Introducing WHAT? with RC Lewis

Inspiration is a funny thing. It can come to us like a lightning bolt, through the lyrics of a song, or in the fog of a dream. Ask any writer where their stories come from and you’ll get a myriad of answers, and in that vein I created the WHAT? (What the Hell Are you Thinking?) interview. Always included in the WHAT? is one random question to really dig down into the interviewee’s mind, and probably supply some illumination into my own as well.


Helping me introduce the WHAT? is fellow YA author and critique partner RC Lewis. She teaches math to teenagers—sometimes in sign language, sometimes not—so whether she’s a science geek or a bookworm depends on when you look. That may explain why her characters don’t like to be pigeonholed. Coincidentally, R.C. enjoys reading about quantum physics and the identity issues of photons. Her debut, STITCHING SNOW releases from Hyperion Oct. 14 - be sure to enter the Rafflecopter below!

Ideas for our books can come from just about anywhere, and sometimes even we can’t pinpoint exactly how or why. Do you have a specific origin point for STITCHING SNOW?

For just about any other manuscript I’ve written, the answer would be no. But for STITCHING SNOW, the moment of inspiration was very distinct. I heard a line in the song “Blinding” by Florence + The Machine about Snow White stitching up a circuit board. That sparked an image of a techy Snow White immediately.

Once the original concept existed, how did you build a plot around it?

The initial image in my head was of Snow White on a cold planet, so a first step was to figure out what that place was going to be. And because it’s a retelling, the main thing I had to do early on was identify the major players and elements from the fairy tale, and how (or if!) I was going to incorporate them. That gave the story a skeleton to build on.

Have you ever had the plot firmly in place, only to find it changing as the story moved from your mind to paper?

All the time, sort of...? I tend to word-vomit brainstormy notes before I start writing, so once I start the actual draft, the Big Plot rarely changes. The details and subplots, however, are much more malleable. Usually. (Just because I said that, my next novel attempt will go completely off the rails.)

Do story ideas come to you often, or is fresh material hard to come by?

Hard to come by, definitely. I usually have just one “I want to write this” idea sitting in my head at a time, and not constantly. They usually come when I’m working on one project, near the end, so I guess that’s when my subconscious unclenches enough to brave the question of “What’s next?”

How do you choose which story to write next, if you’ve got more than one percolating?


If the universe really is expanding at an exponential rate, does it have an edge?

Well, technically something can be increasing by a tiny fraction of one percent per huge-amount-of-time, and that would still be growing exponentially, so ... yes? (But if I really wanted to be picky, I’d say I’m not sure the hypothesis and the conclusion in your question have any correlation at all.)