Today at Thinking Through our Fingers, we’re thrilled to host the inimitable Brenda Drake for another round of Thinking in Threes, where we ask an agent, editor, or author three questions and they answer with three (ish) answers. If you’re not familiar with Brenda, you should know that she’s the genius behind Pitch Wars, #pitmad, and Pitch Madness (among other things) and is a huge champion of writers across genres and age categories. (And don’t miss the giveaway below!)
Brenda Drake is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. She grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. She lives in New Mexico, and when she’s not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).
What are the three easiest things about writing? What are the hardest parts?
I’d have to say the following are the easiest things about writing for me.
- It’s my favorite part before starting a story. I love finding cool ideas and settings for the world I want to write.
- I really enjoy planning a story.
- Creating characters. It’s a lot of fun coming up with the people who will populate the pages.
The hardest would be …
- Though this is my favorite easiest thing, it can also be the hardest. Sometimes there are many threads leading from whatever I’m researching, and I can get tangled up following them all. I’m easily distracted so I have to keep myself on task and not research all the things.
- Staying focused. With so much going on in my life, finding focused writing time can be difficult.
- Starting a story. It takes a few chapters for me to find my legs in the story and pick up a nice steady stride while writing it. Before I get a good grasp of the characters and voice, it’s slow going. Then, once I know them, the story flows faster for me.
What were your three favorite books as a child?
The books I read were quite old. They were the ones in my grandmother’s bookshelf that my mother and uncles read when they were children.
- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
- The Nancy Drew series. My favorite is the Secret of the Old Clock. Probably because it was my mom’s favorite growing up.
Share three examples of art, photographs, or music that played a role in the writing of this story.
- The song that inspired me while editing this book was Something Just Like This by Coldplay and The Chainsmokers. It’s a perfect superhero song to go with the son of Thor.
- A photograph that inspired one of the scenes in the book was a shot of a guy helping a girl in the rain. The two are drenched and trying to get to shelter.
- This image inspired the many times Blake pulls lightning from the sky in the book.
Stevie Moon is famous…at least to the subscribers on her comic review vlog. At school, she’s as plain as the gray painted walls in the cafeteria. So when Blake, the hot new guy at school, shows an interest in her, she knows trouble when she sees it. Been there. And never doing it again.As the son of the god Thor, Blake Foster’s been given an important mission—to recover the Norse god Heimdall’s sacred and powerful horn before someone uses it to herald in the destruction of the entire universe. But while Blake is great in a fight, the battlefield that is a high school’s social scene is another matter.
Blake knows his only choice is to team up with the adorable Stevie, but she’s not willing to give him even the time of day. He’ll need to woo the girl and find the horn if he hopes to win this war. Who better to tackle Stevie’s defenses than the demi-god of thunder.
You can also check out the book trailer for Thunderstruck.
And enter Brenda’s giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks, Brenda, for joining us–and congratulations on your new book! (And the upcoming Pitch Wars showcase).