Thursday, February 15, 2018

Q&A with Paige Lavoie

Paige Lavoie is a writer, comic artist and self-proclaimed queen of silly faces, with a passion for bring her characters to life with the power of storytelling (including the undead ones) Paige spends her days hiding underneath a parasol in sunny Orlando FL. and frolicking through bustling convention centers, theme parks and farmers markets with her husband and their fluffy dog named Oliver.

What inspired the idea for A Girl Called Monster?

I knew I wanted to do a "Monster" story. At first I had the idea for the main character. Her appearance and personality started to come together in my head. It took a little bit longer for the story to become clear to me. I wrote little chunks over a few years, some of the scenes where vivid dreams that I had. I’d wake up in the middle of the night and type them into google docs. I spend some time asking myself little “What If” questions. Thinking about, where the character could go, and the kind of people she’d meet along the way.

What was the process for creating the story?
A Girl Called Monster took me a long time to actually sit down and finish. I had notes for myself everywhere. Old notebooks, un-named google doc files, I wrote 35k of the first draft and then had to take a break. I got re-inspired to finish it in 2016 during Camp NaNoWriMo. I used the month to finish drafts in my unfinished manuscript pile. (this being one of them!) I cried so hard when I finally wrote the ending. Part of that journey, I documented in the nanowrimo video diary I filmed during the month which can be found over on my youtube channel.

How is this story different from the classic Frankenstein story?At it’s core “A Girl Called Monster” is a coming of age story, about self-discover and stepping away from unhealthy relationships. I was inspired by old movies like My Fair Lady. I always hated the way Henry Higgins treated Eliza and the way ended up together at the end. I remember being a kid and going on rants about it in front of the t.v. “This isn’t okay! He’s mean!” I think when you break it down they have a very Doctor/Experiment dynamic that easily transforms into a Frankenstein story. And while I think some of those feelings helped fuel my writing, the story took turns that even I as the writer didn’t expect.

At first, I thought maybe I’d write it as a romance, and realized getting towards the end that was wrong. Sometimes a "Happy Ending" means walking away from someone instead of towards them. Soon after she get’s out of the lab she’d surrounded by new friends, and slowly finds people that she can depend on. I wanted to make sure she had a chance to live life outside of the Doctor’s control. And I think the friendships and ways the supporting cast help her discover herself is one of the things that sets it apart. No spoilers, but I love the gang of hair stylists so much!

What advice would you offer to an aspiring author?
Give yourself time and permission to experiment and figure out what works for you. There are dozens of ways to sit down and start writing your novel, what works for one writer might not work with the next. Have patience, have fun, let yourself play, be creative and get to know your characters.

Are you working on any other projects currently?
What I’m most excited about is a space rom-com called “Dear Galaxy I Love You” that I hope to release in 2018! …There’s also the one about teen witches who get expelled, a teenage-mall goth who is turned into a vampire and a few more sitting in my “to-be edited” pile. 2017 has been a year of writing!

A Girl Called Monster
by Paige Lavoie
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Where she came from there were no windows. The sounds of buzzing equipment and the doctor's shouting rang through her ears daily. It was too uncomfortable to call home and too familiar not to be. Like it or not, she was an experiment.

Filled with childlike wonder and innocence, she took pleasure in stories, imagining what it would be like to live in those pages. A longing growing deep inside her.

She knew she'd never have that life... Not in the lab. Not with them studying her every move. So she decided to do something terrifying.

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