Saturday, January 31, 2015

Behind the Story #2: xxLastSummerxx

Behind the Story Saturdays are my new biweekly feature posts that spotlight Wattpad writers! 
Today I have the honor of hosting xxLastSummerxx aka Summer!

Author: Summer
Series: None
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Action
Summary from Wattpad: 
"Rule number one," He whispers, pulling back to look me right in the eye, "Never let your guard down."
He flashes me a cunning smirk as I stare at him, stunned at what he had just done. Only, he makes a mistake of turning to see what everyone else ahead of the bleachers is doing. I smirk and take a step back forcefully. Just as he turns his head back to face me, I swing my arm at his face. 
“No. That’s rule two,” I snap, “Rule one is never turn your back to your opponent.” 
Faye Williams is not the type of girl who would call for the attention. However, she calls things as she sees them. Faye's not afraid to use her fist, for that's all she's ever known. Some call her a good girl while others call her a rebel. What most people don't know is that she's witnessed things that not many people get to witness. With an unstable mother who blames her for a needed divorce, she's seen, heard, and knows plenty. It's not until she moves to Miami, Florida with her dad, that trouble arises. Let's just say that the odds are not in her favor, especially when it comes to that notorious 'bad kid' Travis. Yet, for some reason, she feels that fixing the bad boy will mend herself. When a powerful gang leader, a notorious bad boy, vengeful mother, and two faced acquaintances enter the equation, Faye knows there's nothing to save her now.

First, I have some questions about you:
What/who inspired you to begin writing?
Well, before I found Wattpad, my fingers were aching to be talented at something whether it be painting or drawing or craft-making. The simple truth is that when I was younger, I just wanted to fit in and be good at something unique. 
I had always been a wild reader, finishing one book after the next. I honestly don't remember how I stumbled across Wattpad, but all I know is that eventually, both the Wattpad and real authors inspired me to write my own. As cliché as this sounds, I just felt my apprentice fingers aching to wrap around a pen and just write for the first time--what? No clue. What I do know is that it changed my life. 

How do you deal with writer’s block?
Writer's block is a difficult obstacle to climb over. Usually, the worst thing to do is push through. It's frustrating because you want to write, but you just can't think of anything. I would say plan your stories to avoid this, but then I'd be a hypocrite. I NEVER plan my stories--it pretty much comes as a write. This is probably a valid reason for why I get blocks more often. It's also why I'm pretty confident when I tell you that when you get a writer's block, just STOP, do something else, think, and move on. Don't get hung over on the fact that you can't think. Move on and the thought will come to you eventually!

What is the most important thing you've learned as a writer from when you posted your first chapter to winning the Watty Awards to now?

One thing that I've learned is that you never post for your audience. Post for you, for the pride that comes along with being able to call it your own work. Your audience is a huge support, but you have to realize that you hold the strings of your story's destiny--take all the time that you need. Patience is key.

What do you do in your spare time when you’re not writing?
In my spare time, I actually LOVE to exercise and post all sorts of crazy things and images on Tumblr. That site is an amazing creation--seriously though. 

Now let’s talk about your writing:
Describe Take You Down in five words.
Take You Down is: 1) Interracial 2) trauma 3) action 4) Abroad 5) Soccer

The new version of Playing with Fire has some major changes. How did you decide what to keep and what to cut? Which scene was the hardest to leave out?
Well, I basically decided to completely redo PWF simply because I looked back at my writing and hated what I saw. It was completely rushed and out of order. With better experience now, I've grown to realize that my passion works best at a turtle's pace. Think of the revised version as an attempt to magnify emotions and heighten certain aspects. In general, I decided to cut the rushed excerpts and keep the story going at a steady pace. I honestly don't regret leaving any scene out, because for every scene that I've cut out, I have replaced it with an even better one. Some scenes are familiar to my old readers because I've simply taken the idea and described it in grander detail. Other scenes, however, are added from my own imagination.

More and more readers are currently looking for diversity in novels. Why did you choose the setting/people of Puerto Rico in Rebellious Roots?
I am completely in love with the idea of mixing and embracing different cultures. Every region has its own wonderful and encompassing traditions. However, I'm helplessly infatuated with the Latin American/South American lifestyle and have been since I was nine years old. I chose the setting of Puerto Rico simply because I've always dreamt of going there, among every other place. The catch about the setting of Rebellious Roots is that since I've never been, I don't know what to expect. So, I write what I imagine...not exactly what is true. To pay respect to the true Puerto Ricans, I have basically let all my readers know that the place this story takes place in is made up entirely from my own perception. The people in Rebellious Roots have a lot of symbolism. There is a lot of tension between many characters, and I have done this on purpose. In the past, I have written stories that involve a more "lovely" image of reality. In this particular story, I decided that i wanted to write about a broken family that needs to be mended. Through this story, I want to show readers that forgiveness can come from the deepest sorrows.

What was your inspiration behind Effloresce
Effloresce is my escape. There are times when I don't really want to write something long, but I do want to write something significant. Writing a novel, chapter by chapter, takes a lot of energy and time--which, of course, I enjoy. However, I've realized that you don't always need to write a lot in order to reveal so much. Effloresce is my indirect way of reaching out to my audience and helping them become aware of certain emotions, situations, feelings, etc. 

Out of all of your stories, which one was/is the most difficult to write?
Of all my stories, Rebellious Roots is proving to be the most challenging to write. In all honesty, I have always been able to say that I worked 'hard' on all my stories. However, after writing only five sections of Rebellious Roots, I feel like I have poured my heart and soul into the pages. I write and write, even though it gets difficult. I find myself looking back and wondering how I even wrote what I'm looking at. I am just possessed--and for some reason, the passion that I have for that book is stronger than that of any other. The fact that I have grown this intense connection with Rebellious Roots makes it harder to accept multiple drafts. It's strange, but it's a good kind of 'difficult'. I demand a lot from my writing, and I hold such high standards in it that it sometimes because challenging to figure out if what I'm writing will be delivered to my audience in the way I want it to be delivered. I think, however, that is the fun in it.

Quick Round:
Action or Romance? Lame I know, but I'm more for Action-Romance
Supernatural or supernatural hunters? Supernatural
Fiction or Reality? Fiction 
Sun or Snow? Sun 
Ocean or Mountain? Ocean
My Thoughts

I don't read many action novels and rarely reread Wattpad stories, but I've read both the old version of Playing with Fire along with the current one and love both. To clear up any misconception from the premise, Playing with Fire is not your typical "bad boy" love story. In fact, it's far from it. In this book, the action and mystery take the front seat while the romance is put on the back-burner. There definitely is some romance between Travis and Faye, but it's one that progresses slowly instead of a fast paced insta love. This version of PWF moves at a much slower pace, but it has definitely picked up as more and more mysterious unravel around the mess Travis and Faye are entangled in. PWF is nearing its end soon, but I had fun reading about the adventures of Faye and Travis once again.



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