Monday, March 3, 2014

Interview with Author Bethany Wiggins

Okay, so I am so excited to have my good friend and amazing author, Bethany Wiggins, on the blog today! I've known Bethany for what feels like forever, and I've read a lot of her work. I loved STUNG, and I'm super-excited that CURED -- the sequel -- will be out tomorrow!

Bethany was awesome enough to answer some questions for me, but first, let's look at CURED. (Isn't that cover Ah-may-zing??! Answer: yes!)

About CURED: Now that Fiona Tarsis and her twin brother, Jonah, are no longer beasts, they set out to find their mother, with the help of Bowen and a former neighbor, Jacqui. Heading for a safe settlement rumored to be in Wyoming, they plan to spread the cure along the way--until they are attacked by raiders.

Luckily, they find a new ally in Kevin, who saves them and leads them to safety in his underground shelter. But the more they get to know Kevin, the more they suspect he has ties to the raiders. He also seems to know too many details about Jacqui and her family — details that could endanger them all. For the raiders will do anything they can to destroy the cure that would bring an end to their way of life.

So let's get to the good stuff!

1. So CURED is the second book. Tell us what we need to remember from STUNG to be ready to read.
Fiona wakes up with four years of her memory erased, her brother a beast, her father dead, and her mother missing. She has been given the bee-flu vaccine but isn't a beast like everyone else who has been vaccinated (remember the previously mentioned brother?). Why? Because a cure has been found, and Fiona is proof of the cure. Now that cure needs to be spread.

2. The idea of the extinction of bees and the repercussions that causes is fascinating to me. How did you come up with this idea? Did you have to do a lot of research?
Believe it or not, STUNG was primarily inspired by a horrible nightmare I had, about waking up in my childhood home and finding everything abandoned, and then being chased out a window by an insane beast who used to be someone I loved. That nightmare is chapter one! (Shut up! What a cool inspiration!)

Other parts of STUNG were inspired by the frenzy in the United States to get the flu vaccine when the swine flu was going around and the bees dying off (colony collapse). I didn't have to do a lot of research since the bee science in my book is mostly fiction (thank goodness), but I did have to do some. I mostly researched things like human behavior in the aftermath of a natural disaster (which is where the Raiders come from) and how things are pollinated.

3. When did you write CURED? What's one scene that you can still remember drafting for the first time?
I started writing CURED two and a half years ago, and finished a year and a half ago. The scene that sticks in my memory is the one where Jacqui and Jonah are being held prisoner by the Raiders, and Jacqui finally understands that true beauty is on the inside. Here's a quote:

He drops his head and laughs a hoarse, whispered laugh, possibly the first laughter that has come out of him in four years. "I know I'm hideously ugly. You don't have to pretend I'm not."

My heart aches at his words. I know how it feels to look at yourself and see nothing beautiful there. And then I think about how Jonah held the beast child for hours while we waited for the cure to start working, and how he spoke so gently to me when the raiders caught me and Bowen was furious. He is good and kind and meek. That is real beauty.

4. Is CURED the end of this series? Tell us all about everything!
As of now, it is the end. I wrapped everything up so that the readers will finish it and have a satisfied, warm, happy, pensive, thoughtful feeling. But I would love to do a book three with these characters in this world sometime in the future. There is always room for more! (I hope there is more to the story!)

5. CURED is your third published book. Give us a glimpse of your writing and publishing journey that led you here.
The only reason I started writing is because my sister thought it would be fun to write a book, and she wanted someone else to write one at the same time. So she dared me to do it. I started writing and was shocked at how much I liked it. I wrote and edited a lot of manuscripts--as in thousands and thousands of pages--before I finally got good enough to get an agent (Marlene Stringer) and a publisher. Cured is the tenth or eleventh book I wrote.

6. When you're looking to decompress by reading, what book do you reach for?
Well, honestly, "The Book of Mormon." At the end of every day I am pretty much too tired to do any major reading, so I always read a page or two of my scriptures before I go to sleep. Decompression=achieved.

7. If you could be a contestant on Survivor, what's the one item you'd take with you?
Water purifier.

8. A guilty pleasure?
Massage! (Oh, I don't get enough of these as I would like either!)

9. Bacon or chocolate?
Chocolate (Boo! Hisssss... *wink*)

About Bethany: BETHANY WIGGINS is the author of Stung and Shifting. She started writing on a dare and dove headfirst into the world of writerly madness. She lives in the desert with her husband, four quirky kids, and two very fluffy cats.

AND -- you can enter to win a hardcover of CURED by Bethany Wiggins, right here, right now! Just use the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


S.A. Larsenッ said...

There is so much I love about both these books! Congrats on CURED, Bethany. And thanks to Elana for hosting you.

A water purifier is a great choice, btw. I've thought about what they actually drink/consume. I'm not a germ-a-phobic, but clean water is a must!

Sheri at Writer's Alley

Home of Rebel Writer CREED 2014
Mighty Minion Bureau Team #atozchallenge

Jessie Humphries said...

I have weird nightmares like that all the time. I should write one of those crazy ideas!

Nicole said...

Great interview, ladies! Congrats to Bethany - that backstory on how she came up with the idea is awesome.

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There are some interesting points in time in this article but I don’t know if I see all of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as well

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Kimberley Griffiths Little said...

Love Bethany (missed her at the last couple Storymakers!) and love her books. Great interview, you two!

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