Greetings! Today I am participating in the blog tour for Underground by Ashley Bogner. Underground, book two in the Reintegration trilogy, released today! Go buy your copy in ebook or paperback. Tomorrow I will be posting my review of it, so stay tuned. 🙂
Katherine Holliday has left behind her life in the Federation. She is ready to start a new one with Matthew and the Intolerants. But it isn’t long before the Underground leaders send her on a mission that takes her back to the Federation. Katherine finds herself in City 1, with the help of new and unexpected allies, in an attempt to locate information that could help the Underground escape the Council’s battle plan called Project Endgame.
But the Federation has changed and the Council is more desperate than ever. While back in the Federation, Katherine uncovers a tangled web of deception and manipulation. Haynes isn’t the only one with secrets, and the question of who to trust becomes harder to answer.
Was writing a sequel more or less difficult than the first book?
Writing Underground was actually much more difficult to write than the first book! Reintegration was, out of everything I’ve ever written, the easiest story to put together. Underground was by far the hardest. I really struggled with making my outline work this time around, and Underground went through quite a few drafts. Writing Underground also fell during one of the busiest seasons of life for me, hence why I’m publishing it a whole year later than expected.
What was the most important thing you learned while writing this book?
Sequels are hard. Period. The end. 🙂
On a more serious note, probably the most important thing I learned while writing Underground is the importance of writing for the fun of it (similar to my answer below). I wrote Reintegration because I was excited by the story and I loved working on it. I admit that for the longest time, I was motived to write Underground by the pressure of publishing it. The story didn’t click for me until I took a break and came back with a better idea of how I wanted to tell the story—and tell it in a way I was excited about again.
How do you stay motivated to write?
I think the best way to stay motivated to write is by remembering why I’m writing—because I enjoy it and to glorify God. Sometimes when I get burnt out, I move on to a new project that I’m more excited about. Or I (try to) stop focusing on goals and deadlines. Or I’ll just spend time reading for fun. Anything that helps me rediscover how fun telling stories is!
What is your favorite writing music (if any) and why?
I actually can’t listen to music while I write. I love music and end up focusing more on that than I do on putting words on the page. 🙂
How do you develop your characters?
Character development and theme are closely linked for me when I’m planning a story. With Reintegration and Underground, I developed each character by having them represent different perspectives on the theme(s).
Katherine, specifically, is very much based on myself. She asks a lot of questions that I myself would ask if I were in her shoes. I like to create protagonists who are authentic by asking hard questions and acting in a way real people act. Then the rest of the cast play off of my protagonist, creating thematic conflict.
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
I really hope readers take away the theme that our ideas and actions have consequences. Reintegration ends with A Big Reveal, and Underground explores how that big reveal affects the world of the Federation and the Outlands.
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I loved reading Ashley’s answers! Check out her blog here if you want to know more about her and her books… because who wouldn’t? =D And check back in tomorrow for my review of Underground.
Have a beautiful day!