Welcome, Ingrid Seymour, author of the excellent YA Science Fiction series Ignite the Shadows and Eclipse the Flame (Harpervoyager, available now) http://ingridseymour.com/blog/ to It's All About Story.
1) Describe Ignite the Shadows in one paragraph.
While spying on the clandestine group IgNITe, hacker Marci Guerrero learns half the world's population is infected by sentient parasites. Now she wishes the shadows that hunt her meant she was crazy, because the truth is far worse . . . they mean she's one of the infected.
2) What inspired Ignite the Shadows?
This is kind of weird, but a friend of mine was struggling to get pregnant and going through IVF. Then it occurred to me: What if they impregnate her with a monster? And that's how it all started.
3) Was Ignite the Shadows your first work of fiction?
No. I had written three novels before Ignite the Shadows, but it is my first traditionally published work.
4) What song or music piece would you put on a soundtrack for Ignite the Shadows?
Oooh, definitely "Heavy in Your Arms" by Florence + The Machine.
The hardest to write was Marci, the protagonist. She's a very strong, independent heroine,but also troubled, since shadows have haunted her mind since she was five. Moreover, she has a strong voice, and I had to strive to keep that consistent throughout the book. The easiest was Blare. She's at the end of the spectrum, no gray tones with her. Extreme characters are always easy to write.
6) What is your writing space like? Or can you write anywhere?
I can pretty much write anywhere as long as I have my music and headphones. Some of the places where I typically write are on the balcony outside my office at lunch time, while I wait for my kids at music lessons, while I wait for my kids at karate lessons, and --less often--at my desk at home. You gotta do what you gotta do when you have to fit writing around the life that pays the bills. :)
7) Any odd writing habits? Rituals?
Besides having my headphones and playing the same playlist over and over again, I really don't have any habits or rituals.
8) George R.R. Martin describes two kinds of outliners, the Gardener (let it grow) and the Architect (plan it). Which are you?
I am most definitely a Gardener! My best story ideas and twists come to me while actually writing. I cannot--for the life of me--be creative while doing an outline. All I see are boring bullet points. I love being a Gardener. It really works for me.
9) What are some of your favorite world myths or fairy/folk tales? Why?
I absolutely love Mayan mythology and its varied deities. The first book I ever wrote is actually about a Mayan boy growing up around 500 BC. The reason I love this so much is because I grew up in Honduras and it's part of my heritage.
10) What is your favorite fictional world, one you'd want to visit?
I would love to visit Eretz and see all the beautiful angels and wild chimaera. The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor is one of my favorite YA trilogies.
11) Who is your favorite fictional character?
Again, I will go with The Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I love Akiva. Make him real, please!
12) What is the best writing advice you've ever received?
Set a daily goal. I followed Stephen King's advice from his book On Writing. It was this that allowed me to finish my first book ever.
13) In Ignite the Shadows, are there any hidden acknowledgements to friends, places you've lived, favorite writers, etc;
There is only one. A mention to Pablo Neruda, an amazing Latin-American poet.
14) Can you tell us anything else about your writing experiences?
It has been a blast and I'm sure it will continue to be. I have a gazillion ideas for books and will write however many time allows. I love writing and I don't see myself stopping. Ever!
15) What do we have to look forward to after the sequel to Ignite the Shadows, Eclipse the Flame?
There will be a book #3 which should come out in 2017. Also a novella in the same world which, I hope, will come out this year *fingers crossed*.
Thank you, Ingrid!