The original idea of The Cure series actually came from a news story from the UK, about a man who had been through a severe physical trauma and as a result believed he was transforming into a werewolf each month. It got me to thinking about how powerful the mind is, and about that idea of transforming but not, about how that might affect your life. It seemed sort of monstrous, this metamorphosis, whilst also being completely psychological – and the powerlessness you might feel whilst undergoing it would naturally make you pretty damn angry. That was how I came up with my protagonist Josi. Then I started thinking about the kind of world that would further isolate Josi because of this anger and monstrousness, and it seemed like a very controlled, regulated world – maybe one in which no one else could feel the way she did? Specifically, that they had no ability to feel anger. After that I always saw her as the last woman in the world, a sort of lone figure in the post-apocalypse of emotions, and thus the dystopian future world of The Cure was born. Sorry – that was a very long-winded answer.
Tell us about your writing journey/how you got published?
I started writing when I was about thirteen or fourteen, working on a fantasy novel for other kids my age. When I was seventeen I finished the book and sent it out to a couple of publishers, and one of them picked it up, which was really lucky. I then published the first two in that series, but by that point I was older, I was studying screenwriting and had moved on to wanting to write for adults. I had several new novels, two of which turned out to be the first in two different series. It helped that I’d been published before, and had a literary agent to get me in the door with the adult novels. ‘Avery’ got picked up by Random House, and Fury got picked up by Momentum, both in the same year. I’ve been working on the two series for a few years now, and am coming to the ends of them, so it will soon be time to come up with something completely new.
What is your writing routine?
I’m a night owl, so I do my best work late at night when the house is quiet and everyone else is asleep, I put on some moody music and get to it. During the day I tend to do other things to stimulate and inspire me, before I get settled in to write.
Share a writing quote/motto about writing.
This is one I try to live by:
“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”
– Robert Frost
And this is one I find useful to remember, particularly in the rather snobbish literary world that seems filled with people who turn their nose up at fantasy and try to make you feel childish for writing it:
“Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.”
– Lloyd Alexander
What is the one piece of advice about writing that has stuck with you?
Don’t be too precious, and remove your ego from the work – developing and editing something is a process, and if you get too precious about it, or take offense when your work is critiqued, then you’re setting yourself up for a world of angst. Your writing needs to be deeply meaningful to you, but there’s always a point when it stops being about you and starts being about the story itself, about the characters, about the editors, and about the relationship readers have with the work.
What are you reading at the moment or what’s the last book you read and what did you like/not like?
I just finished reading Golden Son by Pierce Brown, which is the sequel to red Rising. It’s a fantastic series, really well written with an insightful, engaging protagonist you can really feel for. It also has space ships, gravity boots, some crazy whip-fighting, and a gorgeous love story.
Melancholy: Book Two of the Cure blurb
Josephine is at last free of the blood moon. But in a desperate rush to find help for a comatose Luke, she discovers the strange and dangerous world of the resistance, and it is unlike any world Josi has known.
In the west they believe in fury – they cultivate and encourage it. The unruly people of the resistance know that to survive means to fight. But can they fight the inevitable cure for sadness that rushes steadily closer?
In the action-packed sequel to Fury, everything Josi believes about herself will be challenged. Haunted by atrocities and betrayals, she must find the strength to trust again, and decide how far she is willing to go to fight the inevitable.
At times both brutal and sweet, Melancholy is the story of second chances and finding love in a ruined world.
Purchase Links: http://momentumbooks.com.au/books/melancholy-episode-1/
About Charlotte McConaghy