Friday, March 27, 2015
Andrea Cremer is the Author in the Spotlight here on Booksnob and I had a chance to ask her some questions about her new book, The Inventor's Secret, her writing life and of course her favorite YA authors.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My childhood home is Ashland, Wisconsin, a town of about 8,000 people nestled on the south shore of Lake Superior. My imagination flourished playing in the grand forests that bounded my hometown. I have a Ph.D. in early modern (1500-1800) Atlantic World history. Prior to becoming a full-time novelist, I was a history professor at Macalester College in St Paul, Minnesota.
2. What is the inspiration behind The Inventor’s Secret?
The Inventor’s Secret allowed me to bring together my two great passions: history and fantasy.
3. Usually an author puts some of his own life experiences in the book. Did you do that? Do you have anything in common with your characters?
Strange as this might sound, my characters are adamant that they are real, unique individuals. They wouldn’t take kindly to my suggestion that they are based on anyone from ‘my’ world rather than being original products of their own universe.
4. What authors or books influence you?
As a young reader I was deeply influenced by J.R.R. Tolkein, C. S. Lewis, Lloyd Alexander, Susan Cooper, Marion Zimmer Bradley and David Eddings. Contemporary authors whom I greatly admire are Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Barbara Kingsolver, Jane Smiley, Margaret Atwood, Libba Bray, Laini Taylor.
5. Name one Young Adult book that you believe is a must read for everyone and tell us why?
Ooh, that’s tough – there are so many amazing and worthwhile YA novels. Under duress I’ll say Watership Down by Richard Adams. It’s my all-time favorite novel and it’s classified as YA in the UK. Adams created a universe in which rabbits are the protagonists, but in no way is this a cutesy-adorable animal novel. The story is about courage, transformation and survival. Adams’ invents an entire worlds and cosmology belonging to his rabbit protagonists and it’s utterly breathtaking and the
reason this book remains my favorite into my 30s.
6. What motivates you to write for teenagers in the Young Adult category?
I think coming-of-age stories are the most profound, exciting, and compelling narratives in novels.
7. How do you carve time out of your busy day to write? Are you a full time writer or do you have a day job?
I’m a full-time writer now, but prior to 2012 I was a college professor in addition to being a novelist. Even when you move from a ‘day job’ to writing full time, finding the time to write remains a struggle. In today’s environment, being an author involves much more than writing – authors are expected to promote their work, be engaging in social media, and create a presence in the online world. It’s a lot and remembering that writing should be the central focus of all that effort sometimes can be hard to do!
8. How has being a successful author changed your life?
I am grateful every day that I get to write for a living. I still pinch myself because it honestly is a dream come true.
9. What is the most important lesson/idea you want readers to take away from your book, The Inventor’s Secret?
That history isn’t inevitable, there is no providence, it’s people making choices. Change any piece of the historical narrative and you’ll end up with an entirely new timeline.
9. Tell us in one sentence why we should read: The Inventor’s Secret.
Discover a world you didn’t know was possible.
If you would like to win a copy of Andrea's new book please click here: The Inventor's Secret Giveaway