Today, we have a Q&A with S.E. Grove, the author of The Glass Sentence and The Golden Specific. She shares thoughts on writing her sophomore novel, world-building and more!
MMGM is a feature hosted by (fabulous) author Shannon Messenger on her blog every week!
A Q&A with S.E. Grove
Author of The Golden Specific
July 2015, Viking BFYR
Hi S.E.! You know that we’ve been fans of The Glass Sentence from the moment that I first came across the Publisher’s Weekly announcement for the book, so this is a huge honor for us!
Q: So first things first: A challenge for you! Could you tell us about The Golden Specific in ten words or less?
Q: I’ve often heard that a sophomore book can be the most challenging for a writer, because they have to concurrently reintroduce readers to the world that they’ve built in the first book, while also advancing the action for whatever is to come.
What were some of the challenges – both positive and negative – that you experienced while writing The Golden Specific? And did you have a specific plan for how you would tackle those challenges going in?
Q: On a related note, The Glass Sentence had some of the most spectacular world-building that I’ve seen in children’s literature in quite some time. Could you talk a little both about how you’ve conceived some of the ideas in the books – e.g. the different types of maps – and how you used those ideas to build onto the bigger world?
Wouldn’t you love to be able to really know how someone experienced the past? To step into their shoes and see their memories made animate? This book was written as a kind of personal fantasy, because for a long time I didn’t have plans to publish it – the idea was to immerse myself in these worlds that I couldn’t go to in real life!
Q: As someone who has now been lucky enough to read both books, I can say that Sophia does experience a fantastic number of life lessons throughout the course of both books, including the idea that she can stand up for herself against unimaginable challenges.
What’s one theme or idea that you hope that readers will come away with while reading? And why is that idea or theme important to you?
Another theme I’m attached to, more at the big-picture level, has to do with tolerance and intolerance. As you know, New Occident is making choices that reflect intolerance, and I hope that readers of these books will be prompted to think about what it means to live in a place that views difference as threatenin