Happy Monday everyone! Today we are thrilled to have Melissa Gorzelanczyk on the blog to talk about Arrows and her writing process.
1. What initially sparked your interest in writing a modern Greek mythology novel?
My husband’s best friend Nate had the idea of a story centered around the idea of “cupids among us.” He decided not to finish his book, and when I asked how he felt about me using the premise for a teen novel, he encouraged me to go for it.
I absolutely loved the idea of “cupids among us” working behind the scenes to influence love and relationships.
In YA, my recent favorites are contemporary, so I knew I wanted my book to be set more in the modern world than fantasy.
I’m really passionate about healthy relationships—how we treat people and our boundaries of how we want to be treated. Incorporating “love arrows” into my story added a unique challenge.
2. You don’t see too many novels addressing teen pregnancy. How did you arrive at the decision to include it in Arrows?
Great question. When I was brainstorming ways to raise the stakes in the book, Karma’s pregnancy made so much sense. (Karma is one of the main characters in my dual POV novel.)
Suddenly it wasn’t just about love gone wrong between a girl and a boy. It was about love gone wrong in a family. They had more to consider than just each other.
That said, I never wanted Nell, her baby, to be a bad thing. Babies are beautiful miracles. But in reality and fiction, they change your whole world.
3. Can you talk a little bit about your writing process? Any routine to ease you into writing? Are you a plotter or pantser?
I’ve adopted a lot of routines over the years to remind my brain that it is time to write now.
I use scented candles that envelope the mood of my current book; I make playlists; I keep a file of character photos; I make little quotes using my favorite lines as I go along.
Before anything, I need to disconnect from technology, meditate and do a little yoga.
4. What writing advice would you give to aspiring writer
Study the basics of plot, characters, setting, theme and revision. Buy books on the subjects and read blogs posts. Join the SCBWI and attend their conferences. In practice, write each scene so that it shows something important about your plot, characters and/or theme. And really, you just have to sit down and write.
5. Can you give us any hints to what you’re working on next?
I’d love to! It’s YA. It’s a murder mystery. It’s about the depth of sibling love. And it’s very strange and very beautiful.
Melissa Gorzelanczyk is a magazine editor and columnist who believes love is everything. She is a proud member of the SCBWI, The Sweet Sixteens and the Class of 2k16. Her young adult novel ARROWS is available now from Delacorte Press, a division of Penguin Random House. She is represented by agent Carrie Howland of Donadio & Olson. She lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with her husband and family.
A modern cupid story set in present-day Wisconsin combining the fantastical elements of Greek mythology with the contemporary drama of MTV’s Teen Mom.
People don’t understand love. If they did, they’d get why dance prodigy Karma Clark just can’t say goodbye to her boyfriend, Danny. No matter what he says or does or how he hurts her, she can’t stay angry with him . . . and can’t stop loving him. But there’s a reason why Karma is helpless to break things off: she’s been shot with a love arrow.
Aaryn, son of Cupid, was supposed to shoot both Karma and Danny but found out too late that the other arrow in his pack was useless. And with that, Karma’s life changed forever. One pregnancy confirmed. One ballet scholarship lost. And dream after dream tossed to the wind.
A clueless Karma doesn’t know that her toxic relationship is Aaryn’s fault . . . but he’s going to get a chance to make things right. He’s here to convince Danny to man up and be there for Karma. But what if this god from Mount Olympus finds himself falling in love with a beautiful dancer from Wisconsin who can never love him in return?
This fast-paced debut novel explores the internal & external conflicts of a girl who finds herself inexplicably drawn to a boy who seemingly doesn’t reciprocate her feelings, touching on the issues of love, sex and responsibility, with a heroine struggling to control her destiny–perfect for fans of Katie McGarry’s novels and MTV’s 16 and Pregnant.
Thank you so much Melissa for taking the time to answer our questions! I agree that healthy relationships important and think they are key to a happier life. I think there were more books addressing teen pregnancy because it is a reality and teen moms should be able to find themselves in a story. I look forward to reading this story in the future!