Today we continue our exclusive Q&A with Exileauthor Kevin Emerson. If you missed it, check out part 1 here.
I’ve always enjoyed writing contemporary. My debut middle grade, CARLOS IS GONNA GET IT, was contemporary. I just also happen to also love sci-fi fantasy stuff. I’d always wanted to write a book about a band, but I’d never come up with a unique angle for a story. The idea of writing from Summer’s point of view (the band manager rather than a band member), felt like something new and fresh. Also, it got me to look at the band from the outside, as opposed to from behind the drums, which was how I always saw things when I was a teen. It turned out to be pretty challenging, but really fun.
With lots of practice! I started out only in MG (Carlos and my supernatural series OLIVER NOCTURNE). ATLANTEANS was classified YA, but when you read it, it’s sort of a hybrid. At the time I wrote that, I was teaching 8th graders, the classic in between age. EXILE is also inspired by teaching. Over the last couple years, I’ve been teaching a high school writing camp in the summers. Summer’s voice is partly those teens.
These days, I can switch between the two voices. But I do need to clear my head in between each, like take a day off or work on music instead.
To that end: what are you working on now?
I’m currently in the busiest point in my career. The Atlanteans finale (The Far Dawn) is finished. I just turned in the first draft of the second EXILE book, and that book BREAKOUT that I mentioned just went to galleys (it pubs in Feb 15). So, what I am spending most of my writing hours on this month is a new middle grade sci-fi series that’s like Battlestar Galactica for tweens.
Thanks, Kevin! Tune in for part 3 on Friday!