NS I am so delighted to have as my guest today Cole Gibsen, author of Young Adult novels and fellow SCBWI member of The Bookends of southern Illinois, our beyond valuable critique group. Please give the readers a bit of information as to how you came to writing novels for young adults.
CG My childhood through teen years were pretty rough. But no matter how bad things got for me, books were always there to provide me with an escape. There was a brief time in my life when I found myself homeless and had to live out of my car. I firmly believe that the books I checked out from the library that I read parked in truck stops are the reason I survived such difficult times. Books helped me—I’d go so far as to say they saved me— and I wanted to give back and do the same for others.NS I know for a fact how good you are at writing YA fantasy. Was that always an interest, or did you develop an appetite for that part of the genre?
CG Fantasy has always been a favorite because of its ability to transport the reader into different worlds. I enjoy writing for teens because I because I remember how difficult my own teen years were and I believe if anyone needs and small escape from their daily lives, it’s them.
NS Congratulations on your debut YA novel, Katana and your second, Breathless. Can you compare the two novels, or are they totally separate entities?
CG Thank you! While both novels are fantasy, they couldn’t be more different. Rileigh, my main character in Katana is strong, feisty, and fierce. She’s everything I wanted to be when I was growing up. Edith, my main character from Breathless, is broken and glimpses of my own home life can be seen on the pages.NS My readers always want to know about an author’s typical writing day. Can you describe yours for them?
CG I have a five-year-old. So up until this year finding time to write was a bit of a challenge. But now the kiddo has started school full time and I have eight glorious hours to write. **And the people rejoiced!!!** Typically, I like to slam out a rough draft as fast as I can (typically within a month) and then I like to take my time editing it (another two to six months.)
NSWhat is up next for you, and when can we expect it?
CG The sequel for Katana – Senshi – releases March, 2013 and I couldn’t be more excited!
NS Where can your fans find you and your books?
CG You can find out more about me and my books at my website: www.ColeGibsen.com