Do you work to an outline or plot sketch, or do you prefer to let a general idea guide your writing?
Initially, I did a bit of freefall writing in order to get things into motion. It was a very liberating exercise which allowed my mind to wander into uncharted territories. But in time I found it to be a bit of a hindrance in telling a coherent story, and so I elected to use a three-act, eight-sequence screenplay structure in order to organize my five major turning points. From there on, I diligently worked on raising the stakes, ensuring continuity, and playing within the framework without being derailed. I highly recommend the approach, especially if the narrative is tied to complex past events and is being told enigmatically and/or from multiple POVs.
How do you feel about indie/alternative vs. conventional publishing?
I very soon came to believe that traditional publishing (while respected, and deservedly so), would be too much of an investment for me, and I wasn’t sure if it was worth the return. Not so much in terms of royalties per se, but in terms of control. For me, the idea of a publisher deciding the title of my novel, changing character names, altering scenes/taking them out entirely, and deciding on the book cover seemed far too invasive. As an architecture graduate who has become accustomed to having full creative control over her work, the terms of being traditionally published were simply not something I was willing to negotiate.
Can you share with readers a little bit about your latest book?
The Fray Theory- Resonance is a young adult novel, and the first installment of a trilogy. I wanted to explain paranormal incidents in a logical and scientific manner. I didn’t want to relinquish that responsibility by forcing my readers to just ‘take my word for it’. It’s easy to employ magic, being a descendant of the Gods, laboratory experiments, mutations, or other overused tactics. But I wanted to shed light on the very explanations everyone else has been sweeping under the rug; on universal concepts such as dreaming, déjà vu, premonitions, ghosts, love at first sight, intuition… All of the aforementioned are common experiences we often dismiss because we aren’t equipped to address them. And that is exactly what I wanted to do.
Tell us more about your main character. What makes him or her unique?
The lead protagonist, Neve Knightly, is about to commence her Masters degree in university, and could not be less enthused about the prospect. She is smart, sexy, caring, and funny, but also hurt, lonesome, and very much lost. But what I like her is that she isn’t quick to place herself in the world. She isn’t rushing to belong somewhere, or to identify herself as a particular thing, and in the process, has been less likely to sabotage who she really is. She isn’t likely to take sides out of obligation, and she values the truth far more than her own comfort. I suppose what I love most about her, is that she is hard to label, even for myself.
Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
I particularly adore Marcus Holt because he is the embodiment of intransigence. He is incredibly intelligent, renowned, blunt, unapologetic, and was a whole lot of fun to write!
If your book was made into a movie, who would you cast?
I keep picturing Michael C. Hall for Marcus Holt, and have a few ideas for several other characters that have yet to be introduced (will be in the sequel).
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Time. I was heavily cognizant of how quickly time flies by. I knew it was because I was thoroughly enjoying every single moment.
What is your next project?
The sequel: The Fray Theory – Amalgam.
If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
An actress. Upon obtaining my Masters in Architecture, I threw caution to the wind to pursue my one true love: acting. But once I was struck by the idea of The Fray Theory, all life came to a screeching halt, and before I knew it, my 3-month writing-break transformed into a 1.6 year, 16hr day, full-time project. One which has imbued my life with more joy and purpose than I could possibly articulate. But I do hope to combine my passion for acting and writing, and possibly play one of my characters at some point in my career.
How can you connect with Nelou?