I'm delighted to be back with another introduction to the Class of 2k12. Author AC Gaughen has crafted a wonderful twist on the legend of Robin Hood - one of my personal favorites - with her debut SCARLET...and don't you love that cover??
Congratulations on the publication of your novel, SCARLET. Can you tell us a bit about the story and what inspired it?
SCARLET is a reimagining of the Robin Hood legend--with Will Scarlet as a very grumpy, knife wielding teen girl. She has a lot of dark secrets and holds to them very, very tight, but she also has people she wants to protect, all set in the brutality and inequality of Britain’s Middle Ages.
Honestly, Scarlet’s voice is what inspired the story--it came out on a paper in grad school and it took a really long time for me to figure out what the story was. Once I realized who she was, her story just came out like a flood. It was really fun.
How long have you been writing for children/teens? Have you written other books or is this your first effort?
This is what I’ve always wanted to be doing, so I’ve always been writing in the genre since I was about 14. I have about 150 notebooks of other stories! I’ve had a few shorter pieces published, but this is my first novel.
Your story will be very inspiring to my readers. :) Can you describe your path to the publication of SCARLET?
I had been trying to get an agent with various novels for about three years before SCARLET began catching the interest of several agents. About a month after I sent it out on submission I signed with my agent, and she sold it to Bloomsbury/Walker within five months after that. From there, it’s really a bizarre waiting game--I waited for about six months for the contract to be finalized (eep! That’s nerve-wracking), and then it’s very start and stop--you’ll wait, then get a revision that has to be done post haste, turn it in, wait for the next step, which should be done with more urgency, etc. It’s exciting!
Do you have any advice for beginning writers?
Something I told myself before I got published and something I tell my self all the time still--keep going. When you think you have a great story, keep going until it’s amazing, until it really breaks your boundaries. When you think everyone’s rejecting you and this whole business is impossible to break into, keep going. When you’re stressed and exhausted, just keep going.
That is truly the best advice. Can you tell us something about your personal life – inspirations, plans for the future, goals, etc.?
One of the things that I find incredibly inspiring right now is the work I’m doing with Boston GLOW, a non profit in Boston that I’m a board member of. One of the major initiatives I run with them is an essay contest that encourages girls in underfunded school systems to create local, actionable change. It gives girls that aren’t used to speaking up a new voice--and it’s just incredibly humbling and uplifting.
Do you have any new writing ventures underway?
I’ve been working on another novel for a whiiiile now--longer than I’ve worked on any before. Honestly I’m not sure if it will ever see the light of day, but I think sometimes you have to write without the thought of any kind of publication. But then again, some times it helps your writing to think of the potential audience.
Do you have a website where readers can learn more about SCARLET?
www.acgaughen.com Thanks Janet!!