Title: How to Breathe Underwater
Author: Vicky Skinner
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: August 14th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Kate’s father has been pressuring her to be perfect for her whole life, pushing her to be the best swimmer she can be. But when Kate finds her dad cheating on her mom, Kate’s perfect world comes crashing down, and Kate is forced to leave home and the swim team she’s been a part of her whole life.
Now in a new home, new school, and faced with the prospect of starting over, Kate isn’t so sure that swimming is what she wants anymore. But when she decides to quit, her whole world seems to fall apart. But when Kate gets to know Michael, the cute boy that lives across the hall, she starts to think that starting over might not be so bad. There’s only one problem: Michael has a girlfriend.
As the pressures of love, family, and success press down on her, can Kate keep her head above water?
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’m very much a planner. I like to know exactly what I’m doing when I sit down. If I don’t, it doesn’t take me long to get frustrated or find myself on Twitter instead of working. The planning process is different with every book. Sometimes it’s just a series of notes on my phone, sometimes it’s an outline on Scrivener. One time, it was thirty index cards with scene descriptions taped to a white board. You just never know.
2. Do you edit as you go, or wait till you're finished before you edit? How many times would you say you go over it yourself before having another set of eyes look it over?
I won’t even run spell check until I’ve scribbled out a first draft. Generally, I’ve revised and edited three times before anyone else sees it, starting at a major rewrite and then doing two line edits before I feel confident enough to show anyone.
3. Are you part of a writers group that gets together and helps each other with their writing?
Yes! I meet with a group of women every year for NaNoWriMo, and then we tend to keep an eye out on each other throughout the year as we edit, just in an attempt to support each other and keep each other on track. Sometimes we run things by each other to get a second opinion and sometimes we just sit together and eat dinner while we work.
4. How do you come up with your ideas for your stories?
My stories always start at the love story, and usually always with the characters in the love story. So when I think of a character that I find fascinating, my first thought is about the kind of person they would be in a relationship with (usually the most complicated relationship I can imagine), and then I go from there. I love characters that are completely different from the last one I wrote, and that keeps me moving forward.
5. What tips do you have for aspiring writers?
I have so many, but I guess the one on my mind the most right now is not to give up on a story that you feel passionate about. If a story keeps coming back to you, that’s happening for a reason. You have to listen to the story, you have to listen to the characters, and a lot of the time, you have to let go of what you want the story to be in order to find what the story needs to be.
6. What are your favorite:
YA Contemporary will always have my heart above all else, but I also love love love romance novels of all kinds. Sarah Dessen is my absolute favorite author, and her book, Saint Anything, is currently my top favorite.
So many! My favorite TV show is The Office, but I’ve been watching Brooklyn 99, and man, I love that show! My favorite movie is a 3-way tie between Titanic, Tangled, and The Conjuring.
Band: Paramore; Artist: Troye Sivan. I’ll listen to literally anything but Country music.
Food: Pizza, with as many veggies as you can fit on it. Writing Snack: Oh, that’s a tough one. Honestly, I love to eat candy, usually Starbursts and Dove dark chocolate. And tea. Lots and lots of tea.