– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Stilettos And Stardust’ blogtour, organised by Random Things Tour.
About the Author :
YA and NA author D. L. Pitchford is best known for her brutally honest stories and realistic characters.
Throughout her childhood, art and literature were encouraged in every form. Pitchford fell in love with The Lord of the Rings, The Dark Is Rising, and Harry Potter. By age ten, she wrote her first fantasy book. Her love of writing grew exponentially.
In 2013, Pitchford received her BA in English, Writing, and Fine Arts from Drury University. During her studies, she focused on the human condition and penned the first scenes of her debut novel. IF WE HAD NO WINTER released April 2017 and has been commended for its gritty tone and character growth.
Pitchford lives with her husband and two sons in Springfield, Missouri, where she continues writing young and new adult novels.
• Paperback: 336 pages
• Publisher: Straight on till Morningside Prints (19 May 2019)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 0998794597
• ISBN-13: 978-0998794594
A modern day Cinderella with a twist…
When high school seniors Noah Barton and Eden Prince’s academic rivalry ruins a thermodynamics demo, their physics teacher decides to help them get along. By forcing them to be lab partners.
As graduation approaches, Noah and Eden are too busy figuring out college to deal with each other. Noah’s football-loving dad sabotages his chance to win a big scholarship. Eden’s traditional mother cares more about finding her a serious boyfriend than encouraging her dreams.
Winning big at the regional science fair is their last hope.
Will Noah follow in his astronaut mother’s footsteps? Can Eden show her parents the environment is more important than any relationship? Will Noah and Eden finally learn to work together?
Follow Noah and Eden’s budding romance in this emotionally charged, gender-swapped retelling of Cinderella.
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’ve been writing since I was ten years old, probably sooner. My childhood entertained an environment where creativity in all forms was encouraged–my sisters and I all loved to read, write, draw, paint, and make up stories in our everyday moments. From an early age, authorship seemed inevitable. I don’t remember a time I didn’t want to be a writer, and I wrote both original pieces and fanfiction throughout high school.
When I attended college, I focused more on art, to an extent because pursuing a degree in literature takes the fun out of reading. In the end, I triple-majored in fine arts, English literature, and creative writing, and upon graduation, I worked as a technical writer at a small company that helps people plan their vacations. However, when I became pregnant with my first child, I knew I didn’t want to work full time. I stayed home with my newborn son and, after a time, started freelance writing, which sparked my interest in writing stories again.
My first novel If We Had No Winter, the first in a coming of age saga inspired by my experiences (and those of my friends) in college, was released in April 2017, about nine months after my second child was born. Since then, I have published three more novels, along with several collaborations in anthologies and box sets.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
Growing up, I was obsessed with fantasy, especially epic fantasy. The Lord of the Rings, The Dark Is Rising, Harry Potter. Today, I read a wider variety of books, from contemporary to sci-fi, from thriller to historical, from manga to nonfiction. Some of my favorite reads in the last couple years are The Martian, The Girl on the Train, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, and Girls & Sex.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
There are a couple writers and stories who have influenced me dramatically, be they authors of novels, manga, or screenplays. One that stands out to me most is Hiromu Arakawa, the author and artist of the manga Fullmetal Alchemist, which is one of my all-time favorite stories. While she’s not an author of novels like I am, she crafted an incredibly intricate and well-designed story in Fullmetal Alchemist. When you finish the manga (or its counterpart anime Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood), everything ends in a way that feels whole, resolved, and inevitable. Her understanding of story craft and structure is phenomenal.
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Okay, I’m going to have to go with Wash from Firefly. (Yes, I know it’s a television show and not a book, but technically, there are comics post-series.) Firstly, I have a tendency to love characters who die too soon–from a writer’s standpoint, I understand that killing off beloved characters is important for the emotional impact, but still–and secondly, Wash would be one of the most entertaining people to have tea with. Really, there would be dinosaur figurines fighting over how many sugar cubes belong in the teacup and trying to stab each other with a jelly spoon.
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I don’t have any particular rituals or habits. I get up at 7 a.m., spend a little time doing administrative tasks while waking up, and then get right to my manuscript or project, and I don’t stop (aside from short breaks) until 3:30 p.m. when my work day ends. Writing books is my job, and you have to treat it like a job if you want to succeed.
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
While my ideas and characters are often inspired by myself, my friends, and my everyday experiences, it is rarely to the extent that people I know could pick up on the specifics. Some authors joke about the idea of putting in their enemies, or just people who are rude to them, into a story to kill them off; many of them insist it’s cathartic. But that’s not really my style.
Often, ideas come to me in the simplest of ways. One time, I was wearing a Big Trouble in Little China-inspired T-shirt (one of my favorite films) and my Hufflepuff pajama pants, and my husband jokingly said the phrase “Big Trouble in Diagon Alley.” I now have plans to write an urban fantasy series in the style of ‘80s action flicks.
Ideas come in waves. Writers use the term plot bunnies to describe the way they multiply and expand unintentionally. The more time you fill your creativity well (with reading, writing, watching television, listening to musicals, etc.), the more ideas flow, often to the point where you’re not sure which project to work on first.
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I am a firm plantser, meaning that I spend a great deal of time outlining and planning my books but also go with the flow. In the beginning, I create something called a discovery draft, where I write out the scenes and bits of dialogue that stand out to me, along with character profiles, plot outlines, research, and general notes. This gives me the opportunity to follow the flow of the story before even starting my first draft.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
The most important thing is perseverance. Writing is hard work–and should be treated like work–and often, you want to give up, but the sense of pride and accomplishment when you finish or publish your first piece is phenomenal.
Other important things to remember:
● Editing may suck, but it’s essential.
● Don’t compare yourself to other authors’ journeys.
● Find a community of writers to connect with.
● Traditional and self-publishing are both worthwhile endeavors.
● Don’t take any “writing rule” as complete fact…
● BUT know how the rules work before determining how to break them.
Lastly, creative people are more likely to have mental health problems. I personally have chronic depression and anxiety. Do not be ashamed to seek out help. Talk to a counselor. See a psychiatrist. There’s nothing wrong with taking medication, and no, it won’t ruin your writing abilities or stifle your creativity (if it does, try a new one). Do what you need to do to take care of yourself.
What are your future plans as an author?
Stilettos & Stardust is only the first in a series of gender-swapped contemporary fairy tale retellings, and my next two books published will be the second and third in the series. The second book, Roses & Revelry, is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast perfect for lovers of That ‘70s Show’s Jackie and Hyde and is already up for preorder.
At the end of 2019, I will be expanding my published work into speculative fiction, my first love, with the publication of a YA science fantasy called The Girl Who Broke the Sky, and in 2020, I plan to publish half a dozen books. While so far I have only self-published my fiction, I do intend to pursue traditional publishing with several of my planned works.
Last, but not least: Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Of course! This is a small section from chapter seven, one of Noah and Eden’s first on-page interactions:
“You skipped the last month of school, Noah.”
Does she always have to be so nosy? She knows exactly why I missed school, and I’m well aware of how behind I am. At least most of the teachers are understanding.
“You missed essays and lab reports. Poor Kevin didn’t have a lab partner, so Mr. Libby paired him with me and Harmony.” She says poor like it’s an insult—not because his family has no money but because she didn’t want to be stuck with an additional lab partner.
“How inconvenient for you.”
“You will be back when school starts again, won’t you?”
I shrug. I don’t want to, but Dad already made up his mind. You can’t shirk your responsibilities forever, he said.
“How can you shrug about that?” Eden’s voice is sharp, aghast. “School is important. What about the STEM fair? You’re not backing out of that too, are you?”
Her face is twisted with irritation. Or maybe confusion.
“Why, Eden,” I say, my voice slow and pointed, “could you possibly miss me?”
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, DL Pitchford.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!