Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Interview with YA author Suzy Vadori

Author Suzy Vadori joins me today and we’re talking about her new YA fantasy romance, The Fountain.

Suzy is the author of The Fountain Series, published by Evil Alter Ego Press. Book 1 in the series was a Finalist for an Aurora Award for Best Young Adult Novel in 2016. The West Woods is book 2 in the series, and was released in September, 2017.

Welcome, Suzy. Please tell us about your current release.
The Fountain Series (The Fountain and The West Woods) are about a boarding school in New England, where students are granted far reaching wishes, made on a magical fountain that is concealed in the nearby West Woods. The students’ world and reality constantly shift in the books, and they struggle to adapt with friendships, rivalry and romance in this complicated world.

What inspired you to write this book?
Sometimes I feel like I’ve been very lucky in my life. I’m a real glass half-full person. I really believe that if you want something and are willing to believe it will happen (and work for it, of course!) it will happen. When building the world for this series, it was easy for me to envision a world where all the students got everything they ever wanted, and the chaos that ensues when timelines and desires collide throughout the generations.

Excerpt from The Fountain:
The Fountain

I’m terrified of expulsion,” Ava hissed at Ethan, “but this isn’t negotiable. Go back if you’re scared. I never asked you to come.”

Ava turned her back, blinking to clear his cowed expression from her sight. She pushed deeper into the dark of the West Woods, walking as quickly as she dared, pushing branches aside that blocked the path as she went. The fountain waited out there, and it was getting late. The sooner she undid her wish, the sooner everything could go back to the way it was supposed to be.

She could tell by the sound of footsteps that Ethan followed, though he seemed to be keeping his distance. Gritting her teeth, she wished she’d brought her phone. The thin beam from Ethan’s flashlight, shining from behind, wasn’t strong enough to show the roots that lay ahead in her path. Turning toward him, she waited. Despite his teasing, she was really glad he was here. She looked at him smiling awkwardly at her through the gloom as he approached. Her own thin smile felt forced. They’d be missed by now.

The New England wind found the holes in the weave of her sweater, sending a chill up her back. I wish to undo the wish I made here on September 14th that made Courtney disappear. I wish to undo the wish I made here on September 14th that made Courtney disappear.

Ava fiddled with the coin in her sweater pocket, shivering against the cold. The fountain had already granted her one wish. She needed it to work again. She watched as Ethan sidestepped the roots at his feet. His ball cap hid the coal-black shock of hair she’d grown used to. His dark eyes met hers from beneath the veil of his cap.

Did he want to believe her story as much as she wanted him to? Averting her eyes to watch her feet, she continued along the path. Ethan walked easily beside her. Ava heard her own breath rise and fall. Ethan’s hand nearly brushed hers as they walked, the narrow path pushing them together. Ava flexed her fingers, toward the heat of his hand. One slight move and she could clasp the security that he offered. Could it really be that simple?

“We’re almost there,” Ava announced, her voice breaking a little. She cleared her throat and took a small step sideways, away from him on the path. She noticed him withdraw, stuffing the hand she’d almost grabbed into his jeans pocket. Ava felt a sinking feeling. She couldn’t leave St. Augustus yet. There was so much she needed to explore.

She’d managed to lead Ethan right into the clearing. The beam from his flashlight shone before them in a wide arc. Ava dropped the coin she’d been fiddling with, her hand hanging slack at her side. The coin sank into the long grass at her feet without making a sound. The clearing blurred in front of her. She felt Ethan move quickly, his warm arm suddenly pressed against her waist, keeping her from collapsing onto the ground.

Ava reeled. This was definitely the clearing where she’d made her wish. So, where was the fountain?

What exciting story are you working on next?
Book 3 in The Fountain Series is due out late 2018, and it’s been so fun to write the conclusion of this series. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised where it takes the reader!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve been a writer my whole life. I wrote my first boarding school novels as a tween (which I never finished). When I got older and started working in business, I always volunteered to do as much writing as I could, no matter what my role was. Technical writing, creating press releases, writing succinct summaries of business strategy – these things came easily to me.

On maternity leave with my third child, I decided to sit down and write my first full length novel. The rest is history.

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?
I work full time as an operations professional, and have a busy family life with three children. I am very blessed to have an amazingly supportive husband (love you honey!) that believes in my writing and gives me the time and space to create.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Operations is all about problem solving and math. So, my plots tend to be tricky and surprising. I enjoy writing out of order, then weaving it all back together, which my sensible side finds woefully inefficient. However, my creative side enjoys the challenge.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A writer!


Thank you for joining me today, Suzy!

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