Friday, 8 May 2015

Blog Tour Guest Post - Inconsistent by Alexandra Akre

Author: Alex Akre 
Genre: Fantasy/Coming of Age 
Length: 161 pages 
Release Date: March 10th, 2015 
ISBN-13: 978-1508457978 

Book Description: 
Macy Jones is a perfect student, popular teenager, and utterly miserable. This all changes once her father is arrested and she is liberated from the domestic violence and desolation, which used to characterize her life. Macy transforms into Meadow, a girl with all the suppressed qualities of before, who gives less thought to societal expectation and more thought to living a debauched and insane life. Meadow never would have stabilized into a chaotic and liberated character without her best friend, Dante, who is a charismatic individual who shows her what it is to throw away a superficial life of social media and conformism and to merely live. When the two meet a young and disenfranchised wealthy drug addict named Liam things begin to fall apart, though they do not realize this until it is too late when their character and strengths begin being tested by the worst of scenarios.

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The Process

My idea for writing a novel came out of the blue, a couple of weeks after school got out, when I realized that I was bored with nothing much to do. I thought to myself, “Hey, why not write a novel?” Writing a novel was exactly what I did and a couple of months later, Inconsistent had been written. Of course, before writing Inconsistent, I had always brainstormed and even outlined certain ideas for short stories and novels but I had never actually had the time or even the inclination to actually sit down and complete one. With a long summer ahead, I sat down and started to write and once I had started, I found that I just couldn’t stop because there was just so much to say.

I had always wanted to write a Young Adult novel-something that would resonate with my generation and I felt like being a young adult myself could only be an asset because I could write something relatable, something that could connect with other teenagers. I felt like the adolescents of my generations were very disenfranchised and confused-almost caged in by all the expectation that surrounded them. That’s how the character of Meadow was created. Meadow was the antitheses to rules and regulations and societal expectations. She was a weird and crazy and ultimately, a free spirit. Dante was created in much the same way. He was created as a pure, almost godly, being who seemed to transcend all the bad that was around him and this characterization made him the perfect foil for Liam (the addict). Liam was the symbol of addiction, something many youth struggle with today, and he was one who had clutched onto drugs as though they could be his salvation. I found it to be a bit painful to write about him because many of my close friends have had problems with drugs, but I felt as though he was needed in the novel-not only to juxtapose against Dante but also to serve as a reminder of what teenagers deal with today.

The novel, Inconsistent, was very much so. The chapters and even the sections in the chapters seemed to deviate very much from a linear, formulaic story. I had wanted to do this because it seemed to be more realistic, more stream-of-consciousness. Ultimately, a more Meadow type of thing because she was a character that did not ascribe to rules or formulas. This really gave me a lot more freedom to switch easily between tenses and insert various anecdotes that built up the characters in the novel. This was extremely liberating and I did not have to worry very much about following any particular chronological order.

The process was one that was a varying mixture of fun and tedious. Every day, I would spend at least two hours in front of my laptop typing out chapters and at least another hour with a notebook and pencil, brainstorming scenarios and scenes and interactions between the characters. I wouldn’t surround myself with any distractions during this time-it would just be me and the sound of my fingers flying across my laptop keys. It was such fun creating characters and really building up their personas and watching them interact in fictional situations, however the grammatical editing and construing of setting and plot got to be a bit dull at times.

The novel was really a chunk of my heart because that summer, I spent much more time with the fictional characters of Dante, Meadow, and Liam, than I did with anybody else. I got to know the characters so well that I’d catch myself referring to certain actions as a “very Meadow type of thing to do,” or I’d look at a person and say “they’re just like Dante.” This got to be a bit confusing for my various friends and acquaintances who didn’t know what to think of these odd references but I didn’t mind because I had really fallen in love with my characters. It very nearly broke my heart to write the ending that I did for this novel but I wouldn’t have written it any other way.

About the Author
I am a resident of Reno, Nevada and a student in the International Bacchelaureate program at Earl Wooster High School. On my spare time I can be found dabbling in a myriad of hobbies: art, poetry, reading, language studies, and volunteering. One day, I hope to travel the world with the Secret Service and my White House staff on the Air Force One. This is my first novel.

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