Friday, March 17, 2017

Interview with JR Creaden

This month's YA writer is JR Creaden! Let's jump right in.

Kristen - Did you have any ideas about being a writer that becoming a writer changed?

JR - Perhaps it was those summers spent in Maine reading Stephen King, but I imagined writing as a more solitary experience than it’s been for me. Instead, I’m involved with more writers than I ever dreamed possible—exchanging stories and tips, brainstorming, commiserating, researching. I talk to more writers everyday than I knew existed before.

Kristen - I was much the same way. I assumed writers holed up in caves and never spoke to anyone, but for me it has been a lot of interaction with other writers and discussing the craft and brainstorming. 

What do you do when Real Life intrudes on your writing?

JR - As in when the characters are too much like their real life counterparts? That’s happened a few times, but then I call up the facts and reorganize my thoughts. The characters are unrelated and from alien worlds that didn’t even coexist in the same time periods prior to coming aboard the ship (where the story begins in Re: Morse). Also, none of them had parents, so their core problems—personality or otherwise—have to be addressed by themselves. I am their author, not their parent.

Kristen - Do you have a favorite scene or line you’ve written?

JR - I do! The scene when Relativity’s crew performs a Vincil play, Renderings, for the cadets. I’ve been pressured quite a bit to drop the scene, but I’ve stuck to my guns. The play, which is not exactly “children-oriented” any more than Romeo and Juliet, and the character reactions to the play, are essential to the plot of the whole series.

As an educator and a parent, I believe it’s important for our literature to expand our familiarity with different media. Students of all ages are expected to read, perform, and engage with theater, and using theatrical performance within literature is a fantastic method to model a universal experience. 

Kristen - Tell us about your main character’s weaknesses. How do these affect the first book of your series?

JR - In Re: Morse, the main character, human Hugo Morse is plagued by self-doubt. While we don’t go into major detail about Hugo’s background, certain elements haunt him. Despite the utopian version of Earth he remembers, Hugo’s experiences were not so pleasant. His upbringing within the Syndicate, raised on space ships before being deposited at the Rodanbary Academy, was rather lonely. His fear of failure holds him back and puts everyone in danger.

Kristen - What do you want your tombstone to say?

JR - “Free Fertilizer ↓” I wrote a poem ages ago about my wishes for after death called “Bury Me Standing” all about how I’d like to be buried Bene Gesserit style—upright, wrapped in linens, with a fruit tree planted over me. It might sound morbid, but I have no qualms about death, about the function of my physical body after death. I can’t stand the idea of being put into a sealed box, where my matter is isolated from the Earth that sustained me. I want to give back.

Kristen - Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing! If you'd like to find out more about JR, follow any of the links below!

Check out her Website
Follow her on Twitter
Follow her on Facebook

C:\Users\Jessica\Pictures\JR creaden.jpg
JR began her writing career as a child disgruntled with song lyrics. After some early success with poetry and essays, she spent decades distracted by songwriting and academia until her story dreams became too interesting to keep to herself. Re: Morse, the first book in JR’s YA scifi series Contact Files, will soon be ready for public consumption or vivisection. Her goal is to share stories that inspire readers to embrace cultural diversity, the promise of science, and the value of humor and imagination to build a future that’s more Star Trek and less 1984. When she’s not writing, JR enjoys exchanging “your mama” jokes with her children, floating in lakes, and slaying virtual dragons.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome interview! I like how you've incorporated theater into your stories.