Author Jon Skovron is kicking off this week at The Hiding Spot by answering questions about his newest book, This Broken Wondrous World, the books that provided him with great hiding spots (we were both hiding in the same books as teens!), and more!
Can you tell us a bit about your inspiration for your books about Boy, Man Made Boy and This Broken Wondrous World?
Tell me a little bit about your writing process: Do you outline? Start at the beginning? The middle? The end?
Boy is the teenage son of Frankenstein’s Monster and the Bride of Frankenstein. He’s big and he’s strong, and he has a lot of stitches. But he’s also very sweet. He lives in a Broadway theater, where the company are all monsters and pose as humans, passing off their strange appearances and abilities as special effects. The whole idea began back when I used to work at a Broadway theater. It’s such a strange, tight-knit bunch of weirdos, it kind of lent itself to the idea. And Frankenstein is one of my all time favorite books, so naturally I wanted a Frankenstein’s Monster as my hero. And everything just kind of came from there.
In Man Made Boy, Boy is a hacker, and he creaties a living computer virus that gets out of control, sending him on a cross-country escape that is part man-hunt, part road trip. But of course, he can’t run forever, and eventually he needs to accept responsibility for what he’s made, and try to make it better. Along the way, he falls in love (twice) and meets two other communities of monsters, one in the New Mexico desert and one in LA. And so we begin to see the larger world of monsters. In This Broken Wondrous World, that larger picture comes to the fore as Boy is caught in the middle of a full on war between humans and a group of monsters led by Doctor Moreau.
What jobs did you have on your way to becoming a published author? Is there a certain work experience that has shaped your writing or provided inspiration?
I generally don’t outline, because I find them to be tedious fun-suckers. I love the thrill of discovering the plot as it unfolds on the page. That said, I always have an idea where I’m going to end up and a few stops along the way. So I just start at the beginning and follow the characters, and sometimes we even end up where I thought we would. Of course, after all that, I’m left with a huge mess of a first draft, and it’s several more drafts before it’s clean enough to show anyone.
If you had to pick a favorite word, what would it be and why?
I think I can say that every job I’ve ever had offers some amount of inspiration. I’ve already mentioned my time working at a Broadway theater was hugely inspirational. I also worked as a tech writer for an Internet security company, which helped with all the hacker stuff. And even my time lugging boxes in a warehouse gave me a few character inspirations.
My blog is dedicated to my personal hiding spot, books. Name a notable book that provided you with a hiding spot.
Picking a favorite word is like asking me to pick a favorite child! *sigh* Okay, how about “wondrous”, eh?
What can readers look forward to next?
Wow, how about every book I read in middle school! The ones I like best have a wide world that you can’t see the edges of. When I was a teen, there was no YA, but my favorite fantasy series was The Belgariad by David Eddings. Later, in my twenties, I think it’s a toss up between American Gods by Neil Gaiman and Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Suzanna Clarke.
Up next is Hope & Red, my first fantasy for grown-ups. It’s the first book in a trilogy, and it will come out June 2016 from Orbit. I semi-jokingly refer to it as my Swashbuckling Gangster Kung-Fu Pirate Romance book. But don’t think I’m leaving YA! Because soon after, I will have a story appearing in Stephanie Perkins’s next anthology, Summer Days and Summer Nights, and I’m working on another YA novel right now that’s a little too early to talk about.
Buy This Broken Wondrous World here.
Buy This Broken Wondrous World here.