Beautiful Books linkup
Cait is doing a linkup for NaNoWriMo books, and even though I'm not doing NaNo I thought it'd be fun to talk about my WIP. So I get to answer questions about me! Yay! (And I've changed the questions slightly because I've already written the thing.)
1. How did you come up with the idea for your novel, and how long have you worked on the story?
I was reading Terry Prachett's Diskworld series and liked how a) death was personified and b) he was hilarious. I'm also a fan of The Book Thief so those two books really got me into the personification of death. It kinda just snowballed from there, I guess. I've been working on this for a long time; late 2013 maybe?
2. Why were you excited to write this novel?
Sarcasm, sacrifice and scythes, basically. I really wanted to do another version of death; what if he was just this guy who had a particularly demanding day job? What if he hated his job? What if he was friends with a musician with a pink streak in her hair? After I started writing it, I really grew to love the protagonist, Zoe, so that was pretty awesome too.
3. What is your novel about, and what is the title?
The title is Zoe + Death, BFFs. It's a story about Zoe and Death (who are best friends, in case you didn't pick that up) who have to save Zoe's mom and the universe at the same time. There's guitars and minion-like employees and uniforms, too.
4. Sum up your characters in one word each.
Zoe: awesome (it happens to be her favourite word, too).
Death: haunted (he has a bit of baggage from his job).
5. Which character(s) were your favourite to write? Tell us about them!
I adored writing Zoe. In my first manuscript (The Creature of the Night; if you want there's a blurb on my writing page) the voice was very formal and serious, so with this book I let my inner stereotypical teenager out (For example, "dude, that was awesome!"). She wants to be a musician, she hates school, she has a pink streak in her hair and she's fiercely loyal to her mom and Death. She will (and does) go to then end of the earth to save the people she cares about. Zoe's also pretty selfish, she doesn't care what anyone else thinks and she knows how to have fun with her friends.
6. What is your protagonist’s goal, and what stands in the way?
Zoe needs to bring her mom back to life after she dies. Except there's this rip in the universe, so Death's employees are all on strike and trying to either kill or capture them. Plus the police are looking for Zoe because she's an orphan on the loose and she isn't exactly a law-abiding citizen. Then Death starts breaking down because his job sucks. It's a wonderful spiralling mess.
7. Where is your novel set?
Florida. Which was fun (sarcasm) because I haven't been to Florida for years, so my setting descriptions probably suck.
8. What is the most important relationship your character has?
Zoe's most important relationship is her friendship with Death. They are best pals and probably could have been siblings. They argue, they annoy each other to death and they would gladly sacrifice everything they have for the other.
9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
Zoe is a pretty selfish human being, so she has to figure that out. Is she willing to give up what she needs the most to avoid the apocalypse? Where does she sit on the scale of importance? She also has to learn that she can't keep her feelings bottled up because she tends to just shove her emotions aside. It works for a little bit, but then everything kind of explodes in her face. Death is her friend, and she needs to learn to communicate with him (and vice versa.)
10. What themes are in your book? How do you want your readers to feel when the story is over?
A big theme in Zoe + Death, BFFs is sacrifice. Zoe and Death continually sacrifice something for something else, whether it's a choice between saving one person or the other, one person or the universe, yourself or someone else. Would you sacrifice yourself for the universe, even if it leaves the world and your friends vulnerable? Is one life more valuable than another, and if you had to choose who would you give up?
Another theme is the inevitability of death. It's constantly chasing Zoe and Death and they have to face it (and make some sacrifices.) Is it worth it to try to outrun or even fight death? Does death always catch up in the end?
I would want my readers to feel drained but happy at the end. There's a lot of hard stuff that goes on for my poor characters, after all, death isn't an easy subject. I know when I'm working on it, I feel like death is inevitable but if we live life to the fullest (and friends are a huge part of that) then we can meet death head on and be awesome people while we do it. I feel like that and I know my characters get the message, so I'm hoping that bleeds out into my readers, too.
Well, that was fun! Thanks for reading and if you did the linkup make sure you tell me in the comments so I can go check it out. If you didn't do the linkup, then tell me about your WIP anyways.