Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Interview with debut YA novelist Chelsea Vanderbeek

My special guest today is author Chelsea Vanderbeek and we’re chatting about her new YA novel, Forget Me.

Chelsea Vanderbeek started writing her first story in 2009, and even though that one was a complete dud she kept trying anyway. She had her debut, Forget Me, published in May of 2017. Though her work primarily stays in the YA Fiction category, she likes to experiment. She likes to try new things, too.

Welcome, Chelsea. Please tell us about your current release.
I had Forget Me published earlier this year. It’s about Sabine, a troubled teen who feels like life and God and all that mumbo-jumbo don’t really have much to offer her. She finally gets so fed up with it all that she ends up killing herself, but she doesn’t find the peace she thought she would.

What inspired you to write this book? Let’s put it like this: growing up shy, you come out with some stories. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the elements of Forget Me are fictitious, but my heart’s in there too. And the story was meant to be a realistic depiction and something I hope will resonate with my readers that are going through similar situations.

What exciting story are you working on next? I’m actually working on a book for writers about developing characters. It’s supposed to be a sort of quiz/interview/game book that really helps you get to know your characters (and even, you might say, spend some quality time). Developing characters is one of my favorite parts of writing (and I’ve been told my character writing is very deep and realistic), so I thought I could share some tips.

I’m also writing another fiction piece. It would fall under the LGBT category. Less of a “coming out” story and more of a “self-discovery” story. My main character Emily is of the “difficult” breed. Seriously. Sometimes when I’m working on this story, I feel like a parent dealing with their teenage daughter. We’ll see if I can manage to get her to cooperate with me.

When did you first consider yourself a writer? That would have to be the first time I ever finished a first draft of a story. See, in my early writing days I had a habit of starting stories, getting about halfway through them, and then tossing them to the side when my excitement waned. The first time I saw a first draft start to finish (which, incidentally, was the first draft of Forget Me) really sealed it for me. It was like “yeah, man. I can actually do this stuff.” Not to say that first drafts are the hardest part. Editing’s a whole other ball game.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write? Boy, wouldn’t that be a dream come true! Unfortunately, I’m not a full-time writer. I make other people’s coffee for a living. Writing happens whenever it can, like evenings and weekends. I’ll write in the car if I’m not driving. I’ve been known to write on my breaks at work. It’s really just whenever I can.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? Let’s see, I’ll let you in on one of my “quirkiest” writing quirks: I have a thing I do when I’m typing sometimes. I usually do it when I have writer’s block or I’m trying to think of what to type next. Like, I’ll backspace the last letter of the last word I typed, retype it, backspace it and type it again. I do it quickly and repetitively. Sometimes, I’ll even do the whole word. “Word,” backspace. “Word,” backspace. I have no idea why I do it, honestly.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Y’know, I really can’t remember wanting to be anything but a writer. I always loved reading, always liked English in school. Well… okay. I might’ve had that fleeting stage of wanting to be a singer or a veterinarian, but… for the most part, it was a writer. I was always a writer at heart I think; I remember narrating stories in my head when I was pretty young.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers? I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to read this interview, and also if you’ve decided to take the plunge and read my book! You can stop by my blog anytime if you wanna chat me up or get updates about what I’m working on ( I also want to thank Lisa for having me on her blog! *virtual high fives for all*


Happy to have you visit today, Chelsea.

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