Grounded in fanfiction, expanded by literary fiction in college, and continually inspired by the fandom world, April Presnell has a lot in store for her readers.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I get my inspiration from a variety of places, but often it is nature that inspires me. I think it is amazing how different landscapes can alter the way you are feeling. When I find something that leaves me awestruck I could stare at it for hours and never get bored. I usually use those feelings as a jumping point for my characters in my fantasy stories. I want my worlds to give my readers the same sense of awe I feel.
Tell us about the book you’re working on. Can you share an excerpt?
I’m actually working on two books right now, since at the moment it’s National Novel Writing Month. The one that has my primary focus for editing is titled Seeking Utopia. It is a YA fantasy/sci-fi novel about a world that is filled with cracks; along the ground, buildings, trees, everything. When my main character steps into one of these cracks, she steps into a different dimension:
The cracks in the world had always been there, much as the sky had. While walking down any street you could see buildings, roads, trees, and of course, the cracks. They were as commonplace as the cracks in the sidewalk, though the cracks in the sidewalk did not shine with the same sort of faint, glowing light. They also were not guarded by police or, more common as of lately, blocked by a wall of concrete.
Officials had declared the Tectonic Preservation Act a huge success that would soon be implemented to protect all the tectonics of the world. The cracks and tectonics were the same thing, though I’d never been entirely sure why they were called tectonics. They never seemed like tectonics in the traditional sense, and they were absolutely everywhere. Along the sidewalk, climbing buildings, zigzagging up trees. I’d always asked how the cracks could all be connected, but from a young age my parents had always told me to stop asking questions.
That had never sat well with me. After all, asking questions was how humans had grown. But apparently humans had forgotten that, as I had always been told that my curiosity was going to get me in trouble.
I was surer of that more than ever now, as I lingered on a street corner that was currently unguarded. As usual, KK Street was bustling with activity, even in the middle of the week. Across the street small clumps of people were cluttered around metal tables, drinking coffee that was too expensive under sunlight that was too bright. Nearby, people dressed in printed shirts with large purses were seated on the patio of a slightly below upscale restaurant. I was currently loitering near the corner of a building (an organic grocery store, to be precise), eyes glued to the small, glowing crack on the wall there.
What’s your favorite book?
This is always a tough question. I have to give Harry Potter a shout out, as it got me writing, but currently my favorite book is Room by Emma Donoghue. The writing, characters, and plot are all beautifully done.
I love Scott Westerfeld. He has really fresh ideas for the YA fantasy realm, which I really appreciate. I’ve also really been enjoying Fredrik Backman. His characters are so interesting and his writing style manages to be both incredibly humorous yet tragic at the same time.
Where’s your favorite place to write? What’s your writing process like?
My absolute favorite place to write is this tiny independent café near my apartment. It’s very cozy, the coffee is great, and the employees know me on sight by now. I can’t focus on writing if I am at home. When I am out, especially if it is on my own, I can really focus on the page in front of me. For my novels I like to have at least a rough outline so I can do the proper character development and foreshadowing. And I always write chronologically. I’ve tried jumping around and I just completely lose the flow.
What do you do when you aren’t writing?
I’m a huge geek. I love to cosplay, go to conventions, and play video games. I am really passionate about traveling and most of my extra money goes to that. Other than that, a lot of reading, adventures with friends, and eating out. I love eating out.
Real books or e-readers?
100% books. I hate using e-readers. I like to have the book in my hands. Plus I work at a computer so much that I need a break now and then.
How long have you been writing?
Since I was about thirteen. I started with Harry Potter fanfiction. Before then I wrote here and there, but not nearly as seriously.