Today I'm bringing you self-published author Margaret Chatwin for Ask the Author. She is the author of Erased, which I've read and loved last year. I'm super excited to share her interview with you guys.
Here's her book and the interview:
Erased by Margaret Chatwin
Published: June 2013 by Whisk Away Books
Number of Pages: 286 Pages (Paperback)
There’s that moment – you know the moment – when you emerge from sub-consciousness and enter full awareness. Now imagine reaching that moment with a pounding head, throbbing body, hospital ID band around your wrist, and no memory. No idea why you hurt the way you do, or how you got where you are. No clue what your own name is, or who the people next to you are.
I’m seventeen-year-old Ryan Farnsworth, and that’s what happened to me. Now I have to walk a mile in my own, unfamiliar shoes; view myself through the eyes of a perfect stranger; live the life a former me chose. I also need to figure out why that former me tried to kill me. (goodreads.com)
Interview with Margaret Chatwin
1– Describe Erased using five adjectives.
2 – What was the first initial thought or thing that sparked the idea of Erased? Was it a name or the most basic idea of a story about a boy who wakes up in the hospital without any memory?
I think in some ways this story has been brewing inside of me since I was a young girl. I’d watched a TV show, back then, about a boy who’d lost his memory and couldn’t remember his family or home. For some reason it struck me just how frightening that would really be. I’ve thought about it all these years. Then, more recently, a family in my community suffered a terrible tragedy when their car wrecked and killed the son. The mother was driving and also got hurt. She lost her memory, and couldn’t even recall her child who’d been killed. I thought a lot about that, and that was when I started to write Erased.
3 – What do you like most and least about Ryan, the protagonist of Erased?
What I liked most about Ryan was that no matter how badly he hurt physically, emotionally, or mentally, he just kept trying, and rarely complained. I’m lucky enough to know real people who are like that and I can’t begin to tell you how much I admire them.
What I liked least about him was how in his past life he was too weak to stand up to his friends, even when he knew what he was doing was dead wrong.
4 – Was there any particular scene you enjoyed most writing? One that you liked least?
Well, I can’t give too many details because I don’t want to spoil anything, but I loved writing the epilogue. I had finished the story without it, then let my boyfriend read the manuscript. He wasn’t happy with how it ended, so I added the epilogue for him. It made him cry when he read it (haha). It felt really good to write something powerful enough to stir a big strong man’s emotions like that. I also got a lot of satisfaction out of writing the locker room scene, because that event was on my mind from the foundation of the story, and I fashioned everything to lead to that.
As for the scene I disliked the most – I’d have to say the night with the cockroach scene was the hardest on me, because for some reason I felt like Ryan had changed after that. It took me a while to figure out who he was and continue writing.
5 – How long did it take you to write Erased?
It took me about three months to write. Mostly because I was editing it as I went along. Well, and maybe because it was the first novel I’d been able to finish in ten years! (Was a little out of practice.)
6 – What made you decide upon self-publishing instead of going the traditional way?
I could give you a long list of reasons why, but a few of them include, because I’m a little insecure about my work and didn’t know if I had what it took to play with the big boys, and also because I wanted full control over my books.
7 – Why do you think the readers out there should pick up Erased?
Because it’s a realistic look at why, and how, people can change, and the importance of forgiveness and family. And because it’s a dang good read. :)
8 – Did you listen to any particular songs or artists while writing Erased? If so, could you give us an example?
The older I get the harder it is for me to concentrate on what I’m writing if there are any distractions, so, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to listen to music while I was writing.
9 – TV or Netflix?
(See above answer.) I rarely watch TV at all, but when I am writing I stay even further away from it, because I don’t want it to influence, or change, the ideas I have in my head. I can’t read while I’m writing either, or else my characters and storyline tend to mutate into the same types of things I’m reading.
10 – If you were forced to participate in The Hunger Games, as female from District 12, what would be your strategy? Fight or flight?
Flight. I’d run and hide. Unless someone made me mad, then I’d kick some . . . (insert your favorite word for behind here.)
I think I was a writer before I could even write. I can remember laying awake in my bed as a small child dreaming up characters and adventures for them to take. When I reached the age of thirteen, (which was a million years ago) my imagination could no loner be kept within the confines of my own head and I began to write them down. Many a summer I laid out in the back yard on the lawn chair with a pen and a note book. I’ve since graduated to a couch and a laptop, but I’m still writing.
My all time favorite genre to write is young adult. I’ve tried to grow up a few times and write adult novels, but I always find myself going back to my roots. YAY YA!