Sixteen year old Wendy never knew the world before the Starvation.
She’s learned to put her trust in her knives, and her confidence in her
fighting ability. When the Skinnies attack her compound, she’s the lone
Injured and near death, Wendy is rescued and nursed back to health by
mysterious strangers. Her saviors offer her a place among them, but
trust has never been one of Wendy’s strengths, and suspicion soon leads
to evidence that these people might be the group who killed her family.
The decision to get her revenge, and take the settlement down from
the inside out is easy. Keeping her distance from those she must
befriend in order to make it happen proves to be much more difficult.
Interview with Jo Schneider
What does your writing process look like?
Imagine a desk, and at one end is a neat, little pile of
papers. Next to that is another pile, this one not quite so tidy. Maybe one
paper is slipping off the stack, which leads the eye to an array of notes that
may have been, at one time, in a pleasing fan shape, but now looks like someone
gave it a noogie. This is usually where you will discover the discarded
wrappers of whatever snacks I could find. A glass with the glazed on remains of
a Diet Coke will be sitting on a Dr. Who coaster, and the little cup for pens
will be empty, because the pens are now hiding under the papers. When your eyes
reach the keyboard, you'll see that everything has been pushed aside to make
room for me playing of Facebook.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors.
Years ago, I was at a little, tiny writing/Sci-fi/Fantasy
convention and I went to a class by a guy I'd never heard of. A guy named
Brandon Sanderson. His first Librarians book was about to come out, and he was
talking about magic systems. I don't really remember what he said about that.
What I do remember is one simple statement he made, "Don't be afraid to
I've lived by this creed ever since. Don't expect to be the
best author in the room, don't expect to get everything right the first time,
and don't expect to wow every reader you encounter. What all authors need to do
is keep writing. Find some people who will help you get better and listen to
them. It's okay to suck, as long as you're willing to try again.
Where do you get your ideas? Where did the idea for this
book come from?
My brain is a bizarre place. I've gotten book ideas while
driving on the freeway, while in church (and not light, fluffy ideas, which is
strange), while at dinner, while trying to work on something else (that's just
mean, by the way) and in dreams.
The very first shadow of Fractured
Memories that I had was while I was in college. Too many years ago to
count. I had this dream. In it I woke up and found myself on a round bed in a
cave. I had no idea where I was or who I was. There was a man sitting at a desk
trying to do some paperwork by candle light.He looked like the guy who plays Goose in Top Gun. I said something and scared him half to death. When he
turned to look at me, he asked if I was okay.
And that's when I woke up.
The scene isn't in the book. As a matter of fact, the only
thing left of the dream in the story is Wendy (who is not me--I'm not nearly
that cool or traumatized) waking up and not knowing where she is. The part that
remains is the feel of the dream. It was dark and cold and felt so alone. Wendy
gets all of that. Poor kid.
Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I'm an outliner. The more I wade through the story before I
start, the less times I have to rewrite it. I have a whole list of things I go
over as I plan, including plot points, a theme, the characters needs and
desires, the main conflicts and as many other little things that I can think
about before I actually begin writing.
However, things always, always, always change. It's taken me
a few years to realize that it's okay to rewrite a story. Six times. It just
takes a while. My process is getting better, but I suspect that I will always
have a throwaway rough draft that ends up only getting about 20% of it into the
I've tried the "just write" approach, and for me
it always ends in a spectacular temper tantrum by me and a shopping spree.
About Jo Schneider
Author of Babes in Spyland, New Sight-YA fantasy out April
2014, wearer of a black belt in Kempo and always in search of the next
cool place to visit!
Where I teach, Friday was finally the students' last day of school. Unfortunately, I'm not quite finished. During the summer, teachers have to go to workshops to learn new stuff. So while the students are having fun their first week away from school, I'll be sitting in the classroom learning. Not exactly how I wanted to start the summer, but at least my workshop schedule will be over, and I can get back to writing full time.
The last twelve months have been a tough year.
Last summer started out great. I was working on a short story called Ethan's Trials when I realized it was actually part of the fourth book. I needed to to focus solely on Raven and the dilemma she was caught in at the end of book 2. I outlined the story and totally hated it. Raven came across as a wimpy victim.
That is not her!
I started rewriting the outline, but then, everything I was doing got put on hold.
Mr. C's cardiologist (heart doctor) scheduled him for a routine test. It didn't go so good. We spent the summer in and out of the doctor's office and hospital. We finally got that issue resolved and after several months of doctor visits and more tests, they said everything looks good...for now.
Fast forward through a school year of teaching three different subjects, learning to teach using iPads in the classroom, yearbook, and other duties at school to January. I finally picked up the outline for book 3 and reread it, and it dawned on me what was wrong. I wrote a new outline and started writing book 3.
The game plan for this summer is to finish book 3 of the Children of Atlantis, publish around the time school starts, and write outlines for books 4 and 5. In other words, get myself back onto a writing schedule.
Thank all of you for the emails and for hanging in there with me.