Please tell our readers what to expect on Ultraviolet?
It's a psychological thriller with paranormal and SF elements -- the story of a teenaged girl with extraordinary sensory abilities, who ends up in psychiatric hospital after confessing to the murder of a schoolmate. She meets an attractive young researcher who believes in her sanity and her innocence -- but can she trust him? Can she even trust herself?
I finished reading it last month, it kept me guessing until the term of what she has was explained. I even researched it to see if it even exists, so I was fascinated when it does. I am curious, how did you come up with the idea of using that in Ultraviolet?
Synesthesia has fascinated me ever since I first heard about it twenty years ago. Back then it was little known, and quite a few scientists were still skeptical -- but a lot of terrific scientific research and case studies have been done in recent years, so it's becoming better understood. To me the idea of having cross-wired senses and being able to taste words or see music is endlessly fascinating -- but I don't have synesthesia myself, so I decided to explore the idea through Alison.
What is the most rewarding experience in writing Ultraviolet?
When I wrote the book I did it for the sheer love of the ideas and characters involved, without any real assurance that anybody else would care about the book as much as I did. I knew it was a strange, genre-bending story that didn't fit into any of the usual promotional boxes, and deep down I feared that meant it might never sell. But when I showed it to my agent he fell head over heels with it, and my UK and US editors loved it too. And since then I've been thrilled to discover how many readers love the book and appreciate what I was trying to do with it as well.
What was the most challenging part?
The writing process for Ultraviolet was incredibly difficult, because it took me three years to figure out how to tell Alison's story. I had the story all worked out, but for some reason it just wasn't hanging together properly and I couldn't seem to finish the book. I spent about a year and a half rewriting the first eight chapters over and over until I realized where I'd gone wrong, and even after that I had to do two thorough revisions with the help of my critique group and editors before I felt like I'd finally fixed all the problems. I'm very satisfied with it now, though.
At first I was not sure I am going to like Alison, but towards the ending I saw her potential and courage. What can we expect of her on the coming book(s)?
I believe we will see her again in the forthcoming companion novel, but in what situation or what state, I couldn't tell you at this point. That'll have to wait until I've written it!
Ultraviolet also explores the “other dimension”, have you always wanted to write something about it or does this came into realization recently?
I am an unabashed science fiction geek, who grew up watching all kinds of shows and movies about strange phenomena and scientific concepts. So those things came into Ultraviolet very naturally for me. I'll always be a fantasy and SF author at heart -- I don't think I could write a straight contemporary if I tried.
Please tell our readers about your other books.
What is your favorite book/author of all time?
There were a lot of authors whose books I loved as a child, but I keep coming back to the Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. I still re-read all seven of the books every couple of years, and I find new things to enjoy and think about every time.
Would you say that this book inspired your writing?
The Narnia books definitely inspired me to make up my own fantastic stories of adventure, and Lewis's essays about writing gave me confidence in doing so. I'd say there are some philosophical similarities as well, though I don't agree with all of Lewis's views to be sure!
ABOUT R.J Anderson:
Rebecca was born in Uganda, raised in Ontario, went to school in New Jersey, and has spent much of her life dreaming of other worlds entirely.
As a child she immersed herself in fairy tales, mythology, and the works of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and E. Nesbit; later she discovered more contemporary authors like Ursula LeGuin, Patricia A. McKillip and Robin McKinley, and learned to take as much pleasure from their language as the stories they told.
Now married and a mother of three, Rebecca reads to her sons the classic works of fantasy and science fiction that enlivened her own childhood, and tries to bring a similar sense of humor, adventure, and timeless wonder to the novels she writes for children and young adults. She currently lives in the beautiful theatre town of Stratford, Ontario.
Rebecca has agreed to give out a signed copy of ULTRAVIOLET to (1) lucky winner.
Entrants can choose between the US Hardcover or UK paperback edition.
Open only to US or Canadian residents.
contest ends: 07/28
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