So the title sounds like I have a band here. And with a name like The Harvesters, you can bet they’d play both kinds of music: Country and Western. (Queue Theme from Rawhide) Sorry, I had a Blues Brothers moment there. No, J.D. Waye is an author, and her new book is called The Harvesters. I haven’t read the book yet, it doesn’t come out until next week, but as far as I know, it’s not about Mama, or trains, or trucks, or prison, or gettin’ drunk, so until I’m proving wrong, I’m going to say it’s not Country or Western. What it is is some good, old-fashioned, aliens coming to Earth and ruining everyone’s day, sci-fi. And I’ve been looking for some of that lately. So I pre-ordered a copy. After I introduce you to J.D. Waye, perhaps you’ll do the same.
Tell us about yourself.
I live kind of an ordinary life. There’s always someone or something more important, more exciting, than talking about myself.
Tell us about your book.
The Harvesters is about how people react when faced with a crisis, when their hopes and dreams come to a crashing halt, when they have to re-invent themselves to cope…you know, like real life.
Who is your target audience?
This book is targeted to teens in high school, but could also appeal to younger and older readers. So…almost everyone. Hopefully.
Is this book part of a series? If so, how many volumes do you plan to write?
The Harvesters is not yet part of a series, written as a stand-alone book, but has the potential to be developed into three volumes. I’m currently coming up with scenes for the second book, seeing if it will work.
How long did it take to write?
It took about four months to write the first draft, but the concept itself took years to form. It didn’t work the first time around, so I shelved it for a few years before changing the point-of-view. And alas…editing…dreaded editing…took longer than writing the actual book.
What are some books that influenced/inspired you in the writing of this one?
This book was more inspired by movies than by books, which is why it is formulated to a screenplay plan. (Let’s take a moment to salute Save the Cat, by Blake Snyder.)Alien and Aliens, with their creepy strobe-lights and sirens. War of the Worlds (the new 2005 version). Independence Day (love the comedy). And of course, District 9 (ordinary events colliding with extraordinary circumstances).
Who are your favorite authors?
Listing my favorite authors is hard, because it changes all the time. These are a few that I enjoyed reading as a teen:
Frank Herbert (Dune, and the rest of his series)
John Wyndham (The Chrysalids, The Day of the Triffids)
Ray Bradbury (The Illustrated Man, The Martian Chronicles, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Fahrenheit 451, and everything else by him)
And now, anything by John Scalzi. Brilliant. Mind-blowing. Funny. Thought-provoking.
On which aspect of your writing do you work the hardest? (Characters, plotting, prose, etc.)
Characters come naturally, springing to life all on their own. Plotting is difficult, but oh so satisfying when puzzle pieces fit together. What’s hardest are the bridging scenes, linking images together into a coherent whole, describing events that make one scene flow seamlessly to the next. And what is most challenging is finding the time to write, then stopping creative outbursts for real life tasks.
I’m currently working on part 2 of Chago’s story – an Andes adventure where Chagojoins a team of scientists trying to save a wildlife species he was responsible for driving to the brink of extinction. After that, who knows…maybe spirits clashing with ghost hunters in a Scottish castle; maybe deception and persuasion between Victorian evolutionists; maybe the next book in The Shadow People series…