I have Shelley Workinger, the author of Solid and the upcoming Settling here today with an interview. Thank you for being here, Shelley! To learn more about Shelley and her books you can visit her website located here. Without further ado, I'll get right to the interview!
What was your inspiration for “Solid”?
I first dreamed the romantic scene that is now Chapter 12. I have wild and vivid dreams regularly, but my thoughts kept coming back to that one and how those two people could’ve ended up in that setting. “Solid” moved from the hypothetical realm into print mainly because of my personal feeling that tweens and early teens seem to get so overwhelmed by their required reading that some lose interest in pleasure reading entirely. It seemed natural for me to take the idea that had been nagging at my subconscious and flesh it out specifically for the those young girls in an effort to bring them back into the booklovers' fold by offering a fun and fast story.
If you found out that your genes had been manipulated and you had superpowers, what would your superpower be and why?
I’d want to be able to change minds. I don’t think we can solve the most serious problems of the world until we can change thoughts, perceptions, and misconceptions. Some people are evolving in their thinking, and some people have broken bad historical patterns, but how amazing would it be to flip someone’s mental switch and have them instantly see the metaphorical light? That would truly be saving the world.
If you were put in the same circumstances as Clio, what would you do, and would you have done anything differently?
It’s funny – some people have complained that if this actually happened, Clio and her friends would run right out and save the world. Really? For me, at least at this point, their abilities are not fantastic – like flying or mind control – so it’s not even obvious what they can do. More importantly, the tag line on the front of the book (What if you discovered you were the product of a secret genetic experiment?) is not just a teaser – it’s the basis for the tone of the story, which asks what would you – or me, or the average person – realistically do in this situation? I feel the most natural reaction would slow, rather than rash. And since we’re such social creatures, I think the priority would be to bond as quickly as possible with the others (like survivors of a disaster) so that you have someone to explore the craziness with.
If you could meet any character from any book ever written, which book and character would you choose and why?
Death from “The Book Thief”…though not any time soon. I felt an almost kinship with that character/narrator and his dry humor, his wry take on what he sees, and his inability to understand senseless loss. Every time I read, Five hundred souls. I carried them in my fingers, like suitcases…It was only the children I carried in my arms, I cry buckets. Such an honest, beautiful, tortured character.
Does "Solid" have a theme song?
Not really, but it has a playlist:
“What a Wonderful World” – Louis Armstrong
“Take Me Back to New Orleans” – Cowboy Mouth
“Strange and Unprepared” – Copeland
“For You I Will” – Teddy Geiger
“You and The Night and The Music” – Jamie Cullum
“Settling” has twice as many songs as music becomes more relevant.
What would the front page headline of a newspaper say about you? What wouldn’t you want it to say?
“I Just Wanted to Meet Ellen.” I would love my story to be one of great success grown by own hands that I can then do something with. I would not want to be part of any headline involving trials or crimes, as wrongful imprisonment is probably my worst fear.
What’s up next for Clio and her friends? Any teasers you can give us?
Well, like the title says – Clio and the others are settling into their new lives and, just like when a foundation settles, there are going to be cracks. Abilities will evolve, secrets will come out, friendships will be tested, and – oh, yeah – there’s a killer on campus.
Thank you for that teaser, Shelley! Settling sounds absolutely fabulous! I can't wait for it to come out! I also really like your choice of superpower! Thank you again for answering these questions!