It’s Fiction Friday, and I have another author interview. I present Sally Bosco. Okay, interviewee, take it away.
About Sally Bosco:
Sally Bosco writes dark fiction for teens. She is inexplicably drawn to the Uncanny, the shades of gray between the light and dark, the area where your mind hovers as you’re falling off to sleep. She loves writing young adult fiction because she strongly relates to teenage angst, the search for self-identity and the feelings of being an outsider.
What book and/or experience made you want to be a writer?
When I was very young, in grammar school and middle school, I loved the writings of Ray Bradbury. I wanted to capture that magic, so my first stories were very bad attempts at science fiction. I’ve always loved reading, and throughout my life I’ve read widely, from D.H. Lawrence to Anais Nin to manga. My serious attempts to become a writer were inspired by Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Her books transported me to a dark world I wanted to explore further. The thing that’s improved my writing the most has been getting an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. The intensity of the studies took my writing to a whole new level.
What genre(s) do you write?
I most enjoy writing in the young adult genre. I’ve naturally been drawn to horror, not overly-violent splatter-punk type, but creepy, psychological stories. Ghost stories and anything related to Freud’s theory of the Uncanny interests me. Lately, however, I’ve been writing novels that explore gender. One is about a cross-dressing teen and the other is written from the point of view of a person of indeterminate gender.
My published novels include: AltDeath.com, the story of an Internet vampire; Shadow Cat, an adult paranormal romance written as Zoe LaPage; and most recently, The Werecat Chronicles, the story of a young girl who at first isn’t aware that she was born into a family of werecats. All are available in paperback and ebook versions. I was a contributor to Many Genres, One Craft, and I’ve had short stories published in literary magazines and anthologies, most recently the Small Bites anthology. Also, I have an MFA degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill Universityy.
Works in progress?
This is my work in progress: Written from the point of view of a person of indeterminable gender—Poisonous Garden is a love story between Palmer, an introverted artist, and the free-spirited Jackie who disappears mysteriously after their love reaches an intense peak.
This has been quite challenging and fun to write, not being able to give away any clues to the main character’s gender, especially since it’s a love story.
For other aspiring writers, any tips?
It depends on what level you’re at. If you’re first starting out, you need to find a good writers’ group or take some classes so you’re not writing in a vacuum. After that, I can’t stress enough the importance of writing every day. It’s the only way to improve. Read widely. Read books instead of watching television. When you read the works of great writers, you internalize the rhythms of their prose and you’re more likely to create beautiful, strong words yourself.
What’s your favorite book/genre to read?
I read lots of different stuff but lately I think some of the best books out there are young adult. I do have a weakness for literary novels, also, such as the work of A.S. Byatt.
What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever written?
My favorite novel I’ve ever written is Cevin's Deadly Sin, the story of Cevin, a hetero teen cross-dresser who is trying to make it through his senior year in a small Florida town. To add to his problems are a school bully, Hunt, who picks on him non-stop, an evangelical mom who thinks he’s doing "that thing the Lord despises," and a girl, Tessa, who is the only one who could possibly understand him if he could get up the nerve to tell her about his cross-dressing.
I’m still searching for an agent for this one. I think the subject matter may put people off, but it was a story I needed to tell, and I feel very close to it.
From The Werecat Chronicles:
“This can’t be real. It’s not possible.” I had the creeping realization that he’d sought me out somehow, for his own purposes. Why did he just happen to be there that night when I was being attacked in the woods? The pieces started to fall together. I stopped dead. “I hear something.”
“What do you hear?”
I tilted my head. “People.” I held out my hand, touching the air. “And I feel heat, too.” I looked at his classic features in the moonlight. His profile could have been that of a Renaissance statue. The sheer beauty of him, the strangeness of the situation, made the surreal seem possible.
The scent of burning pine filled my head.
We walked a little further, and soon I saw a bonfire with figures milling around it and smelled the wood-singed scent that reminded me of fireplaces on a crisp winter day.
“Is this the rave?” I asked, knowing full well it was not. “I can make out Molly and Cristen. Josh.”
“No, this isn’t a rave. Tonight this is just for you. It’s you’re werecat birthday, and we’re going to help you change.”
The Werecat Chronicles cover was designed by Lynne Hansen.
Want more from Sally? Says she….