Guest Blog post: GP Ching

Today we have the talented GP Ching on the website. Her latest book, Weaving Destiny, is the sequel to her first book, the Soulkeepers.

GP Ching's first novel, the Soulkeepers

Since she’s a fellow YA Author, I couldn’t miss the chance to have her on  my website. So, without further ado, GP Ching.

 

1.             How do you go about writing? Walk me through idea to written story.

I’m fortunate to be one of those writers with no shortage of ideas.  When I get an idea for a book, I usually think about how the idea will best be received by readers, what genre and what POV. I usually write some basic scene elements on index cards until I have the bones of a story.  Then, if I still think the story has merit and is relevant to my readers, I flesh it out. It takes me approximately a month to write a first draft of a full-length novel.

2.             Tell me about the Soulkeepers

The Soulkeepers is about an orphaned boy, Jacob, who makes a deal with a mysterious stranger, Dr. Abigail Silva, to train as a Soulkeeper in exchange for her help finding his missing mother. To complicate matters, fifteen-year-old Jacob is an atheist with no intention of believing that he’s some sort of soldier for God charged with protecting humanity from fallen angels. Not to mention, he soon suspects that Dr. Silva has ulterior motives for helping him.

The Soulkeepers is one of the few YA novels written from a boy’s point of view and in the third person. It explores themes of friendship, trust, forgiveness, and faith in an imperfect world with imperfect people.

3.             What gave you the inspiration for this story?
A few years ago I was talking with someone about the creation story, Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, in the context of religious faith, atheism, and mythology. It occurred to me how many things in our world require a leap of faith: trust in ourselves, trust in each other, faith in our government, and ultimately, if we choose, faith in our God.  I don’t think of the Soulkeepers as a Christian work but it is about believing in things that are beyond our personal understanding.

4.             The second book in the series recently came out. How is it different writing a sequel than a first novel?
Weaving Destiny is written from Malini Gupta’s perspective, Jacob’s girlfriend.  Because the novel is in a different voice and has a different focus, in many ways it was like writing something new.  However, because I’d already painted the setting and some of the characters in book one, I could pace the book a bit faster and add some additional dimensions to the existing characters.

5.             Your author’s profile talks about a very demanding guinea pig. Tell me about your pet.
Mr. Pig is a terrific writing companion. Guinea pigs are highly affectionate and social animals. Ours is really smart and tells us if he needs something in his habitat, moves his furniture around at will, and begs to be picked up. They are furry balls of unconditional love. I’ll probably need some sort of emotional counseling when he reaches the end of his natural life.

6.             What book(s) are you currently reading?
Right now, I’m reading How To Date An Alien by Magan Vernon (coming out later this year). It’s funny and original.  I think teens are going to love it.

7.             If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring authors, what would you tell them?
Develop your craft. That means, invest in some good books on writing mechanics and style (and use them!) Find a critique group that is willing to give specific and pointed criticism of your work.  Develop a thick skin.  And finally, don’t spend so much time with social media that you neglect your writing. I guess that’s more than one.  What can I say?  I’m a giver.

Bio: G.P. Ching is an award winning short fiction writer turned novelist.  She lives in Illinois with her husband, two daughters, and one very demanding guinea pig.  Learn more at www.gpching.com.

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