Suzy Vadori - A Mystery-laced Read Filled With Magic and Romance
Suzy Vadori is an Operations Executive by day, writer by night. The Fountain Series is her debut series for young adults and is published by Evil Alter Ego Press. Book 1 in the series, The Fountain, has been shortlisted for a 2016 Aurora Award for Best Young Adult Novel. Book 2, The West Woods, releases September 22, 2017 and has already been awarded a 5-Star seal from Readers’ Favorite. Suzy is an involved member of the Calgary writers' community, serving as the Program Manager of Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction for When Words Collide (WWC) since 2013. WWC is a festival for readers and writers held in Calgary each August. She lives with her husband and three kids in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. As our Author of the Day, she tells us all about her book, Wall of Wishes.
Please give us a short introduction to what Wall of Wishes is about.
Wall of Wishes is Book 3 in The Fountain Series.
Hidden deep in the woods is a fountain that has granted St. Augustus students' wishes for nearly a century, including the wish responsible for Ava's very existence. When she learns that the woods will soon be destroyed to make way for a new road, Ava must do whatever it takes to save the fountain, or risk her own life being erased. New girl Courtney knows more about the school's magic than she's letting on and has something to gain from the fountain's destruction. Joining forces with Courtney seems the only way to stop the road, but Ava and Courtney share a thorny past. Trusting her is impossible, but if she doesn't, Ava could disappear forever.
What inspired you to write about a regular teen who turns to magic to help her achieve her goals?
I started thinking about writing The Fountain Series when I became a parent. Of course, I want to give my kids everything they ever want in life, but there are unintended consequences to that. I didn’t want to raise spoiled kids! But, the idea for the series was born. So, what if a well-intending founder of St. Augustus, the boarding school where The Fountain Series is set, gave the kids a fountain that would grant them each a wish? What would they wish for, and what would the consequences be? The chaos they create was the inspiration for this series and it was so much fun to help the characters grapple with the fallout from their decisions in each book.
Why do you write Young Adult Fantasy Fiction? What appeals to you about this audience and genre?
Young Adult has such a wide range of readers, from tweens to adult, which is exciting. I wanted to write books that I could share with my kids and my community, and I fell in love with the fast pace and amazing character growth in the genre.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I was a business executive for 20 years before quitting my job to write full time, so I’m fascinated with the business end of being a writer, and I love helping writers figure out how to build their creative careers, making a living by doing what they love.
You also do book coaching - please tell us more about this service.
I became a Book Coach because so many writers I edited for asked if I’d work with them on an ongoing basis. I am so privileged to get to help writers bring their books to life. A book coach is much like having a personal trainer for your writing life. I provide accountability to writers to get their projects finished, teach high-level writing techniques along the way, edit and give feedback in real-time as the book is being written, and I’m a terrific cheerleader and shoulder to lean on along the way, because writing a book has its ups and downs.
What, would you say, is the most challenging aspect of being an author?
For me, I became a writer because I love to write. But there’s so much more to learn and do once your books are published, like promotions, marketing, and interacting with readers. It’s a challenge to juggle everything with getting new writing done as well, but a challenge I’m up for!
Why do new writers require a book coach?
I wouldn’t say a book coach is required, but writers at any stage can benefit from having a book coach, not just new writers. Writing is a conversation between a writer and the readers of their book. Getting real-time feedback from a trained eye along the way pushes a writer to write the best book possible, in many cases getting there faster, too.
Where do you see publishing going in the future?
The publishing industry is changing so fast, no one writer can keep up with it all. That’s why communities online and locally are becoming so important, to share information and lift each other up to get as many stories out into the world as possible. I think authors are going to have lots of choice in the future, and be more and more involved in the publishing process, finding unique ways and formats to share their stories.
What is the best writing advice you've ever received?
I appreciate so much the editors I worked with on early drafts of The Fountain, who told me it wasn’t ready yet. It was tough at the time, but I put in the work and learned the craft I needed for that book to go on and win awards, several years later. Thank goodness I didn’t give up and publish those early drafts. I think too many of us are impatient with the time it takes to write something that really moves readers. It’s not enough to have an interesting plot. Great books are written in a way that lights up readers’ brains, and that’s a skill that takes practice. It’s one of the reasons I’m obsessed with helping and teaching writers, and so happy to give back because I’m so grateful to those who took the time to help me.
Readers say Wall of Wishes has a fast-paced plot. How did you pull this off?
Fast pacing is one of the signature markers of the Young Adult genre, and it’s tons of fun to throw obstacles in my characters’ way. I love making life hard for them, so the reader is always on edge. The characters have to grow and change to overcome their challenges.
Which of your characters was the most challenging to create?
In Book 1 of the series, The Fountain, Courtney gets wished away, and she really deserves it in that book. In the next two books, you find out why she was doing the things she did, hint – she was affected by the magic of the school – but it was tough to make her likable after all the horrible things she did in Book 1. Readers began to understand her and root for her, but I’m not sure they ever really forgave her, so that was a challenge!
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
I hate being constrained by a desk when I’m writing. I love busy coffee shops, my couch with the TV on, or outside somewhere. I binge-write, so I’ll write several days in a row, all day, but then I turn my attention back to my clients’ writing projects and supporting others.
What are you working on right now?
I am currently working on revisions to the first novel in a new Young Adult Fantasy series, and I hope to have news about it soon!
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
I love hearing from readers and writers, and you can reach out on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter @suzyvadori. Writers can also get my Inspired Writing News, which gives weekly advice on building a writing life you LOVE. https://suzy-vadori-42d1.mykajabi.com/opt-in