Today I will have Scott Cramer, the author and David M., the reader on the blog to answer some pretty awesome questions. ;-)
PART ONE: THE AUTHOR
What inspired you to write this kind of book? Was the genre or plot ever in question?
I wanted to take readers along for a wild, emotional ride. My dream was to create strong characters that would face near impossible odds. They would confront endless challenges and the stakes would be high. If they did not succeed in overcoming the biggest challenge, then the results would be severe. I wanted readers to identify with the characters and root for some of them and despise others, and be swept along in the same journey, experiencing a wide range of emotions. I wanted to write a book in which the action and drama would pick up pace and rise until the last sentence.
I’d say just about every writer wants to accomplish the above, but I think I came pretty close to accomplishing my goal with NOPM.
I want to say that genre didn’t matter. I wanted to write a story first, and if it was a good story, then I knew that readers of all ages would be engaged by it.
A plot always takes twists and turns and I did not know how the book would end until the last day of writing the first draft. The characters let me know how it should end.
What do you think your kids would do if they woke up the day after the Purple Moon?
My wife and I would be gone. Sadly, our kids would not last much longer either, since both have passed through puberty.
If the book was picked up for a movie who would you cast?
I was asked this once before and I must give credit where credit is due.
Jenny Bird, who reviewed the novel for (http://foreveryoungadult.com) , made the following suggestion for actors in the movie, Night of the Purple Moon. Incredibly, Jenny lived in Cambridge, MA and on an island off the coast of Maine—two of the primary locations in the novel.
Abby and Jordan, respectively: Chloe Moretz and Asa Butterfield.
Do you have a favorite book-made-into-movie flick?
The Princess Bride. Movie (which I’ve seen many times, thanks to my daughters) is A+. The book by William Goldman is A++.
Matilda by Roald Dahl is a close second. The author is a genius and Danny Devito is a genius. I am also partial to “Miss Honey.”
What book is sitting at your favorite reading spot?
Mostly I read non-fiction while I am writing fiction (which is pretty much all the time). I love Mt. Everest stories. What is the What by Dave Eggers is the exception. It’s a fictionalized account of the life of Valentino Achak Deng, one of the Lost Boys of Somalia. Reading snippets here and there, I have probably read the book a total of ten times over the past five months. I love the story, the writing style, everything about it.
One of the most incredible experiences of NOPM has been the people I’ve met. Bloggers, readers, and two artists. Five months ago I didn’t know any of them! Today, I have incredible relationships with people from New Zealand to Brazil to Bulgaria, and of course the US and Canada.
When I was getting ready to publish Night of the Purple Moon, I needed a cover. So I searched Deviant Art, a spot on the Internet where talented artists show their wares, and I found Peter Ahola, an art student in Virginia. One of Peter’s strengths is to convey emotion through very simple images, and he developed Cover #1. It got lots of great feedback for its simplicity and powerful message.
They recommend that you change covers every now and then, and two months later Peter produced a second cover. It was an ambitious undertaking. I encouraged him to take chances and to go for it. I was happy with the result.
At the same time, NOPM is not only competing with stories and writing styles of other novels, but the cover needs to make it stand out. When people are browsing hundreds of books online, a cover is quite important. And I thought I needed another pass. Nadege Richards, an author, a blogger who reviewed my novel, a student (she does it all), published a book, Burning Bridges, and I was very intrigued by the cover. She gave the name of her designer, Silviya Yordanova, in Bulgaria. Silviya is incredibly talented and soon we had a new cover.
As many times as I have looked at the cover, I am still struck by Abby’s eyes.
It’s 2am and you’ve been at the computer for hours working intensely on a scene. All of a sudden you have to stop. Your head is about to split in two if you don’t. You walk over to the fridge, open it… What do you grab?
Well, it’s extremely likely I will always be asleep at 2 a.m. I am a morning person. A really early morning person. So you might reframe the question, “It’s 7 a.m., and you have been working intensely on a scene for hours…”
(Also, by 7 a.m. I have usually eaten breakfast 3 times, at least)
But I divert… So I walk over to the fridge and open it. You will note below 2 jars of peanut butter, one nearly empty. Overall, the fridge is stocked pretty good. But nothing appeals to me.
Immediately I swing the door shut and open the cabinet and I find gold. A full 5-pound bag of unsalted peanuts in the shell. I eat more peanuts and peanut products than an elephant. If you were to decompose my cellular structure, you would find… anyway you get the point.
There beside the bag of dog food is the bag of author food.
What was the first book you read? What’s your all-time favorite book? Do you have a “THE BOOK”? (The one that made you want to be an author.)
I don’t know if this was THE book, but it was QUITE a book, and I have yet to read a book that has affected me as much. That is, it is the only book that made me CRY. It made me SOB. I was in the eighth or ninth grade, home from school with the flu or something like that, and I was reading ON THE BEACH by Neville Shute. After a nuclear war, radiation is spreading over the globe and the people of Australia have another four or five months before it hits them. The book follows several Australian characters and the crew of an American submarine that has gone to the local waters. Everyone is doomed. The story evoked in me such an intense response, and it is something I would love to happen for readers of Night of the Purple Moon.
Final Question! Are you working on anything now that you’d like to tell us about?
Yes. It’s called Colony East. It’s a sequel to NOPM (The Toucan Trilogy) Stay tuned.
THANK YOU SCOTT! STAY TUNED FOR PART TWO OF THIS INTERVIEW :-)