2012 YA Debut Interview: FRACTURE by Megan Miranda (+Giveaway!)

My favorite part about a new year (besides building a wobbly tower of unrealistic expectations for how much I’ll write in the coming year, yay!) is the thought of all the new voices I’ll get to discover. There’s a whole crop of debut YA novelists coming out with books in 2012, and I can’t wait to read them! So, to share my excitement with you, I’m doing a new series of short interviews on this blog.

From December 5 through December 16, I’m featuring ten Winter/Spring 2012 debut authors who wrote books I want to read! Look for giveaways accompanying these interviews—as well as a chance to win a pre-order of your choice at the end of the series.

Read on to see how Megan Miranda answered my questions about writing Fracture and more (and if you comment on this post, you could win a signed ARC!)…

2012 YA Debut Interview:

Megan Miranda, author of Fracture (Walker/Bloomsbury, forthcoming January 17, 2012—and January 5 in the UK)

I’ll start with the dreaded question you may be hearing already from strangers on elevators, long-lost family members, and your doctor while you’re sitting on the examination table in the paper gown during your next checkup: “So what’s your book about?”

I’ve spent months stumbling over this question, so now I’m going to rely on the book jacket. The book jacket doesn’t mumble, and it doesn’t use excessive hand gestures, which is more than I can say for myself:

“By the time Delaney Maxwell was pulled from a Maine lake’s icy waters by her best friend, Decker Phillips, her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead.

But somehow Delaney survived—despite the brain scans that show irreparable damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be fine, but she knows she’s far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can’t control or explain, Delaney now finds herself drawn to the dying, and when she meets Troy Varga, a boy who recently emerged from a coma with the same abilities, she is relieved to share this strange new existence. Unsure if her altered brain is predicting death or causing it, Delaney must figure out if their gift is a miracle, a freak of nature—or something else much more frightening….”

In my experience, every book wants to be written differently—and each one behaves differently from the one before it. Some novels like it out of order, and some rigidly insist on being written from start to finish. Some novels come out fast; others are excruciatingly slow. Some novels torment you, and some sing you to sleep. What did your novel want? Was there ever a moment when it misbehaved?

Fracture was the story that was fighting to get out. It wanted to be written quickly. Correction: it wanted to be written frantically. It felt…effortless. Which, as it turns out, is also how it misbehaved. Because that effortless draft? It was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. It took two complete rewrites (over the course of six more months) to get it right. But each version of Fracture was written in order. Start to finish.

What is the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?

I was very single-minded in writing this book when I was actually at the computer. I stayed completely offline for the most part. But small children are fairly distracting, and I have two of them. They were one and three when I started writing Fracture. So, for the most part, I could only write when they were sleeping.

Tell us about the place—as in the physical location: a messy office, a comfy couch, a certain corner table at the café—where you spent most of your time writing this book.

Ha, well, as per my above response…I wrote it at night, after my kids were asleep. And it gets cold in my house at night. So…I wrote it in bed. I’ll spare you a picture 🙂

What was the moment when the upcoming publication of your novel felt “real” for the first time—when you got your editorial letter, when you saw the cover, when you held the ARC in your hands… or something else? Or if it doesn’t feel “real” yet, when do you think it will?

Yes, the editorial letter, the cover, the ARCs, they definitely made the process feel real (as in, I’d suddenly get very excited, and then just as equally nauseated), but then I’d find a small child clinging to my leg and be jarred back to my immediate reality. It all still felt like this ungrounded, intangible idea that was happening somewhere in the universe to some alternate version of me. But the moment when everything felt permanently real, like it was part of the same reality as my daily life, was the first time I got an email from a stranger who had read Fracture.

Dream question: If you could go on book tour anywhere in the world, with any two authors (living or dead), and serve any item of food at your book signing… where would you go, who with, and what delicious treat would you serve your fans?

I haven’t done a lot of traveling, so this part of the answer is mostly selfish: I’d love to go to Australia. Hey, it’s a dream question, right?

As for the other authors…okay, the first part of this is also selfish: I’d like to go with my critique partner, Jill Hathaway, because I’ve never met her in person, but I owe her many, many drinks. [The interviewer would like to point Megan to Jill’s answer about this just yesterday! Coincidentally, they were both chosen to be interviewed.] I’d also like to go with Michael Crichton, because he made a big impression on my younger reading and writing years. I was a science geek who loved to read, and I have vivid recollections of getting sucked into his books in middle school. And I have a lot of questions for him, too.

I hope they like mac and cheese, because that’s what we’re serving. It’s my all-time favorite. And really, who doesn’t like mac and cheese?

How do you plan to celebrate your book’s birthday on January 17?

I’m going to be in NYC, which makes me all sorts of happy—especially since most of my family lives nearby!

Megan Miranda was a scientist and high school teacher before writing Fracture, which came out of her fascination with scientific mysteries—especially those associated with the brain. Megan has a BS in biology from MIT and spent her post-college years either rocking a lab coat or reading books. She lives near Charlotte, North Carolina, where she volunteers as an MIT Educational Counselor. Fracture is her first novel.

Visit Megan at www.meganmiranda.com.

Follow @MeganLMiranda on Twitter.

Do you want a chance to win Fracture by Megan Miranda? Megan is giving away a signed UK ARC to ONE LUCKY COMMENTER on this post. Just comment below and you’re entered to win.

(If you tweet about this giveaway you get +1 extra entry… just let me know you did.)

RULES: One winner will be chosen randomly. The giveaway to win a signed UK ARC of Fracture ends Tuesday, December 13 at 5:00 p.m. EST. To win this giveaway, you must have a mailing address in the US, Canada, or the UK! Be sure to include your email in the comment form (it is private and only I will see it), so I know how to reach you if you win.

And stay tuned for the end of the 2012 Debut Interview Series—for a chance to win the pre-order of your choice out of all ten featured authors!

What is the next Winter/Spring 2012 debut novel I’m looking forward to? Come back tomorrow to find out.

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