Q&A with author Pauline Gruber
Is this your first novel?
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While this is the second novel I've written, it is the first one I've published. I self-published. I was drawn to indie publishing because I wanted to retain creative control. Quality is very important, too, so I did have my novel professionally edited. The indie process was far more difficult than I expected. It's one thing to write a book and then to work with an editor to make it as perfect as possible, but then there's the publishing side. I had the pleasure of working with an amazing digital artist and layout/font artist (two separate people) for the cover, then I worked with a formatter for the paperback version of the book and all the e-book versions. It's an incredible learning process. Difficult is an understatement, but it's also incredibly rewarding.
What is it about young adult fiction that drew you in?
Young Adult paranormal romance, fantasy and dystopian novels are my favorite to read. I probably read four young adult novels to every one adult novel. The first novel I wrote is an adult paranormal romance (or what would now be considered New Adult). When I was half finished writing it, a new story idea came to mind. It grabbed hold and wouldn't let go. I spent many sleepless nights over the book. I finished the adult book and then immediately got to work on the new book. It was addictive!!! With YA, the emotional level tends to run higher. The stakes (whether emotional or physical) feel bigger and as a result, there are so many highs and lows throughout the story. Devastation is always right around the corner. It keeps the reader on edge...hooked. Hunger Games rocked my world. So did Twilight. And while Harry Potter started out as Middle Grade, it transitioned into YA, so I include that here. It's one of my all-time favorite series. I'm constantly coming across incredible YA books, like Fever by Lauren DeStefano, Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. My favorite YA historical fiction novel to date is by local author Ruta Sepetys, Between Shades of Gray. I devoured that book on a round trip flight to Georgia last year. I cried on the plane, which was a first for me. My favorite contemporary YA fiction novel is Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. An absolute must-read (and great film).
When do you write? How long did it take you to write "The Girl and The Raven?"
Finding time to write is a challenge. I have a full-time job in downtown Chicago, so I take advantage of the commute and write on the train. I also write over my lunch hour, then in the evenings and on weekends at home. My vacation days are primarily used as writing days and attending writer's conferences. It took two years to write The Girl and The Raven.
What are you working on now?
I'm currently working on The Girl and the Gargoyle, book two in the series, which is slotted for release in December, 2014. It continues Lucy's story while delving into Marcus' story. I'm very excited about it!
For more information about Pauline Gruber and her book, The Girl and The Raven, please visit: www.paulinegruber.com