There are so many talented authors out there. I'd love a chance to write with Maggie Stiefvater. She creates such rich worlds and isn't afraid to explore the darker side of human nature. I'd love to peek around in her head. Plus our last name combo would go down in history for difficulty level.
I just adore her books. Maggie Stiefvater has a way with words and making you just fall in love with a story. She's also pretty awesome and totally sweet and hilarious. The name difficulty would be epic. Speaking of, help us out here. How do you pronounce your last name?
The accent is on the third syllable and it sounds a lot like “lego fetish” with just a few letters swapped.
Twitter question, do you have a favorite quote?
I already mentioned the Sirius Black quote and there are tons of others from the Harry Potter series that are just wonderful life lessons. I'm also a huge fan of 1984 and it has one of my favorite quotes: "The choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness and for the great bulk of mankind, happiness is better." It's not exactly cheerful, but it is powerful and it reminds me why we follow the heroes of our stories. Because they are the ones who would choose freedom.
Morgan on Facebook asks if you have any tips for writers who are struggling with writers block?
I generally find that writer's block is the result of one of two things: Knowing what comes next, but not being excited about writing it or having no idea what is supposed to come next. For the first, ask yourself if that is the right scene. Chances are, if you don't want to write it, your readers won't want to read it. If you don't know what comes next go back to your last scene and figure out what your character is thinking or feeling as a result of that scene. Your next scene should be a reaction to that thought or emotion.
In your bio it mentions you are an agent for Corvisiero Literary Agency. Is the publishing process different for you being an agent yourself?
Nope. I went through the same query process as everyone else. Some agents represent themselves, but I know exactly how much work that is and decided I would be better off with my own agent. I went out on submission to publishers, just like every other writer. I did receive a lovely offer for my book, but in the end decided self-publishing would be the better route for this book.
The always dreaded question to be asked to pick but what fun is it without it. What are a few of your favorite books or authors who have helped shape you as a reader or even as a writer. Also notice I made it plural so you don’t have to choose just one ;)
Well, I already mentioned Harry Potter and 1984 which are big influences on me as a reader and a writer. Thanks to Lurlene McDaniel I spent the better portion of my childhood with plans to be a pediatric oncologist. As it turned out, I hated biology and then married a biologist. I think I'm a much better writer than doctor.
Funny how life works out. I wanted to be a medical examiner, a lawyer, or a spy. Sarah Leigh on Facebook asked how you as an author choose the tense in which you write?
I usually end up writing the first few scenes in a couple different tenses and POVs until I can get a feel for how the story would be told the best. Sometimes I'll ask my critique partners what reads better. It's just a guy decision. I've yet to develop a magic formula for figuring our what tense to use for what project.
Are you working on anything new? Can you share news on it?
I'm currently finishing up the sequel to Rite of Rejection and that should wrap up in the next few weeks. I always have to let a project sit before I jump into revisions, so I have a SciFi plotted that I plan to start writing while book two soaks a bit.
Bo asks, is Rite of Rejection a series or a stand-alone? If it is a series when can we expect book 2 and does it have a prospective title/cover?
Originally, Rite of Rejection was intended to be a stand-alone with an open ending. However once the book started going out to Beta readers and then again when it finally went on sale, I got a lot of reader feedback wanting to know what happens next and asking for a sequel. I had so many amazing responses to the book that I felt my readers deserved more. Rite of Revelation is currently in the drafting phase and I hope to have it out this summer. No cover yet.
In the sequel will we learn more about the Machine? Will we follow our same band of characters?
Lots of readers have asked for more information about the Machine and how the Cardinal came into power. I actually had this all in the first book, but thought it would be too boring and took it all out. Goes to show how much I know. We'll get more details on the world with Rebecca, Daniel and the others. Plus, a whole host of new characters to spice things up.
And most important how can readers get in touch with you?
You should definitely head over to my website SarahNegovetich.com where you can sign up for my email list. This will let you know as soon as there's news on the next book and also gets your sneak peeks and exclusive giveaways. One social media I'm @SarahNego on Twitter and you can find me as Sarah Negovetich on Facebook as well.
Thank you so much for coming by and answering all our questions. I know I'm looking forward to your next book.
And thank you readers for stopping by and sending in your questions. I appreciate it and love to hear more back from you all.
Now onto the giveaway. You all know how to use one of these they are pretty simple and self explanatory. Given shipping we were going to keep this only to US destinations but we found a compromise for that. US is entering to win a signed paperback copy of Rite of Rejection sent from our friendly author Sarah here. So we don't leave anyone out, anyone wishing to enter from outside the US, you can enter for a paperback (unsigned) that will be sent through the book depository due to shipping costs. You know what to do from here. Good luck!
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