The gamblers at the Red Fields call Avery Faro a Monster. I call him my cousin. I know about his secret weapon though, the thing that wins him all those fights. Avery can’t feel anything, not pain, and not love. We aren’t even that close, third cousins, really. But, somewhere along the way, we became closer than that… far too close. Now I think that he’s lost it completely. He’s jealous. He’s possessive. He’s hiding something from me. He calls me his Laurel, only his. But I know there are secrets at the Red Fields. By day, Avery is just a regular schoolboy. By night, he morphs into an underground fighter. How can I save Avery from himself?
How do you defeat somebody who doesn’t even feel?
- It took me a year to find my publisher Clean Reads. My writing journey had its ups and downs. There was some frustration, some sadness, and a whole lot of motivation from myself and from those around me. To find publishers, I basically sat down and did my research into the publishing industry. I scoured blogs, vlogs, top ten lists, and writing sites. The Internet was a huge resource in publication because so much of publishing these days is related to the online market and the social media generation. It was a great experience though with an ultimate goal.
You’ve had two more books published since your first release. What does your writing routine look like, and how are you able to write so quickly?
- I force myself to write every day. I drink coffee early in the morning and sometimes I write late into the night. I try to keep a healthy sleep schedule, but sometimes I just have to write something down and I wake up all over again. I write quickly though because I believe in every project I'm working on. And if I don't believe in it, I set it aside and look at it later with fresh eyes.
Is being an author everything you’ve dreamt it would be? Why or why not?
- Yes and no. Yes because I'm writing and doing what I love. I'm meeting people who inspire me and people who are able to take something from my work. It isn't like a dream though because it is still real life. It's still me and I'm still the same person, but I'm also an author now too, which is a giant part of my identity.
What advice would you give to aspiring teen authors?
- For the publishing industry, sit down and treat it like a school research project. Use writing books from local libraries. Give yourself homework and write every day. Go online and research as many resources for writing as possible such as writing forums, publishing houses, and agents if you so desire.
From the writing perspective, find your voice. Don't get a giant thesaurus just because you feel the need to use big words. Sometimes the best writing comes naturally. The only voice in the world like yours IS YOU. Use that as an asset because you will always have something to say.
What’s next in your writing career? Should readers expect more books from you in the future?
- I write every day so I do have a couple projects burning up my laptop. I finished / am close to finishing the final book in my Imepetus Rising series, so that's always good! I love writing about magic because there's something about imagination that calls to me. It helps you escape reality, but it also helps anchor you to who you are in the inside. We could all use a little bit of magic sometimes, and writing is mine.
Sophia Whittemore is a Dartmouth student and multiracial author with an Indonesian mother and a Minnesotan father. She has had book signings at Barnes & Noble for her Impetus Rising Series, available on Amazon and other outlets, the first book published when she was only seventeen. She has been featured as a Standout in the Daily Herald and a Rad Reads author in Girls’ Life Magazine. Her love for the English language manifested itself in eighth grade when she went to the Scripps National Spelling Bee and has continued with other languages such as Spanish and Indonesian. Her prior publications include “A Clock’s Work” in a Handersen Publishing magazine, “Blind Man’s Bluff” in Parallel Ink, and winning multiple awards in the Best Midwestern Writing competition for high school writers. She currently resides in Chicago, Illinois with her family and food-loving mini schnauzer called Tiger. Drawing on inspiration from her two cultural backgrounds, Sophia lives a life playing tennis, traveling, and writing about her dual life experiences through other characters in her works or on her blog.