Friday, January 17, 2020

Interview With Rebecca Mahoney, author of The Valley and the Flood!

Today on the blog I'm pleased to present an interview with Rebecca Mahoney, author of The Valley and the Flood, which releases this year!

Here's the interview!

The bold font are the questions I asked, the regular font are her answers, and the bold italic font are my comments about her answers.

Would you please describe your book, The Valley and the Flood, in seven words?
The Odyssey by way of Twin Peaks!

What was the inspiration for this book?
That is such a tricky question for me, because so much of what this book meant to me to write is difficult to describe. It was in my head in a couple different forms for years, always with the same opening scene, in which my protagonist Rose, while in her broken-down car in the middle of the desert, hears a local radio station playing the voicemail her best friend left her hours before her death. But it didn't come together fully until I decided to structure the story as a loose remix of The Odyssey, focused around Rose's struggle to coexist with her PTSD. Trauma's effect on your body, memory, and way of thinking is so difficult to describe. Even when you find the words, sometimes your mind inherently encourages you to keep your mouth shut as a way to protect yourself. Using The Odyssey as an anchor gave me a way to untangle a very non-linear process into a story: a long journey home full of gods and monsters, not all of whom are as frightening as you think.

Random Question! What’s your favorite food?
This is almost as hard as describing the book!! There's just so much food I love. Could I just say potatoes? Fried potatoes, mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes, potatoes in Japanese curry... mmmmmmm.

Reading this is making me want to go eat some french fries! :)

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
It took me a decade to get published - though if we're counting from the first manuscript I ever wrote, it's closer to 15 years. If I tried to tally up all the people I spoke to, close calls I had, and setbacks I encountered, this answer would get pretty long. Your experience and timeline may not be like mine, because publishing is unpredictable that way. But I think the one thing that holds true, no matter what, is that the only thing you can control in this industry is how many chances you give yourself to succeed. The more you write and the more you submit, the better chance you have of finding the people who are going to love your voice and want to be on your team. And sometimes those are the same people who said 'no' to you last time. Almost everyone I've ever worked with has rejected me at least once!

Good advice! :)

What are some books you’re looking forward to reading in 2020? And if you’ve already read some ‘20 books, would you like to mention them?
OH MAN. Well, first I'd like to shout out my fellow Razorbill 2020s, the best cohort I could ask for: among those, I've been lucky enough to get an early read of Rebelwing by Andrea Tang and Layoverland by Gabby Noone, both of which I ADORED, and I can't wait to snag the rest. As for what I'm looking forward to? Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin, You Should See Me In a Crown by Leah Johnson, Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas, The Silence of Bones by June Hur, Ghost Wood Song by Erica Waters... I'm going to stop before I spend the entire day just naming books!

There are so many good sounding books releasing in 2020! :)

Thank you to Rebecca Mahoney for letting me interview her, and for participating in this event! :)

Here are a few links:

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