From Imagination To Publication

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday!

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

We'd love for you to participate! Just answer the prompt on your own blog and leave a link -- or, if you prefer, you can include your answer in the comments.

This Week's Topic:
What themes, settings, motifs, scenes, or other elements do you find recurring in your work?

Love. It’s probably the most obvious answer. Maybe even a little cliché, but I write what I like to read, and in every novel, I look for love. As it says before the first chapter of The Host, "love is the best part of every story." I truly believe that, and a good love story is present in everything I write.

I’m not particular about settings. I do however, like to set stories in places I’ve lived or know really well. I feel I can’t write honestly about a place I’ve never been to in person.

*An interesting side note about THE DESCENDANTS is that it was originally set in San Diego (because that is where I live now). After my publisher read through it, they suggested changing the setting to a more relatable city. At first I was in disagreement, but when I started exploring the idea, I really enjoyed reliving my childhood memories in San Francisco. I was born there and spent many summers at a friend’s house above a coffee shop in the Lower Haight. Turns out that exact apartment was the perfect place to put my main character, and the setting works better than I could have imagined.

As far as motifs, I like trees. For me they symbolize strength. Trees are sprinkled throughout THE DESCENDANTS, and I only really noticed after I’d written it. Then, when my English teacher mother  asked about symbolism in my novel, I told her about them.
“Of course I meant to do it,” I joked with her.
“It was probably ingrained in your subconscious,” she decided. “I trained you well.”

Feel free to play along! What themes, motifs, settings, scenes or elements do you find recurring in your work? Leave responses in the comments or reply on your blog and link back to the YA Highway :)


  1. I have to ask: What's un-relatable about San Diego?

  2. I agree with Kate. I've spent a lot of time in San Diego, and I don't really get what's so "unrelatable" about it...

  3. I love trees. They're so beautiful, and usually so old! Imagine all the things they'd say if they could talk... :)

  4. I'm with Kate on the San Diego thing. And I also like trees!

  5. guys are funny, and apparently love San Diego. Of course it's relatable if you've been there, but internationally I'd say more people can picture the landmarks in S.F. (i.e. the Golden Gate Bridge, the BART system, etc.). I enjoyed putting my characters there. The scenes just had more energy for some reason. Thanks for your comments! I'll stop by your blogs tomorrow :) For now, I've got to get some writing done.

  6. Yeah, you're right Jessica. When I lived in England if I told people I was from San Diego, they'd just look at me. If I said I lived south of Los Angeles, they were like, oh, okay. Whatever! San Diego rocks.

    I'm so excited for your book to come out! Do you have a release date yet?

  7. Beautiful blog! You have been awarded a Versatile Blogger Award! See my blog for details. :)