From inspiration to publication: Can you tell my readers five things they might not know about Tempest?
TEMPEST is a version of the very first novel I ever wrote. But now it’s a completely different book, only the setting and character names are the same.My main character, Jackson Meyer, used to be an alien in that early version. He’s 100% human now.I dedicated TEMPEST to my editor, Brendan Deneen because he was the one to tell me a YA time-travel was a great idea but I needed to ditch the aliens...and basically change everything else about the book. He was right.Between the first draft of TEMPEST and the final version three major characters have disappeared. The book has evolved and changed so much it’s amazing to look back at what it was two years ago. Not just the changes but how much I’ve learned in that time.I know SO much more about Jackson’s main love interest, Holly Flynn than could fit in TEMPEST and hopefully I’ll be able to release that to the world someday. She’s my favorite character to write.
The time travel aspect of Tempest is quite complex at times. What was your process in formulating this aspect of the book? Was it difficult to keep track of everything and to make sure that you never broke your own time travel rules?
I’ve honestly surprised myself with how much I can remember. But the complexity came in layers through many, many drafts. What happens after all those hours spent in a character’s head is you suddenly feel as if you’ve lived their life and we all remember our own lives just fine, but try and explain what you’ve been up to for the last fifteen years to a stranger…it will sound crazy and bizarre to them and totally normal to you. That’s kind of how it is for me. I have broken some of the rules in earlier drafts but once they were established, most of the issues came from me having to explain to a new reader or someone doing line edits why I’m right and how to easily get that across to the reader.
Tempest is told from the POV of 19 year old Jackson Meyer. What was it like writing from the male POV and how did it differ from telling a story through the eyes of a female protagonist?
At first, I used to spend lots of time writing diaries for my main female character, Holly Flynn because all the time writing Jackson was exhausting and I needed some time in the girl’s head as a nice mental break. Now I’m just writing Jackson…yes he’s a guy, but he’s Jackson and I know him well enough to know what he’ll do or say in about any situation. Now it’s easy.
The press release for Tempest told me all kinds of exciting things about the book such as the fact that the movie rights have been pre-empted by Summit Entertainment of Twilight fame! If you could pick a dream movie cast for Tempest, what actors would you cast in the roles of the main characters?
Great question, I love thinking about this so I have actually done a blog post about my ideal cast for Dark Readers which will be featuring on the Tempest blog tour tomorrow so you can discover more about that then.
What are your top three tips for any aspiring authors out there?
Read in your genre. This is the most important thing you can do to improve your writing, in my opinion. Don’t let writing time get in the way of reading time. You have to know what’s good, great, and terrible. You have to know your audience.Love what you’re doing and let that be enough. Hope for more, dream about it, but let your passion for writing be enough.Learn to handle criticism and to look back on what you’ve done a year ago, or five years ago and allow yourself to see how much you’ve learned. You should be able to say, “Wow, that really sucked!” Even though I’m about to be a published author, I’m still new to the writing world, I’m still learning and I hope that five years from now, I can pick up TEMPEST and start thinking of things I’d change or rewrite to make it better.
What upcoming 2012 debut novels are you most excited to read?
So many! Omg! I’m super excited for the 5th book in Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girl series. I love those books. I’m also DYING to read, A Million Suns, the sequel to Beth Revis’ 2011 debut, Across The Universe…which I loved a TON. Fracture by Megan Miranda is on my list as well. It sounds amazing! There’s a whole bunch more but I won’t go on forever.
As Tempest is the first book in a trilogy, there’s still plenty more to learn about Jackson Meyer. Can you tell me what might lie in store for him in book #2?
Well, like you said, Jackson has so much more to learn about his abilities and what he should with them. There’s plenty of new time-travel info in book 2 and there’s a whole lot of CIA and spy stuff. And some surprises that will totally shock readers. I can’t wait to hear reactions for this one. It’s gets CRAZY and that’s a huge understatement.
Thanks for the great Q&A, Julie! Can't wait to see that movie cast tomorrow at Dark Readers!
Tempest by Julie Cross is released by Macmillan Children's Books on January 5th.
Check out this interactive book trailer for Tempest: