Author Interview: Lani Woodland

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 |
Lani Woodland

Books (Young Adult):
  • Intrinsical

Lani Woodland:
Lani Woodland has been an avid reader since elementary school when she first discovered the Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley Twins series. In sixth grade she began writing plays and recruiting (with force when necessary) her friends to act them out. Most of these early works were inspired by She-Ra, the epitome of girl power to her young self.

Sixteen-year-old Yara Silva has always known that ghosts walk alongside the living. Her grandma, like the other females in her family, is a Waker, someone who can see and communicate with ghosts. Yara grew up watching her grandmother taunted and scorned for this unusual ability and doesn’t want that to be her future. She has been dreading the day when she too would see ghosts, and is relieved that the usually dominant Waker gene seems to have skipped her, letting her live a normal teenage life. However, all that changes for Yara on her first day at her elite boarding school when she discovers the gene was only lying dormant. She witnesses a dark mist attack Brent, a handsome fellow student, and rushes to his rescue. Her act of heroism draws the mist’s attention, and the dark spirit begins stalking her. Yara finds herself entrenched in a sixty-year-old curse that haunts the school, threatening not only her life, but the lives of her closest friends as well. Yara soon realizes that the past she was trying to put behind her isn’t going to go quietly.

Describe yourself in 5 words or less.
Enthusiastic, dreamer, determined, mother, wife.

What's the road to publishing like?
It was like a game of Chutes and Ladders. Sometimes I was moving along the board square by square feeling pretty good, and then someone would request a partial or a full and I would feel like I had moved up a ladder. Then when I would get a rejection, it would feel like I had just slid down a chute. When the feedback was harsh, it felt like I was sent clear back to the beginning but when the suggestions were just really helpful, I went down only a few spots. It took me a steady two years of submitting and getting rejected before I sold Intrinsical.

Do you have any 'must-need's' while writing?
Chocolate. I usually seem to be eating Baby Ruth candy bars while writing. I tried healthier food but it doesn’t seem to jump start my creativity the same way. I also need to have music playing. I have my own playlist of songs that I listen to and it has to be playing softly in the background.

What's a typical writing day for you?
I don’t have a typical day. My life, especially being a mom, seems to throw up lots of obstacles that derail my plan for writing. There are some days where I get a lot done as soon as my kids go to school. On those days I meet my writing goal. Then other days the phone rings and my friend needs help or my husband needs me to run an errand or what have you and my writing goal isn’t met. Even on days like that I sit down and write as much as I can. I figure as long as I’m writing every day I’m okay.

What was the hardest aspect for Intrinsical?
The hardest part of writing Intrinsical was the revision process. I did major revisions about four times and that doesn’t mean editing. I took the story down to the foundation and studs and had to start over. Sometimes I had to stop and ask myself if a specific scene had been deleted or if it had made it back into the story.

The premise of Intrinsical seems really interesting with the ghosts, dark spirits and it's eerie-ness. How'd you come up with this?
I wason the old ocean liner, the Queen Mary when I first came up with the idea for Intrinsical. The ship is now a floating hotel and museum in Long Beach, California. The ship is rumored to be haunted and believe me, there is a creepy enough vibe there to believe it. The first class swimming pool was really the most eerie place on the ship. The air there seemed thick and it felt like there was someone there watching you. Creepy! Standing in that room was where the idea for Intrinsical was sprouted. In the first draft of my story it actually took place on the Queen Mary (but I named it the Queen Elizabeth). I realized that location was too limiting though and I changed it to Pendrell.

The cover for Intrinsical is beautiful. Did you have any in put on this?
Thank you! I was the photographer for the cover picture. Since my publisher is small I was able to have more input than most writers. I was so grateful that she allowed me the chance to shoot the cover. My publisher had final say over the image chosen. Lucky for me it was my favorite too.

What's next for you?
I just submitted two short stories for an upcoming anthology. I’m also working on a sequel to Intrinsical as well as another YA series.

Thanks for stopping by, Lani!


Mandarina said...

beautiful cover =)

RKCharron said...

Hi Mavie :)
Thank you very much for introducing me to Lani Woodland and her writing. Thanks to Lani for the great interview here. INTRINSICAL has intrigued me!
All the best,
PS - Lani is on Twitter! She's @LaniWoodland

Adriana said...

I love how she came up with the story. I've been wanting to visit the Queen Mary ship for the longest time, one of these days I'll definitely go. I'm even more excited to read Intrinsical now. Great interview! :D

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

The cover is absolutely beautiful. I have yet to read Intrinsical, but I've been wanting it for quite a while now. Thanks for the interview :D

Pisinat said...

I really like the cover, and the book sounds really good. I didn't know about the rumors about the Queen Mary... I love haunted place stories ^^

~The Book Pixie said...

Loved the comparison to Chutes and Ladders! lol. That is so awesome that she got to shoot the photograph for the image cover. As I'm sure you wouldn't be surprised to hear, if I ever get a book published, I'm insisting on photographing the cover image myself. lol. She's got a lot that she's working on right now and I'm dying to read Intrinsical! It sounds amazing and cover is awesome! :D Great interview, bestie! :D


DJ's Life in Fiction said...

Lani gives the best interviews because she goes pretty in-depth with her answers. Intrinsical is an amazing debut and the sequel is bound to be as well. :-)

ExtremeReader said...

I LOVED this book! I am hosting a blog tour of Intrinsical! If you would like to read it and be added to the tour just stop by my blog!
Great interview!!

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