I am so insanely excited to be bringing you this awesome interview for I Read YA week! CM Lucas is one of my many author siblings at the fantastic OfTomes Publishing, and I am so glad to have her here on What A Nerd Girl Says to celebrate the love of reading and writing YA!
Let’s do this!
ABOUT CM LUCAS
Claire Marie Lucas lives in South-East England with her husband and three children. She began writing stories from inside her wardrobe at the tender age of six and hasn’t stopped writing in obscure places since; her current favourite being the cupboard beneath the stairs. The Weaver’s Riddle: Mists and Whispers is her debut novel.
You Can Find Her:
Imagine a world in eternal darkness. A world where skeletal beasts lurk in the forest. Where the women are missing, and the men are in need of salvation…
In the West-English town of Little Wolf Green, Scott’s bookshop is about to close down. Convinced the bookshop holds the key to her mother’s identity, sixteen year old Anya Piddling vows to save Scott’s, whatever the cost.
When four books of magic and myth take the world by storm, Anya begins a journey to discover the truth about the author, known only as the Weaver. Followed closely by her friends, and one surly, bitter ex-boyfriend, Anya soon realises a whole new world awaits: a world gone very wrong, with maddening whispers in the forest, magical winged Kings and a dragon-boy that understands her, inside and out. But this world needs a saviour… and everyone is looking at her.
Nerd Girl: Why do you write YA?
Claire: I write YA because it’s the genre I most enjoy reading. There is a certain sense of adventure that only YA novels seem to capture, and satisfy, and I think it’s important for teens, and indeed, people of all ages, to feel that rush of adventure, even if it is just through reading. It helps you feel connected to the world and inspires you to go out and really live. I think YA’s reoccurring theme of self-discovery is also very important for all readers to experience, as no matter your age, you should never stop learning about yourself. I mean, how can anyone truly discover their full potential if they stop growing as a person?
Nerd Girl: What are some of your own favorite YA reads?
Claire: One of my favourite YA series is Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone. It still leaves me speechless to this day, and I always think about Akiva and Karou, and the adventures that continued for them beyond the series. Laini Taylor is simply amazing, her writing is pure magic!
Ooh, and “Ob….viously,” Harry Potter kind of goes without saying, even though the series is technically middle grade, I do feel the later books cross over into the YA category too.
Nerd Girl: What do you think is a big misconception about YA and why do you think it’s wrong?
Claire: I think the biggest misconception about YA is that it is easy to write. I’ve heard many people say it in the past, but they are, in my opinion, completely wrong, because teenagers are not the ‘simple’ minded creatures many adults mistake them for. They have brilliant, sharp minds and can spot a mistake or a plot hole a mile off, and they are not afraid to speak their minds about it if an author gets it wrong. With YA, it’s not about creating a world that is believable, it goes beyond that. You have to create a world that is real, with rich, diverse characters that they can relate to, that make them feel a broad spectrum of emotions and that help them to make sense of what they are going through in their own lives, as well as delivering entertaining and intriguing plots that keep them interested throughout the entire series. It’s a big task, but a very rewarding one!
Nerd Girl: Why do you think it’s important to have an “I Read YA” week?
Claire: I think encouraging teenagers to read is paramount to the future of the human race. The teenagers of today will be the pioneers of tomorrow, but without well-exercised imaginations, how can we expect them to have the kind of vision they will need to take this world further forward into the future?
Nerd Girl: Describe your latest work in five words or less.
Claire: Magical, mysterious, action packed adventure!
Nerd Girl: Your series is literally an epic. The thought of seven books blows my mind and I totally admire you for it! How do you tackle a series that is more than a couple books?
Claire: Thank you! I’m not sure how many other authors work the same way, but I plotted out the over arcing story for the series first, in unison with the characters and their back-stories. I literally took over our front room and pinned up a series timeline that spanned the length of the entire wall! Then I just kept adding in the details for each book via post-its until it got too big for the wall! After a whole year of planning and research, I began writing the first book.
Nerd Girl: Where did the inspiration for your series come from? How did the idea form, and are there authors that have inspired it?
Claire: Well, as a child, I was a huge C.S. Lewis fan. He really sparked my fascination in the concept of multiverses, and that is something that has always stuck with me. In my new adult years, I began writing screenplays and making short films, so when I got the idea for the Weaver’s Riddle series, I was originally going to write it as a movie. But when I realised the depth of the series, I decided it was time to make the leap from screenplays to novels. I was lucky enough to meet JK Rowling during a signing event for her novel, The Casual Vacancy, and ask her a question, so naturally, I asked about writing. I put her advice into practice, and a few years later, here I am!
Thank you darling Claire for stopping by and being a part of I Read YA Week on What A Nerd Girl Says!
And don’t forget, we have amazing interviews and guest posts all week! Also, head to my instagram for the giveaway, including all sorts of signed YA author swag, and TWO advanced readers copies of some YA novels!