Monday, June 21, 2010

Blog Tour:Wayfarer by Rebecca J. Anderson

((I'm gone at camp right now, so these next few days of posts for this book tour (set up by Sally) are scheduled to post themselves. Feel free to comment, just don't feel bad when I don't respond right away- I don't have computer access))
I've divided up my interview with R. J. Anderson into three days, so its a little easier to read. Because I know you will be interested in learning more about Rebecca and her writing, here is her website and blog. Enjoy!
Marie: Where did you get the inspiration to write Wayfarer?
Rebecca: After writing Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter, my first book about faeries struggling to relate to humans and survive the challenges of the modern world, I knew that I had left a few issues unresolved that would take at least one more book to wrap up. So I always had in mind that Linden, who was just a baby in the first book, would be the one to deal with those issues once she was old enough to be the heroine of her own story. And when I was trying to think of a human around her own age who might be able to help her, I immediately thought of a boy I'd mentioned in early drafts of the first book, Paul's young cousin Timothy. Figuring out how the two of them would meet, and how they might work together to help the faeries, gave me much of the plot of the story.

Marie: Which scene did you find the most fun to write? Most difficult? Why?
Rebecca: There were a few scenes that were fun to write, so it's hard to pick just one. But I really enjoyed writing the scene where Timothy and Linden first meet, and she rescues him from the faery who wants to steal his music. That was one of the first ideas that came into my head when I began planning the book, and I hoped it would be an exciting moment of surprise for the reader.

The most difficult scene to write was the part where Timothy and Owen Jenkins are having their conversation about faith and doubt. I wrote three different versions of that scene, and at one point I worked on it for about eight hours straight and only ended up with about 700 words by the end of it. I was so anxious to make it real and meaningful without being preachy or glib. Even now I look at it and think, "That could have been better." But I prayed and thought about it for a long time before I wrote it, and I did the best I could in the time that was given to me, and I have to be content with that.

Marie: How did you come up with the names for Timothy, and his sister Lydia? And the rest of the characters, for that matter.
Rebecca: On the human side, Timothy and Lydia's names are drawn from the New Testament. I didn't intend any kind of direct correspondence or allusion there, it just seemed like they were names that a missionary couple might give to their children. (And, of course, Paul has a New Testament name as well, though in his case that's more of an accident -- his parents are not nearly as devout. I just liked that name for his character.)

On the faery side, I drew the character names from plants, herbs and flowers (and other wildlife) because I wanted their names to be obviously non-human sort of names and yet ones that readers would find fairly easy to recognize and remember. In some cases, I deliberately chose flora and fauna-type names that are also used among humans, so as not to be too obvious which characters were faeries and which were not.

Names are hugely important to me in the process of figuring out who a character is. Until I've found the name that feels right for a particular character, it's very difficult for me to know how to write them. Sometimes the right name comes straight away (like Knife or Thorn or Timothy), and sometimes it takes more searching and effort (like Linden, who was originally called Willow, or Valerian, who started out as Yarrow).


Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

I really enjoyed this interview. Thanks for putting it together.

R.J. Anderson said...

Thanks for the chance to do an interview with you, Marie! Appreciate your interest and support.