While most college students are lucky if they make it to class in something besides their pajamas, author Alexandra Bracken somehow managed to complete her first novel, Brightly Woven, while she was still in college – with a double major! Now splitting her time between writing and a career in publishing, Bracken’s The Darkest Minds series is fittingly ambitious. With elements of science fiction, political drama and dystopia, The Darkest Minds is filled with action, suspense and intrigue.
To celebrate the release of the second book in the series, Never Fade, Alexandra was kind enough to take some time out of her hectic schedule to answer a few questions from The Daily Quirk. Keep reading for the scoop on Alexandra and The Darkest Minds series!
The Daily Quirk: Do you have the trajectory of the entire series mapped out in advance, or do you make changes to the story as you are writing?
Alexandra Bracken: I have a pretty general sense of where the plot is going when I start—meaning, I know how it opens and ends and all of the major emotional or plot turning points that happen over the course of the story. I give myself the freedom to figure out how the characters get from Point A to Point B as I go, meaning the characters and story sometimes end up surprising even me!
TDQ: What is the most challenging part of the writing process for you? What part do you find most enjoyable?
AB: If you had asked me this question two years ago, I would have said that I love, love, loved drafting and hated revising. I’ve completely flipped on that! I love the feeling of having a complete story in hand to tweak and rework; it no longer feels quite as daunting as staring at a blank page, trying to figure out the right starting point or what a character’s voice should sound like. There is something magical about the initial brainstorming on a new, sparkly project, though.
TDQ: I’m a huge Star Wars fan, and according to your website it sounds like you are too! If you had to dress up as a character from Star Wars (assuming you haven’t already!), who would you choose?
Oh, ho, ho, ho, but I have gone to two of the aforementioned Star Wars conferences in costume! I’ve gone both as “Endor Leia” (her speeder bike outfit) and Padme’s outfit from when they make the pit stop on Tantooine in Episode I. Basically, costumes that were relatively easy to put together. In lieu of a photo of me in the actual costume, please accept this gloriously awkward photo of me next to my prize-winning diorama of the Return of the Jedi speeder bike chase and my matching t-shirt. Never say I’m a girl who can’t rock a theme.
If I could go as ANYONE… hmmm… maybe Mara Jade? Or maybe that’s my lifelong dream of wanting red hair talking? Boba Fett? Too many characters to choose from!
TDQ: What, if anything, can you tell us about the third and final book in The Darkest Minds series? Do you have any other upcoming projects you’d like to tell us about?
AB: Ooooh… what can I say that won’t spoil Never Fade? I think book three is a nice return to some of the elements of The Darkest Minds. Never Fade is very action heavy and each plot twist kept me in a perpetual state of anxiety while I was working on it! I think book three refocuses more heavily on the characters—it’s amazing to see how far they’ve come! That’s not to stay there isn’t action and danger and darkness, though. And that’s all you’ll get out of me!
The Daily Quirk would like to thank Author Alexandra Bracken for taking the time to chat about The Darkest Minds Book Series (and for sharing that photo with us! We applaud your quirky Stars Wars obsession!). To find out more about Alexandra and her books, read our Review of Never Fade, visit the her Official Site and follow her on Twitter. And don’t forget to enter our exciting Giveaway for a chance to win copies of The Darkest Minds and Never Fade as well as some other great prizes!