Monday, September 05, 2011

Interview with Christine Seifert (The Predicteds Blog Tour)

This interview is part of The Teen Book Scene's blog tour for The Predicteds by Christine Seifert. You can find out more about it here. Make sure to check out all the other stops if you'd like to know more about The Predicteds.

Have you always loved writing? What made you want to write a dystopian novel?
I’ve always been an avid reader, and I think that all avid readers at some point want to write. I came to fiction later in my life, though. I have a PhD in English, so most of my early writing has been academic (nothing anyone would want to read except that one guy cloistered in a library somewhere who accidentally trips upon it). Writing fiction is more immediately rewarding than academic writing because you actually get readers! It’s exciting. 

I didn’t set out to write a dystopian novel (and I’d say The Predicteds is more of a contemporary thriller), but I’m really interested in the small ways that societies change. It’s those small changes that seem innocuous on the surface that lead to big, big, big changes. The Predicteds is sort of a prequel to a dystopian world. It’s about that moment when things could go either way.

Can you tell us a bit about the writing process? Do you have any weird writing habits?
I think I might be a weird writer. I always write by hand (with a pen in a notebook) first. I only write dialogue at that point. Then I go to my computer and turn the dialogue into a narrative. I write first drafts pretty quickly because I need to know that I’m making progress! If I don’t finish something quickly, I get squirrely. Once the draft is done, I’ll spend tons of time revising. But somehow that feels easier than staring at a blank page. I also don’t mind deleting. I’ll delete pages and pages without hesitation. I figure easy come, easy go.

I´ve read you´re also a professor and teach writing. How has that affected your own writing?
Being a professor takes a lot of my time and brain power. It definitely takes a lot of my creativity and energy, so I find it hard to write fiction and be in school at the same time. I end up writing a lot over school breaks, however short they are. So that’s a negative of my job: It’s draining. On the positive side, my students totally keep me on my toes. Because I’m always engaged in talking about writing (not fiction, but professional writing) I’m always thinking like a writer. And my students are incredibly supportive. They share their writing goals with me, and I share mine. Together we work on meeting those goals, even though I’m writing novels and they are often writing instruction manuals or branding guides. At the end of the day, the writing process is the same. It’s all about time spent in the chair, attention to audience, and revision.

If you could pair the main character, Daphne, up with any character from any other book, who would it be and why?
Oh, how fun! I think Daphne would really like Alex from The Mockingbirds. Daphne would be outraged about what happens to Alex in that book. And I think they’d push each other to follow their passions. I’m pretty sure Daphne would also get a kick out of
Tom Henderson in King Dork. She likes outsiders, and she appreciates a dark sense of humor.

Which character in The Predicteds are you most like?
Let me start by saying who I am most NOT like: Daphne. I don’t have her confidence, nor do I have her quick temper. I hope I’m more open-minded than she is. I’m probably most like Melissa, Daphne’s mom, though I’m far less free-spirited. Like Melissa, I suspect I’m kind of clueless sometimes. I’m working on that…

Thanks for the great interview answers!

Make sure to check out all the other stops of the blog tour, and keep you're eye out for The Predicteds, which has already been released (September 1st 2011).

The Predicteds by Christine Seifert

Daphne is the new girl in town and is having trouble fitting in. At least she has Jesse... sort of. He wants to be more than "just friends," but there's something he's not telling her about his past. Something dangerous. When a female student is brutally attacked, police turn to PROFILE, a new program that can predict a student's capacity for drug use, pregnancy, and violent behavior, to solve the case. As the witch hunt ensues, Daphne is forced to question her feelings for Jesse–and what she will do if her first love turns out to be a killer.


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