We are excited to welcome the wonderful Anne Osterlund today. Her first contemporary novel Salvation (a novel we are very excited to read and currently have on pre-order) will be coming out this coming Thursday, January 10th.
A smart, unexpected romance from an award-winning author.
Salvador Resendez--Salva to his friends--appears to have it all. His Mexican immigrant family has high expectations, and Salva intends to fulfill them. He's student body president, quarterback of the football team, and has a near-perfect GPA. Everyone loves him.
Especially Beth Courant, AKA the walking disaster area. Dreamy and shy, Beth is used to blending into the background. But she's also smart, and she has serious plans for her future.
Popular guy and bookish girl--the two have almost nothing in common. Until fate throws them together and the attraction is irresistible. Soon Beth is pushing Salva to set his sights higher than ever--because she knows he has more to offer, more than even he realizes.
Then tragedy strikes--and threatens to destroy everything that Salva has worked for. Will Beth's love be enough to save him?
Thank you, Michelle. My characters—Salva and Beth—and I are thrilled to be here. It means a lot to be able to share our excitement about Salvation. This novel is very close to our hearts.
How is Salvation (besides it being a contemporary novel) different from your earlier novels?
Salvation is the story of Salvador Resendez, a brilliant young man who hovers just beyond the center of the spotlight. He is student council president, quarterback of the football team, and has a near perfect GPA. His Mexican immigrant family has high expectations and Salva intends to fulfill them. But instead of embracing his ability to lead, he allows his friends to direct his inner compass.
Until he collides with Beth Courant, AKA the walking disaster area. And all manner of chaos erupts.
Was it harder to write about Salva and Beth than it was writing about your earlier characters in your previous three novels, Academy 7, Aurelia, and Exile?
This is the first book I have written in which the guy’s story defines the action. It required a great deal of tossing and catching of objects: footballs, oranges, keys. Ultimately, though, the challenge remained the same. Digging as deeply into the character’s head—and heart—as possible, and allowing the reader to see the world from that character’s perspective.
Both Salva and Beth had a lot to say—a lot they needed to say. We really didn’t hit any major obstacles until Salva refused to go home.
At which point the second draft slammed to a halt. Fortunately, Beth was on my side, or I’m not sure we would ever have reached the end.
Please describe your writing process, from being hit by an idea to turning in the final draft to your publisher.
1. Meet the characters.
2. Tackle the first draft. http://www.anneosterlund.blogspot.com/2011/01/art-of-first-draft.html
3. Revise. This requires everything from. . .
a. Tasting research http://www.anneosterlund.blogspot.com/2010/07/blueberry-lemonade-taste-of-research.html
b. To battling with your main character http://www.anneosterlund.blogspot.com/2010/07/disobedient-characters.html
c. To listening to The VOICE.
4. Edit. http://www.anneosterlund.blogspot.com/2011/07/throwing-up-and-climbing-down-fire.html
5. Copyedit. (In which I become a very odd, anal person who can argue about the placement of a comma).
6. And CELEBRATE! Often via wild and wacky blog posts.
I read your blog and you often talk to your characters. Do your "old" characters like Aerin or Aurelia still talk to you (or you talk to them) even though you are now focused on new characters?
Oh, they all talk! Aurelia is currently bursting with opinions about every single one of your questions. Her third—and final—novel, Redemption, is only two chapters away from a completed second draft and she absolutely wants to tell the world about it. But she’s biting her tongue and being remarkably well-behaved because she knows this is Salva and Beth’s moment.
Being a teacher, do you often draw inspiration from your students?
Constantly. In the past year, I have been introduced to hundreds of student-created characters: a girl with cancer who wants to play baseball, a blind young man who wishes to enlist in the army, a pickle that wants to be a cucumber, and a Popsicle stick that longs to be a tongue depressor! Kids are brilliant, especially if they have the freedom to create and share their own ideas.
Is it hard being a teacher and a writer?
Imagine juggling four hundred kumquats and scaling Mount Everest.
Please share your favorite line in Salvation.
I can’t. It’s a major reveal. I could tell you, but then I’d have to ship you to a deep dark hole beyond the range of the internet where you could never blog again. I can offer you a sneak peak at the prologue and tell you the first line:
“So you gonna ask her out?” came the inevitable question.
*****You all are probably dying to read Salvation, right? We certainly are!
Thanks to Anne we have a bunch of signed swag to giveaway, including Salvation bookmarks and postcards as well as other postcards featuring Anne's previous books Academy 7, Aurelia, and Exile. We will choose 2 winners. Open to international readers. Ends January 31st. Just fill out the form below.