As you might know, I started the Bloggers’ Book Club, and last month was our very first read! We read The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons, and most of us seemed to really like it. [This month’s read is Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, so why not head over to our GR group to join in?!]
Kristen was nice enough to allow us to ask her a few questions about the book, so I wanted to share it with everyone here as well (kind of in the hope you’ll join the book club because we’re obviously super awesome). So without further ado, here’s the interview!
Describe yourself in three words.
Superfun, lowmaintenance, intochocolate
(That works, right?)
Where did you get the inspiration for The Glass Arrow?
I wrote The Glass Arrow after reading a story in the news about a place in China where the female population was so low that men had started going outside their towns into the rural areas in search of a mate. The story grabbed me, and led me on a line of research, from human trafficking issues (girls being bought and sold is sadly not a problem I’ve made up) to the continued issues involving prejudice and sexism in the United States (just look at the pay discrepancy between men and women). The world of The Glass Arrow is fictional, but the issues behind it are sadly very real.
Could you tell us about the inspiration behind any of the characters? Are any based on someone you know, etc?
None of the characters are based on anyone I know, but more, in this story, a reaction to the early worldbuilding work I did. In this book, I needed a female lead who was going to be brave and tenacious, and a male who was going to defy the stereotypes of the other men in this society with this empathy and kindess. Aya and Kiran came from that, although of course they took on a life of their own once I found myself deeper into the planning stages.
Do you have any plans/desires to write a sequel? Everyone in the book club really appreciated that The Glass Arrow was a standalone in a world of series, but it is open enough to warrant a sequel.
Thanks for saying so! No plans to write a sequel right now, although there are some extra scenes floating around from Aya’s world. (One will be released soon in my upcoming newsletter – stay tuned on Twitter and Facebook for more information!)
Why did Brax have to die after finally making it outside the city walls? (From Maren)
Bigger question – WHY DID BRAX HAVE TO DIE AT ALL?? Ha! I actually hate that he died! I’m so sorry if it caused sadness. He was one of my favorite characters and I actually had originally planned on saving him, but the story is about sacrafice, and I felt poor Brax had to serve as a representative of that theme.
How does your background in mental health come into play when writing? The characters in your book are so realistic, we were wondering if your background had a major role in that.
My work in mental health always plays a part in my writing. First, because the issues I tend to gravitate towards are often heavy social issues, like those I saw working in the field. Second, because it is impossible to see a person working their way to thriving from their lowest, darkest moment, and not be profoundly affected. Working in mental health I was fortunate to see that resilience first hand, and I always try to honor that with the characters I write.
These characters feel like ones that wouldn’t readily leave you when the book was finished. Are they still roaming around in your head?
That’s a nice thing to say, thank you! They are actually quiet now, which is why I decided to keep it as a standalone. If they still had a story to tell I’m sure they’d be screaming their heads off for me to get typing. 🙂 That said, they did leave a lasting impression. Aya made me want to be stronger, Kiran made me want to be kinder. I hope other people reading it feel their strengths coming through.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kristen Simmons writes young adult fiction – the kind that’s dark and scary but generally involves some kissing. She’s the author of ARTICLE 5 (2012), BREAKING POINT (2013), and THREE (2014), as well as THE GLASS ARROW (2015), and METALTOWN (2016). Words cannot describe how happy all this makes her. She has a master’s degree in social work and is an advocate for mental health. She lives with her family and their precious greyhound Rudy in Cincinnati, Ohio.
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