The Inkredibles, who graduated from VCFA in January 2016, have published a new anthology of classmember's work. Today we hear from the final four Inkredible authors.
Passion and Reason
Passion and Reason is a YA novel-in-verse based on the life of Ada Byron Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer.
Why did you choose to write a novel-in-verse about the same person in your picture book biography?
I thought it would be interesting to examine someone’s life from very different perspectives: picture book vs. young adult novel, prose vs. poetry, nonfiction vs. fiction. Writing for an older audience allowed me to delve into the more mature aspects of Ada Byron Lovelace’s life, like her drug addiction, gambling problems, and sexual indiscretions. Through the use of free verse instead of prose, I could better illustrate Ada’s struggles between two conflicting lifestyles: irresponsible, like her father Lord Byron, and proper, like her mother. Finally, by fictionalizing Ada’s story, I could use dialogue in scenes, which gave more insight into Ada’s character.
Margaret Turner White
Try Again Summer
After Willa’s best friend abandons her for camp, she befriends Charlie, who teaches her sign language...and helps hunt for ghosts.
What was the spark that ignited this book?
Answer: There were two sparks, actually! At my first VCFA residency, visiting author Lucy Christopher challenged us to begin a project from setting. I knew right away that I would write about the island in North Carolina where I spent summers growing up. I’d also been studying American Sign Language, and wanted to tell a story that reflected my experience of getting to know Deaf culture. Those two elements came together and eventually became Try Again Summer.
A. C. Williard
Across the Wall
Sickly Jims crosses the Wall between life and death. Should his sister Merry and bestie Tama follow him? Can they?
What do you wish you had known before you first set foot on the VCFA campus?
I wish I had known superficial things: starting in January means Yak Traks and an extra blanket are survival necessities. But I also wish I had known how amazing this place is, and how warm and open the students and faculty are. Melissa tells everyone: “You belong here” and it took me longer than it should have to really believe it.
Lucky Minus the K
Lucky Minus the K is a race-against-the-clock, supernatural mystery about a young girl’s quest to keep her horseback riding dreams alive after losing her long-time trainer.
Tell us about your writing community. Are you in a critique group? Does a family member read your early drafts?
Finding my writing community has been a process of trial and error. My critique group formed about five years ago when I stopped trying so hard to find trusted readers! I took a one-semester course at the Westport Writer’s Workshop and the group never said goodbye. In January 2014, I became part of the VCFA family and am grateful to have several “go to” trusted readers, depending on the project. My eighteen-year-old son, Billy, is my at-home reader and toughest critic. His superpower? Spotting plot holes. Like all relationships, writing relationships work when there’s mutual trust, respect, and stick-with-it-ness.
Print copies of the anthology have been sent to select editors and agents. A pdf version may be obtained by emailing Shelley.Jackson@VCFA.edu. The Inkredibles will be hosting a celebration of the anthology for editors and agents in Manhattan on July 20th, to be followed by an after-party, which is open to the VCFA and literary communities at large. Please contact Laurie.Wallmark@VCFA.edu for details on the events.