Hey there, friends! I have a VERY special guest on the blog today. A little while back I told you about the YA Sci-fi novel LINK by Summer Wier. Well, now it’s available for purchase and you MUST give it a read. LINK also has a book trailer which is exactly how I imagined the book.
I had the chance to ask Summer a few questions about her writing process, her biggest challenges as a writer, and the best and worst advice she’s ever received. Check out her interview and my review below.
How did your writing career begin?
I always enjoyed writing in high school and college, but never saw it as a “career” choice. I’d never thought about writing a book, and I wasn’t so into writing that I wanted to be a journalist or similar (I’m pretty sure blogs and WattPad weren’t around then lol.) And, really, I was interested in other things as I was furthering my education. It wasn’t until after college, marriage, kids, and grad school that I circled back to writing fiction. And by then, I think Amazon was in the early stages of offering self-publishing, basically the industry and options were totally different than when I’d nixed that path years before.
At what point did you decide you wanted to make a career of it?
I’d just finished grad school and felt like I had a world of spare time. At first it was just a fun thought, “Hey, I should write a book.” Yea, okay. So I took my teeny tiny concept, decided on a title, wrote it on a Post-it and started a “writing folder.” It was still at least a year or two after that before I actually started writing. As I moved forward and actually completed Link (the original title!), I received a lot of encouragement to try and publish it. So that’s what I set out to do!
The premise of Link is truly unique. Without giving away the many surprising twists in this book, how did you come up with the concept? What inspired the Shadow of Light theory?
Thank you for saying so. My initial idea started as a very small concept, and as I started writing Kira’s story I kept searching for something that would really set it apart and still connect some of the plotlines together. I didn’t know what I was looking for or how the story would change once I found it. Luckily, I can show you exactly what inspired the theory and science behind Link! I happened on the following NASA video, and imagined it into something truly fantastic. Here’s the clip: https://youtu.be/2j04JEjKMjg You can embed if you’d like!
Does the finished product of Link look anything like your initial draft/plans for the book?
Surprisingly, yes. Once I really nailed down what Link was about, I stayed true to my initial idea and storyline. I’ve added meat and cut fluff as it made the rounds with critique partners, beta readers, and editors, but the main plot has always remained. On the other hand, some of the character relationships have changed since my first drafts, mostly from moving beyond the first book. It’s still early to talk sequels, but there came a point where I really needed to nail down what happens in books 2 & 3 to understand motivations and actions of characters in book 1. When I started writing Link, I didn’t have a firm direction for some of the characters, and once I did, changes had to be made!
What is your biggest writing challenge and how do you overcome it?
I’m a super slow writer. SUPER. SLOW. Each word, each sentence, has to be perfect in order for me to complete a thought and move forward. That’s a really frustrating thing sometimes when I see how fast other writers progress! I’ve tried to work faster on my sequels by sometimes just writing whatever comes to mind, but it doesn’t work well for me, and that’s okay. I doubt I’ll ever be speedy, but I’m not going to beat myself up about it. I’ve learned that (as with most things) everyone is different and the important thing to know what works best for me.
Did you know this was going to be a series when you planned the first book?
Yes. I was pretty green when I started my book, so I thought “I’ll make it a trilogy” even when I had no idea what it was really going to be about or if the plot and characters would even carry through three books. Now that Link is finished and I’ve had time to flesh out books 2 and 3, I’m truly amazed at how the story and world has grown. I can’t wait to share the rest.
What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t compare yourself to others. This is great advice even outside of the writing arena, but even more so important when you’re comparing a craft, an art. There are so many ways to do something (in this case, writing). There are so many different journeys on the path to publication. It’s so easy to fall victim to the inner demons that might tell you that you’re not as good as so-and-so, or that if you only would have done this differently, or if you could only write faster, publish more books…the list goes on and on. It’s so important to find joy in yourself and your journey.
What is one piece of writing advice you’ve found to be untrue for you?
You can’t be a writer if you don’t write every day. False. Sure I might write faster if I did. I might write better if I did. I might actually have finished other books by now if I did. I might have a better shot of reaching that glamorous dream of being a best-seller author superstar if I’d just write every day. But let’s face it, sometimes in life that just isn’t possible (another thing I’m not going to beat myself up about). I write when I can because I love it.
What other authors inspire you?
I probably have really weird answers for someone who writes young adult books. I love the classics, and my favorite author (Rafael Sabatini) is a Dumas-like writer of swashbuckling adventures and historical fiction. I also love the clever style of Oscar Wilde, and the Regency romances of Georgette Heyer. One of my favorite writers today is Maggie Stiefvater, gorgeous writing. But some of the most inspiring authors in my life are my author friends. We’re going through our journey together, and I couldn’t imagine life without them! (You know who you are! *wink wink*)
Do you have any other writing plans or projects in the works?
I have a few ideas floating around and my very own vampire project in the works, but I’ll focus on completing the sequels to Link. As a reader, I know how painful it is to have to wait for more of a story you love. I hope you love Link and I’ll finish the other books as soon as I can!
I found the ideas in this book very unique. Summer Wier has created a world where things aren’t always as they seem, and that’s what I loved about it. With perfect pace she reveals secrets, twists, and ‘OMG’ moments that kept me turning the page.
The main character Kira has guts, and even when she gets tossed between these strange worlds and learns that her whole life is about to change she doesn’t give up. Her determination and need for the truth keep pushing her forward, and while she knows she needs help to find the answers, this is her journey and she owns it.
There is also a certain young man in the book (who isn’t mentioned in the blurb) that I grew quite fond of. ;). I think you will too.
I think books are too spelled out these days. I like a book that makes me stop and think, and that’s what this book does. There is one twist in particular that caught me completely off guard, but it was the BEST twist I’ve read in a while. 🙂 This book is face paced, intriguing, and full of twists and turns. Definitely an excellent YA Science-Fiction read.
Click HERE to enter to win a paperback bundle of some of Summer Wier’s favorite YA books.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Summer Wier is an MBA toting accountant, undercover writer, and all around jack-of-all-trades. Link is her debut novel and the first in The Shadow of Light series. She has three short stories appearing in Fairly Twisted Tales For A Horribly Ever After and co-authors the Splinter web serial. When she’s not digging through spreadsheets or playing mom, you can find her reading/writing, cooking, or dreaming of the mountains in Montana.
Check out more of YA author Summer Wier on her blog, twitter, facebook, and goodreads.