Monday, July 26, 2010

GRAFFITI WALL: Riv Re (pen name) an On the Horizon Writer

It's my pleasure to introduce a young, feisty go-getter with a passion for writing. She also loves helping others--like me. She'll be a new beta for me soon. I'd like to thank her for giving the GRAFFITI WALL some more teenage splats!!

 Riv Re, a YA teen writer

Being a younger teen, what do you find most intriguing in a young adult novel: romance, adventure, life-lessons?

I'm not a major romance fan, especially love triangles. They get on my nerves. (Because I feel so bad for the girl who has to pick between two people/vampires/werewolves that love her.) Life lessons hold no interest either. I'm all about the adventure. That's why fantasy is my love. Of course, as any love-lacking teen, I am interested in romance. That's why I've lately started looking at Harlequin teen; adventure with romance at the sidelines. If I had to choose, I'd take action over love any day.

What about teens in general. What do you think is most intriguing to them?

As a Blogspot lover, I've seen many different teens interested in different things. If all teens were forced to choose action or romance I think a slightly larger percent would take romance. But for many, a mix is important. Maybe around a quarter of teens are also interested in a deep book, that makes you think a lot.

We met on Inkwell, a writing community, where you belong to the Teen Group with Graffiti Wall ALUMNI, Jacob Milhouse. How has that helped your writing? 

Well, Inkwell introduced me to many wonderful writers, to start with. I've collected some useful tips there, and gotten critiques on some of my work. I've also hooked up with some great bloggers and possibly an editor.

Would you recommend writing communities to other teenage writers?

Yes, I would. Definitely. Besides for picking up tips and people, communities sympathize when you're in the Denial Stage and will always be there when you feel alone. It's a comfort.

Do you have a critique partner? How does that work for you?

Well, I sort of do. We have both been very busy and haven't spoken much, but I have picked up some useful tips from her. I also have a fellow teen writer that I met on Agent Query Connect that I chat with on iGoogle every now and then.

What strengths do you feel, as younger writers, you bring to the publishing table?

A fresh and knowledgeable voice. We know exactly what we're talking about. Adults may say that teenagers are not intelligent, but we can give you the teen voice better than any adult. We are the teen voice. As for freshness, we're young, innocent, and new. We read YA and we are YA. It's all crystal clear and fresh to us.

During our pre-interview, you mentioned Harry Potter over Twilight. Why? Is it the setting, storyline, characters, writing, etc..?

*laughs* I don't dislike Twilight, I just don't love it. It's multiple things. I mentioned before that I dislike books in which the main character has to choose between two loves, for starters. And, the characters aren't likeable. Edward is controlling, Bella is helpless, Jacob can be forceful and selfish. The writing, in my opinion, was okay. Not incredible, but okay. What I did like about the writing was one of the ideas of Jake. I mentioned this on Fantasy Fanatic, when I reviews the Twilight saga, but I like the way Stephenie channeled all her humor into one character, keeping the book serious and light at the same time. It was a definite page-turner. I read both series around the same time, and I liked HP better. It didn't have creepy imprints, and was very original with a very active plot and no girls pining over their boyfriends for almost a year.

Where do you write? What inspires such a young person to write?

I write almost anywhere; when in school I'll write if I'm bored (it looks like notes!), or now that it's summer and I'm working in a day-camp, I write sometimes when I have free time. I used to write at night in bed, but my notebook is very tattered, and I write almost daily on Microsoft Word.

Why I write. Ah, what a question. I get asked it every now and then by friends. It's several things. I'm able to write as a genetic thing; my mother wrote very well, as does my sister. The idea for Eberheardt, my main WIP, came to me in pencils and a dream, but that's a story for another time. Eberheardt entered my head, and I decided to write it. Writing is something I've loved for several years. It puts me in charge, it lets me express myself. A friend of mine and I agree that, another aspect of writing, is you can put bits and pieces of yourself in different characters, and no one will ever know.

Are there any topics in YA that you believe should be avoided? If so, what and why?

Hmm; this question is a bit difficult. Although I mentioned depth before, I think that teens don't want to spend a whole book being a deep thinker. Nor do we like plot-driven books. I've recently read several plot-driven books, including Percy Jackson which I am halfway through (and have been halfway through for a while), and they get on my nerves. We notice when an author runs out of stuff for the character to do and makes something happen. A friend recently suggested an earthquake for a scene in Eberheardt, and I refused straightaway. I do my best to keep it all character-driven.

What would you like to see more of in the young adult genre? Less of?

I'd love to see more unique fantasy. I finished an ARC of Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel a very short time ago, and I'm still wowed by how you unique and individual it is. I think YA needs more of such raw emotion. Also on raw emotions, I find that the Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater is full of it. I recently reread the ending of an ARC of Linger, and was wowed again by the prose of the ending. YA needs more emotion like this.

I think we need less vampires. The vampire craze is slowly lessening, and I think it's time for something else. Kersten Hamilton wrote about goblins, another bit of originality. Vampires are over. Let's bring something else to the paranormal table.

As I suspected, Riv Re you've put a magical spin on the teen perspective of YA literature. You've given us a ton to ponder and I'm sure to blog about. Thank you for signing my Graffiti wall.

Feel free to visit Riv Re on her Blog, Write Here, and Inkpop.

A Splat Alert!! Um...keep me in your thoughts this morning. After my rowdy weekend with 3 lovely ladies from my past tranquil getaway (results to be shared in a later post), I'm off with child #3 for her dreaded dental impressions--the prelude to her braces. Yikes. And...take a gander over to Carol's Prints. She's having a massive ARC giveaway!!


  1. Great interview. I'm reading Shiver now, so I'll be paying attention to the "raw emotions", since that's one of my writing weaknessess.

  2. Great interview Riv. It's so interesting to hear your perspective on what you and other teens want in books. I totally love fantasy too. Wish I would have started writing as a teen like you. Good luck.

  3. Hi, Riv Re!
    I've seen your name on Teen Fire. Glad to get to know you better! I love hearing your perspective on current teen fiction trends. It sounds like you think outside the box, and I like that!

  4. Great interview! :o) And good luck at the dentist!

  5. Yay Riv!!! Fantastic interview! Good luck to child #3:/

  6. It was great to get a teen's perspective. Thanks!

  7. Great interview! I used to write in school and pretend I was taking notes, too :) And I love the raw emotion in Maggie Stiefvater's books: you're right that there needs to be more of that in YA literature.

  8. I squeed a little when I saw the title of this post. Thanks for all the awesome comments. Good luck with your kid, Sheri!

  9. great interview Sheri and Riv; it's always nice to get the perspective of someone living YA and opposed to those of us who are writing from memory :) and keep writing, Riv.

  10. Thanks again, Riv Re. It's been my pleasure to work with you. You're a real sweetie and go-getter. I love how genuine you are. ((hugs))

    Thanks, Marcy.

  11. You guys! What an awesome interview! I totally agree with the whole Twilight character thing!


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