Meet the Author: Adelaide Thorne
Thank you so much for the Q&A, Adelaide!
-How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
It was much easier for the words to flow when I believed I was writing only for fun, or for my own edification. Now that real human beings are actually READING what I write, the pressure has mounted. I'm much more meticulous about what I do with my characters and words, especially now that my poor editor has to sift through everything first. What used to be a no-stress task has become much more like work, but the benefit of that is I get really excited when I imagine people reading the plot twists or character arcs. Writing is no longer my little pet project, but something I get to share with people I'll never meet, and that's a pretty sweet feeling.
-Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
A mixture of both, I think. I've totally pandered to some conventions (readers want love triangles), but I try to put my own twists on it (the players of the triangle aren't quite what you'd expect). Some conventions I purposely avoid. Over all, I play with a healthy dose of originality and predictability.
-What is the first book that made you cry?
Oh, jeez. I distinctly remember bawling my eyes out at Bridge to Terabithia. That book is HEART-WRENCHING. Good grief. Someone gave me the movie when that came out, and I was like, "Nope. Put that thing back where it came from."
-Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
Absolutely. My husband isn't too emotional of a guy (my emotions are plenty for the two of us), but he's a great writer.
-What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
Yikes. I feel compelled to have some insightful answer, but I'm drawing a blank. It's probably something I realized without realizing I was realizing it. If that makes sense. Like, I'd read a book and feel an inexplicable connection due entirely to the language, but I didn't put two-and-two together until I got older. In a less interesting example, I learned the power of language with my teachers. The well-spoken, gripping ones got me more invested in the subject, while the dry teachers had me passing notes in the shape of paper footballs instead of paying attention. Whoopsies.
-What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Honestly, I did zero research before beginning my Whitewashed trilogy. Only while writing, when something crops up, do I research. Most of my research has been about military terminology & weaponry, riding motorcycles, the healing rate of injuries, and geography. I guess that gives you an idea what my books are about! The rest of my "research" comes from either my head or the heads of my brilliant friends.
-How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?
I feel like I'm not the right person to answer this question, since I like leaving my readers with cliffhangers. So they probably don't think I take care for them at all. I do try to answer the questions they might have from that book, while leaving them hungry with more that'll be answered in the next book. As I've only written two books, which are part of a trilogy, my answer to this question is limited. I wonder how I'll write when it's just a standalone novel!
-What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Immediately rereading everything we write, and thinking we're the best thing ever. It's strange, most of us seem to have this odd blend of unearned pride and self-deprecation. We might get utterly horrified when someone else reads our stuff, but when we read it, we're like "Oooohhh yeah, this rules." Over-reading creates several problems, primarily that we can't see the issues in our story, since we get so used to what we've read. I tell every aspiring writer I know to spend little time rereading until they've got the entire draft finished. I also tell writers to find an honest friend who will rip our ego to shreds if need be. We hate those friends, but we love them, too.
-Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Yaaasssss. I love Easter eggs. There were more that wound up being removed from my first book (The Trace), but there are still a few hidden eggs, as well as in my second book. There are some that are purely for me - a little inside joke to myself. Because I'm a dork.
-If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
Would probably be a cat-sitter or a professional organizer. 'Cause organizing OTHER people's lives is so much more enjoyable than organizing my own.
After her stick figure comic series “The Adventures of The Unstoppable” failed to garner any fans, Adelaide Thorne accepted that drawing would never be her superpower. She also accepted that she was not, after all, The Unstoppable. Twelve-year-old Adelaide never forgot the thrill of adventure, however, and the mystery of heroes, powers, and a bad guy who maybe is only bad because he feels stuck. Or maybe he’s just bad, and that’s interesting, too.
Adelaide’s writing has taken her around the worlds of her brain, and also around a lot of restaurants. After years of being the pickiest eater in the south, she somehow got a stint as a city blogger and food columnist, which taught her that people are too obsessed with queso and not excited enough about chicken noodle soup. She’s since said goodbye to journalistic writing and hello to creative writing, which is, after all, what she’s always done.
She currently lives in Florida, where she complains about the humidity but never makes any plans to move. Adelaide and her husband have two cats (only two), who are excellent sounding boards for ideas.