Title: The Innocence Treatment
Author: Ari Goelman
Genre: YA science fiction/thriller
Publisher: Roaring Book Press
Release Date: October 17th, 2017
--> Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, TBD, Goodreads
You may believe the government protects you, but only one girl knows how they use you.
Lauren has a disorder that makes her believe everything her friends tell her--and she believes everyone is her friend. Her innocence puts her at constant risk, so when she gets the opportunity to have an operation to correct her condition, she seizes it. But after the surgery, Lauren is changed. Is she a paranoid lunatic with violent tendencies? Or a clear-eyed observer of the world who does what needs to be done?
Told in journal entries and therapy session transcripts, The Innocence Treatment is a collection of Lauren's papers, annotated by her sister long after the events of the novel. A compelling YA debut thriller that is part speculative fiction and part shocking tell-all of genetic engineering and government secrets, Lauren's story is ultimately an electrifying, propulsive, and spine-tingling read.
1. What does your writing process look like? Do you know the whole story when you start? Or do you
just start writing and go with it (seat of the pants writing)? If you plan it out, how do you do that?
Outline, notecards, post-it- notes, etc.?
I definitely don’t plan it out too much beforehand – I’ve tried that, but I end up losing interest if I totally know how the story is going to go. I write, in part, to find out what happens. That said, I often write the ending before the middle. I’m not sure why – it just comes out that way. I’m thinking about a story, and I’ll find myself excited about the ending, often because there’s some twist or romantic hook. So I’ll write it, and then backtrack and try to figure out how to get there. Then, once I’ve written the middle, as often as not, I have to rewrite the ending to make more sense.
Also, often when I’m 80% done, I have to go back and outline just to keep the whole story in my head, and try to figure out what else has to happen. It also helps me figure out if my pacing is working, or if there are long lulls without enough action / suspense to keep the pages turning.
2. How do you come up with your ideas for your stories?
I find the challenge with writing novels is not so much coming up with an ideas (which come from everywhere – the usual witch’s brew of daydreams, public radio stories, nightmares, anxieties, childhood experiences and so on) but coming up with a character. I find without a strong character that I enjoy writing, it’s hard to complete a novel. I get bored – both as a reader and as a writer – with characters who seem too featureless, too constructed.
3. How long have you been writing?
After dabbling for years, I started writing fiction for real in 2000. In April, 2000, I quit my job and spent a full year doing nothing but writing. Since then it has always been a part of my life.
4. What tips do you have for aspiring writers?
As much as possible, give yourself time to write. These days I write while working full time and raising children, and I can tell you how hard it is to write on the side. It’s much easier to write when that’s the main task you’re pursuing. It’s never easy; few of your non-writing friends will respect the time you spend writing, but it’s important that you really give yourself a chance to succeed.
5. What are your favorite:
I read a lot. The two books I’ve read in the last year that made the biggest impression are Frances Hardinge’s The Cuckoo’s Song and Haruki Murakami’s book Sputnik Sweetheart, both of which I loved loved loved. My all-time favorite novel is probably Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policeman’s Union. My all-time favorite author is probably Isaac Bashevis Singer, especially his short stories and his novel The Slave. There’s something so human and, yet, timeless about his writing.
I could pretend to deliberate about my favorite TV show but it’s the first season of Community. Nothing else I’ve watched in the last year or two comes close.
Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Mal Blum, and whoever else Spotify’s algorithms see fit to throw my way. Elliott Smith, Billy Bragg and the Weakerthans are old favorites that I’ve never stopped liking.
I make fantastic humous when I have time. I have a weakness, or maybe a strength, for really good dark chocolate with nuts. But really, as far as writing snacks go, in my books, nothing beats a latte.
About the Author:
I’m Ari Goelman. I write fantasy novels. Stories, too.
My latest novel, due out in October, 2017, is The Innocent Treatment. Lauren Fielding is a sixteen-year-old high school student with a cognitive disability – she believes everything her friends tell her, and she believes that everyone is her friend. A cutting edge medical treatment helps Lauren, but after the treatment her mental condition soon veers into paranoia. Or does it? The Innocent Treatment comes out in October, 2017, but in the meantime you can read (a little) more about Lauren here. (You can also pre-order a copy here.)
My first novel, The Path of Names came out a few years ago. It’s a middle grade fantasy / murder mystery / ghost story. You can read lots more about it here. Or you could just read the book. Honestly, that’s probably a better idea.
Here’s my blog and here’s a list of the short stories I’ve published, many of which you can read online for free.
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