Today we’re interviewing OneFourKidLit author A. Lynden Rolland, whose young adult paranormal OF BREAKABLE THINGS released yesterday!
About OF BREAKABLE THINGS:
A captivating debut about the fragility of life, love, and perspective.
When Chase dies tragically, Alex embraces her own mortality. What she didn’t expect was that she’d have to make a choice: forget the years of pain and suffering once and for all, or linger as a spirit and get another chance at life and love.
Alex doesn’t hesitate to choose; she’d follow Chase anywhere. But the spirit world is nothing like she expected, and Alex finds she’s forced to fight for her life once more. For even in a world where secrets are buried much deeper than six feet under, a legacy can continue to haunt you—and in a place this dangerous, no one is resting in peace.
NKT: This pitch gives me chills! What was the inspiration for OF BREAKABLE THINGS?
ALR: I can’t pinpoint one thing that inspired OF BREAKABLE THINGS, but I had an idea that wouldn’t leave me alone. I thought about how much we love things. How much we hate things. How much knowledge we gain in a lifetime. I couldn’t imagine that when the body died all of the mental energy just disappeared. So I started thinking that maybe those emotions and that intelligence could come alive into a projection of a person. Mind, body, and spirit without the body. Imagine if we could latch on to our emotions and thoughts, and then we could exist adjacent to the living.
In OF BREAKABLE THINGS, the afterworld is something the mind can manipulate. People see things they want to see, and that molds their perception. My main character can walk down the street one day and see a single building. The next day she might see five buildings, a set of stone stairs leading to nothingness, and a boat rowing through the fog. She sees what she is ready to see. If she isn’t looking for it, her mind won’t catch it.
NKT: Your main character, Alex, has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Can you explain what that is, and why you chose it for Alex?
ALR: Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is a tissue disorder. Alex has vascular EDS. Her tissues can’t properly support her organs, so they can rupture easily. Her bones break frequently, and she bruises and dislocates all the time, which is unfortunate because her best friends are boys.
I needed something unique for Alex, and I needed her to be physically as breakable as most of us are mentally. She carries her fears into death with her because her flaws are imprinted upon her personality. She’s more apprehensive and questioning than the average person. She’s been sheltered by her friends, especially Chase. He tries to hide the ugly truths of the world from Alex because he loves her and thinks she deserves the best of everything. He doesn’t realize this hinders her.
NKT: Do you have a favorite scene you can tell us a little about?
ALR: Some of my favorite scenes are the flashbacks to Alex’s childhood with the Lasalle brothers. Playing cops and robbers, ghost hunting, bonfires, mischief and mayhem. They playfully terrorize the town in a way that makes me wish I had known the Lasalle boys and Alex as a kid.
NKT: Do you have any other books in the works?
ALR: OF BREAKABLE THINGS is a series, and the sequel is underway. It’s still pretty raw, but it’s getting there, and I’m excited to share more twists and turn in the afterworld. Book 2 gets into the flaws of the world itself – politically, socially, psychedelically. The characters might be dead but they certainly are not angels.
NKT: Tell us about your book’s journey from first draft to publication. Did it undergo any major revisions?
ALR: Oh my goodness, yes. I actually didn’t set out with the intent to publish. I was an English teacher who took a leave of absence when my first son was born. I had time on my hands and a story in my mind, and I just wrote and wrote until the story was finished. It was originally 800 pages!! When I made the decision to pursue publication, I obviously had to cut more than half of it.
NKT: What books/authors have most influenced your writing?
ALR: Madeleine L’Engle, C.S. Lewis, and J. K. Rowling.
NKT: What has surprised you most about the publication process? Any words of advice for our Fearless Fifteeners?
ALR: The camaraderie. My advice is to have each other’s backs. Support each other. Promote one another. Writers are a wonderful species, and I realize how much I enjoy the company of other writers.
NKT: Great advice! And finally, as this community is fearless, we’d like to know something you’re afraid of and something you’re not afraid of.
ALR: Something I’m afraid of: Dark water. If I can’t see what’s around/below me, I’m not getting in the water.
Something I’m not afraid of: Heights… or doing flips and handstands on heights. I’m a former competitive gymnast.
Thanks so much for the interview, Amy, and congratulations on your debut!
A. Lynden Rolland was born and raised in Annapolis, Maryland, a picturesque town obsessed with boats, booze, and blue crabs. As a child she spent much of her free time compiling dramatic stories of tragic characters in a weathered notebook which she still keeps.
As a former high school English teacher, she enjoys visiting classrooms to discuss reading, writing, and publishing. When she isn’t chasing her two boys around town or arguing about sports with her husband, she moonlights as a writing tutor and gymnastics instructor.
|As a freshman at the University of Colorado, N.K. Traver decided to pursue Information Technology because classmates said “no one could make a living” with an English degree. It wasn’t too many years later she realized it didn’t matter what the job paid—nothing would ever be as fulfilling as writing. Her debut, DUPLICITY, a YA cyberthriller pitched as BREAKING BAD meets THE MATRIX, will release from Macmillan Entertainment in March 2015.