Mason Cooley said, “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”
A Center Stage Moment shines a spotlight on writers who give us great places to visit with the characters we love and want to call friends.
Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you E.R. Arroyo!
E.R. Arroyo is the author of YA dystopian series, Antius Ascending, and co-founder/owner of Band of Dystopian Authors and Fans, a Facebook community, blog, and company that champions dystopian, apocalyptic, and post-apocalyptic fiction. E.R. is passionate about books, music, and her family, and she loves to talk shop with other authors and with her readers.
Without further ado, here is E.R.’s interview…
I love reading the bios of authors. Many of them did not start out as writers. Sometimes people stumble upon the craft. Did you always want to be a writer? Yes! But I never thought it would be books.
Why did you choose to write dystopian? Writing dystopian kind of just happened as a result of what I was obsessed with reading at the time I decided to dip my toes into the prose-writing pool. I’m sure that’s no surprise to hear that I’d been obsessed with the genre, considering I’m one-half of the founding force behind Band of Dystopian Authors & Fans. 🙂
What is the strangest subject or topic you’ve ever written? Oy. I don’t know that this counts as strange, but I wrote a story once about a woman who fell in love with a stranger who wouldn’t speak to her. [Maybe he couldn’t speak because he was a zombie? LOL!]
What are you currently working on? Getting my latest story in my young adult dystopian series, Antius Ascending, ready for publication! The series consists of two novels, and three short prequels. This will be the second of those prequels. It’s called Sovereign: Aggression.
What motivated the plot of Sovereign? Sovereign, the first novel in my series, was inspired by a dream. I wrote it out as a short story, just to get it on (digital) paper, and it later became the bulk of the first chapter of the book. As I mentioned before, I had been reading a ton of dystopian books at the time, so it was all sort of a result of that. Just being in love with the genre, and then waking up from such a visceral dream that kind of demanded I write Cori’s story.
What was the hardest story for you to write? The hardest story for me to write has been my second novel, The Offering. It was something I was kind of afraid to do. The first book had been well-received and had been easy to write, and I just kind of didn’t want to mess with that good mojo, kind of figuring maybe I’d just gotten lucky the first time. But several people close to me encouraged me to make it a series instead of leaving the first to stand alone. I began what ended up taking another year and a half to publish from the date I published Sovereign. It was a labor of love and hate, and in the end, I’m so, so glad for that book and proud of it.
What process do you use to plan your novels? I use a modified version of what’s called The Snowflake Method (find it here). I combine that with some plot point and structure tools from my days of screenwriting (what I did before writing prose fiction).
Who has been your favorite character to write and why? Tyce is my favorite character from my series. Why? He’s just really special to me. Because he has such enraging qualities, but at the same time, I can’t help but adore his redeemable qualities. He’s loyal, strong-willed, and fierce. Utterly masculine in a great way. And ultimately, he isn’t afraid to make sacrifices for his loved ones. [Book boyfriend!]
Do any of your characters reflect facets of your personality? Yes, of course. Many of them do. But primarily the lead in my series, Corinne Cole (citizen 1206). Her stubbornness, sarcasm, and tomboyishness all come from me, among other things. I am more like Dylan in the way he processes and plans as opposed to how Cori just jumps in, guns a’blazin’.
Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it? Cry in the corner with a blankie? Just kidding. I drown my sorrows in caffeinated beverages. Usually if I’m blocked, I find someone to talk through the plot with and figure out what might be the hold up. If that doesn’t work, I might try to work on something else to cleanse my palate, or read something or watch a movie. If all else fails, I rope myself into a deadline. The pressure works like a charm.
If you were to choose another genre to write in, what would it be? I’m not sure! I write in speculative fiction usually, so dystopian, science fiction, young adult, apocalyptic, etc. I really love sci-fi and young adult, so those are all I’m currently interested in writing. What I really long to write something profound that really stays with people the way John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars does, or 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher—so I guess YA contemporary.
Which authors inspire you? Tahereh Mafi, because she’s so unique [yes!]. John Green, because he’s brave. Veronica Roth, because she’s successful [most definitely!].
What novel would you read multiple times? I’ve read Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi [great book!] multiple times, but I don’t re-read often because I’m a slow reader with a very long to-read list.
If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or deceased, who would it be and why? Hmm, I don’t know. I don’t usually ponder things like this… lol. If I were single and younger, I might would like to meet Tyce 🙂
What is your favorite quote?
What is your favorite animal, real or imaginary? None 🙂
What is your favorite color? Dark Teal
When E.R.’s not writing, she’s the full-time mom to a toddler and works part-time at several things, one of which is ‘vague’.
Catch up with her online at:
Band of Dystopian Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/bandofdystopian
BOD Website: http://www.bandofdystopian.com/
E.R. this was fun! Thanks for being a part of my Author Spotlight!
Join me next week as I feature Shawn McGuire!