Today I am so excited to share with you all an interview I did with Abigail Johnson, author of the book Even if I Fall. I got to read this as an ARC through NetGalley and really enjoyed it! I am so excited for you all to read Abigail’s answers to my questions! Enjoy!
1. What was your inspiration behind Even if I Fall?
Every book idea I’ve had has come from a different source whether it was a single scene that popped into my head of a girl sitting on her roof at night talking to the boy next door (If I Fix You) or an article about a DNA test that accidentally revealed an unknown sibling (The First to Know). The inspiration behind Even If I Fall came from the simplest of writing prompts from one of my critique partners: write a summer love story. At the time—several years ago—I had no idea that little 700-word flash fiction story would become the basis for a novel or that so many of the details and even exact scenes and lines would find their way into the final book.
As for any real-life inspiration, like Brooke, I used to ice skate when I was little. The town of Telford, Texas is fictional, but I based a lot of its geography on Telford, Pennsylvania where I used to live. The pond in the book is one my siblings, and I used to go fishing at and swimming in growing up. I also named the ice skating rink in the book after the golf shop my grandfather used to own. Oh, and Brooke’s little sister has a cockatiel in the book named Ducky just like my real sister. There are lots of little things like that sprinkled throughout my books, but the characters and events are all made up.
2. What is your process for creating these characters?
I don’t have a set process for creating my characters. I usually just start writing them and discover things about them as I go.
3. How often do you get writer’s block and how do you deal with I?
I used to get writer’s block a lot, and I’d deal with it by wasting days, weeks or even months without writing even a single word. Once I sold my first book and was writing against a deadline for the first time in my life, I couldn’t afford to do that. I never thought I’d be the type of writer who planned my books out at all, but I’ve learned that writing a short synopsis (usually about ten pages) before I start drafting helps cut down on and often eliminates writer’s block for me. I’m able to work out all my story/character issues in those few pages, and I have a roadmap to follow once I start drafting. No more wasted time! I can write a full book now, start to finish including edits, in six months versus six years! For me, writing a synopsis first is my cure for writer’s block, and I’ll never go back to writing without one.
4. What was your favorite book when you were younger, and what is it now?
The Little House books were my favorite when I was younger, but It’s a little harder to settle on a single favorite now. Maybe I can cheat and list a few of my favorite authors? I was so fortunate in getting some amazing authors to blurb Even If I Fall including Tamara Ireland Stone, Jeff Zentner, Elizabeth Eulberg, and Mindy McGinnis and I highly highly recommend their books to everyone. Beyond those, I love Kasie West, John Green, Maggie Stiefvater, Diana Gabaldon, Ilona Andrews.
5. What is something you like to do when you are not writing?
Beyond reading, I love playing video games. My favorite has to the the Uncharted series.
6. When you began writing the novel, did you have a clear idea of how you wanted it to go or did the story come to you as you were writing it?
For Even If I Fall, yes. It was based off of a super short story that I later expanded into a synopsis. That doesn’t mean I knew every deal before I started drafting, far from it. Most of the supporting characters and secondary plots all developed as I was writing. But I did know the ending and the plot twists from the start.
7. Do you think you will ever write books in other genre’s?
I love writing YA, so I don’t see that changing, but I have toyed around with a few ideas in other YA genres…so maybe. I do have something involving dinosaurs that I’d love to finish some day. We’ll see!
8. If you could live in one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I feel like it’d have to be something magical, so maybe Harry Potter post Voldemort’s final defeat.
Big thanks to Abigail! Check out her website and my review of her book below!!
XOX Shelby Grace
Abigail’s Website: https://abigailjohnsonbooks.com/
My Review of Even If I Fall: http://gracedwithbooks.com/2019/02/10/even-if-i-fall-by-abigail-johnson/