I started writing stories when I was seven. I could only carve out time for poems and essays in my twenties and my Decade of Giving Birth, but I switched back to fiction about five years ago.
What inspired you to write your first published book?
I’ve always loved the idea of invisibility—Bilbo’s and Frodo’s ring, Harry’s cloak, and some character I can’t remember from the extended Oz series. Rippler came about after I had this clear image in my head of a girl beside a river who disappeared and didn’t realize it.
When you first started writing Rippler, did you plan for it to be a series?
Not right away. At first, I just wanted answers to “Why did this girl turn invisible?” and “Why didn’t she notice that she turned invisible?” But as I answered these questions (by writing the book), I realized that there would be more than one book, especially after the creepy back story with experiments emerged.
Which of your characters do you relate to most and why?
Oh, this is such a boring answer! I relate mostly to Sylvia, who is the step-mom of the main character. I’m a mom. What can I say?
What is a secret about Samantha that nobody else knows?
For three months after Will passed her a pink-speckled rock in Yosemite, (because it was interesting-looking,) she kept it in her pocket at all times.
If your real life as a teenager was a Young Adult book, what would you, the main character, be like?
Nose-in-a-book, consuming endless coffee/chocolate-combo drinks, worrying if I was weird, and carrying a sword. Because anyone with a sword is automatically cool.
What book have you read too many times to count?
Lord of the Rings, by JRR Tolkien; Persuasion, by Jane Austen; The Horse and His Boy, by CS Lewis.
What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
Put your butt in the chair and write. (B-I-C.) Also, write the story you want to read.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That the state of California (among others) sterilized tens of thousands of individuals without their consent in the mid-twentieth century over a course of five decades.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Read, of course! I also like to cook and go for tea with friends. And I seriously love to travel.
Are any of the things in your books based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Pretty much all imagination, with one notable exception. In Rippler, I knew that I wanted to include a location I had hiked to when I was a kid (Illilouette Creek.) I actually ended up making a trip to Yosemite just to re-visit that area. It was a good thing I did, because the trail that I remembered as a shady hike had been transformed by a forest fire. I had to completely rewrite the section describing the trail.
Thanks so much, everyone, for the chance to stop by and visit today! Come say hi
Thank you for taking the time to visit with us!
To learn more about Cidney Swanson and her books visit her blog or check her out on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
You can also see this interview on Examiner
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