Interview with Adrienne Kress, author of Outcast

Publisher: Diversion Books

Publish Date: June 4, 2013

Order Links:  Amazon / Diversion Books

Interview: Q. Please tell us about your current release.

After six years of “angels” coming out of the sky and taking people from her town, 16-year-old Riley Carver has just about had it living with the constant fear. When one decides to terrorize her in her own backyard, it’s the final straw. She takes her mother’s shotgun and shoots the thing. So it’s dead. Or … not? In place of the creature she shot, is a guy. A really hot guy.  A really hot alive and breathing guy.  Oh, and he’s totally naked.

Not sure what to do, she drags his unconscious body to the tool shed and ties him up. After all, he’s an angel and they have tricks. When he regains consciousness she’s all set to interrogate him about why the angels come to her town, and how to get back her best friend (and almost boyfriend) Chris, who was taken the year before. But it turns out the naked guy in her shed is just as confused about everything as she is.

He thinks it’s 1956.

Set in the deep south, OUTCAST is a story of love, trust, and coming of age. It’s also a story about the supernatural, a girl with a strange sense of humor who’s got wicked aim, a greaser from the 50’s, and an army of misfits coming together for one purpose: To kick some serious angel ass.

Q. How did writing this book affect you?

Writing this book was a whirlwind.  I wound up writing it in only two and a half months, and it was exhilarating.  I still have no idea why it happened so quickly for me, but it was kind of amazing.

On a personal level, a lot of Riley’s internal monologue is based on my own thoughts and angst I had as a teen.  This is the first time I’ve ever really explored my own growth at that age, and while she still is a fictional creation, much of her brutal honesty and how she reasons is based on my own experience.  It was cathartic and also a really interesting opportunity to see how much I’d changed since then, and also how little.  :-)

Q. Can you tell us about the journey that led you to writing?

I have always been a writer since even before I could write.  I would dictate stories to my dad and he would type them up when I was very little.  When I got to high school I began writing plays (as an actor/director it made sense to write something I could then direct) and continued with this into University where I wrote a production that was eventually performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Summerworks festival in Toronto.  It was when I was living in the UK that I wrote my first novel, ALEX AND THE IRONIC GENTLEMAN.  This also became the first novel I published.

It’s weird when I go back like this and see how writing has always been a part of my life.  Up until ALEX, I was solely focused on acting as a career.  Writing was a hobby, an escape when the real world got a bit too . . . real.  ALEX and being a novel writer seemed to come out of left field.  But I now have come realise I’d always been on this journey from the beginning.

Q. What is the hardest part of writing for you?

The act of writing in and of itself can be very difficult for me.  Sometimes I’m just not inspired or would rather do something else.  Sitting down and just typing takes a lot of will power, and I talk a lot about this with students on school visits.  It’s easy to be inspired, to have that one amazing idea that really excites you.  But continuing when inspiration leaves you, when writer’s block hits?  That is the real challenge.  And I find it just as difficult as the next person.

Q. Do you have a musical playlist you listen to while writing? If so, what kind of music?

I actually don’t.  I find listening to music distracting honestly.  I end up just sitting listening to the music, lol.  What I actually wind up doing is writing with the TV on in the background.  When I’m listening to TV I’m only getting half of the experience, as obviously TV is also meant to be watched.  That means I lack a certain context to what I’m hearing, and the sound turns into white noise.  I write better when I’m not sitting in complete silence.

Q. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I like to act out dialogue scenes, read them out loud in interesting voices.  Sometimes I get fully into it with hand gestures and a lot of emotion.  It’s fun! :-)

Q. Do you plan any subsequent books?

I do have some, I think, pretty exciting ideas for a follow up to OUTCAST.  I always saw it as a duology, though I do also like how it ends as is.

Q. Please tell us your latest news (book-related or not!).

Well my other YA, THE FRIDAY SOCIETY, was nominated for a Quill Award in the Reimagined Reality category, so that’s very cool.  And I’ve started work on an adult literary novel.  This is something quite different from what I’ve written before, nothing SF/Fantasy about it.  It’ll be interesting to see where it takes me.  I must admit that I’m a little nervous about it, but at the same time really excited.

Q. Please tell us a fun-fact about yourself!

I can wiggle my ears.  Not only that, I can wiggle them one ear at a time.  Oh yeah.

Q. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I guess I just want to thank them for all the support over the years and for taking risks with me.  It really means so much. 

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