Part two of the interview with Beck Medina where she discusses her new novel “All the Stars on Fire” and her love for poetry amongst many other things. Please click the link for Part 1 of this fun interview – Part 1.
- You are working on your second novel “All the Stars on Fire”. Could you please give the readers some insight into this novel?
Yes! I just finished the first draft of “All the Stars on Fire.” It’ll be released in December of this year. It’s an action/romance/comedy about a superhero who doesn’t want to be a superhero anymore. It’s isolated her, and she’s lost everyone she loves because of it. Meanwhile, an unexpected villain from her past has come back to haunt her. I’m excited because it’s told from multiple perspectives so it’s a YA/NA combo, but it’s all about following your heart and taking risks so it’s relatable for both demographics. It’s the first of at least two books. So the sequel will be out in 2018.
- Two novels in two years – it is a great place to be at such a young age! What drives you to do this?
Thank you! After writing “Fantastic Mess” I knew I had to get started on the next one as soon as I possible out of fear of losing my determination and persistence. This time around I thought about the readers, they were a big drive for me. I want to give people a story to look forward to in 2017.
- Reading about you on your page, I came across your interests in performing improv shows. Performing on stage gives you immediate gratification as you can see people reacting to your work live. Writing connects with people on a different level and the response is not immediate. Which one gives you more thrill and satisfaction in terms of connecting with your audience?
They both are thrilling and satisfying in their own right. I’m definitely used to the instant gratification of hearing the audience react to something on stage. It keeps me going in the moment. People laughing at what you’re doing–very satisfying.
Making “Fantastic Mess” available was a thrill. I was afraid of what everyone would think. Waiting for reviews and what readers felt about something I wrote alone was hard. There are people who’ve read it and I’ll never know what they think of it, which is weird. But when you DO read that review or message from a reader saying they loved it–it makes the periods of silence worth it.
I like that I wrote a thing that made people feel a wide range of emotions. Even when people don’t like the book or have a problem with a character or situation I think, “oh! I never thought about it like that.”
- How do you form your characters? Do you incorporate a lot of what you see around you into character formation or is it purely from your imagination?
I add a lot of what I know from the people in my life into my characters. It helps me make stronger character choices and ground the reality more. Sam, for example, is a combination of two guys I dated. As people they’re completely different, but I chose parts of them that worked well together and made Sam a great character. I wanted him to be a guy I would date. I definitely wished he was real while I was writing it!
- Apart from novels, you write beautiful poems. What do you enjoy writing more – poems or novels?
Thank you! Poetry is really personal to me. Usually when I write a poem it’s because there’s something inside of me that shouldn’t be there. It needs to come out. Sadness, irritation, anger, lust, etc. It comes from the heart. Writing “ariana., and other poems” was like giving readers a part of my soul. Writing novels definitely feels more like work than play, but I love both equally.
- What kind of genres do you enjoy reading? Who are your favourite writers?
Emily Dickinson is my all time favourite writer. “I Felt a Funeral in My Brain” is my favourite piece of writing that I’ve ever read. I also love “Bird-Understander” by Craig Arnold. Maya Angelo’s work–everything she’s done–is incredible.
The books that have had the biggest impact on me are “Demian” by Herman Hesse and “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes. I love “Moby Dick.” Anything by Roald Dahl, Stephen King, and Dr. Seuss. I love Rainbow Rowell and John Green a lot. I just read the “To All the Boys I Loved Before” series back to back over Christmas and adored them. I’m currently reading “I’ll Give You the Sun” by Jandy Nelson and love it so far.
All of my other influences are songwriters. I’m a big lyrics person. Donald Glover/Childish Gambino, he writes from such a truthful place. I feel his reality in his music. Adele has a way of painting an emotion that you just get. I love the line “it’s so cold out here/in your wilderness” in “Water Under the Bridge.” Taylor Swift has been a favourite of mine for years too. Frank Ocean also.
- What are your stress-busters during writing?
Just before writing “A Fantastic Mess” I had quit my full-time job that was making me unhappy to pursue personal training. I had enough downtime to go for long walks and take naps to alleviate stress. This time around for “All the Stars on Fire,” I started working full-time again, so I needed the mindlessness at the end of the day. I watched TV every chance I got which I never used to do. I started watching “New Girl” on Netflix and am now almost caught up to the latest season.
- Finally, do you have any advice for budding writers reading this interview?
I think the most important advice any writer could use is to write fearlessly. Write everyday (at the same time if that helps). Write when you know what you’re writing is bad. And especially write when you “don’t feel like doing it today.” My books were made because I pushed through those rough patches. It doesn’t feel like it at first, but it is easier to write something great from a bad first draft than a blank screen. Also, writing should be fun. If you’re not having fun, find the story that will make you excited to write everyday.
To know more about Beck Medina and her work, please visit her page.