Jagged Scars #1
Published May 20th 2015
Sixteen year old Wendy never knew the world before the Starvation. She’s learned to put her trust in her knives, and her confidence in her fighting ability. When the Skinnies attack her compound, she’s the lone survivor.
Injured and near death, Wendy is rescued and nursed back to health by mysterious strangers. Her saviors offer her a place among them, but trust has never been one of Wendy’s strengths, and suspicion soon leads to evidence that these people might be the group who killed her family.
The decision to get her revenge, and take the settlement down from the inside out is easy. Keeping her distance from those she must befriend in order to make it happen proves to be much more difficult.
About the Author
Author of Babes in Spyland, New Sight-YA fantasy out April 2014, wearer of a black belt in Kempo and always in search of the next cool place to visit!
An Interview with Jo Schneider
How important are names in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any other name choosing resources you recommend?
Names are very important, and I'm sometimes horrible at finding just the right one. Ages ago, I bought a baby name book--a book that my fiance packed up when we got married and moved in together and was a little concerned about--and I often use that to find names. Sometimes I look at meanings. Often I will end up with names that all sound the same (one syllable for instance) or all start with the same letter. When that starts to happen, I find a letter I haven't used and I flip open the book. Sometimes I use the web too. Especially if I need, say, legitimate last name from Africa .
In my first novel, New Sight, I couldn't think of a name for the bad guys, so I named them the New until I came up with something better. By the time I got finished writing the book, the New had stuck. It's a dumb name, but now it's theirs.
When you walk into a book store, where do you head first?
Fantasy and Sci-Fi. Either adult or YA. Whichever I find first. Although if there is a cafe, I might get a snack before I start. Looking at books is both exhilarating and exhausting.
Where do you get your ideas? Where did the idea for this book come from?
My brain is a bizarre place. I've gotten book ideas while driving on the freeway, while in church (and not light, fluffy ideas, which is strange), while at dinner, while trying to work on something else (that's just mean, by the way) and in dreams.
The very first shadow of Fractured Memories that I had was while I was in college. Too many years ago to count. I had this dream. In it I woke up and found myself on a round bed in a cave. I had no idea where I was or who I was. There was a man sitting at a desk trying to do some paperwork by candle light. He looked like the guy who plays Goose in Top Gun. I said something and scared him half to death. When he turned to look at me, he asked if I was okay.
And that's when I woke up.
The scene isn't in the book. As a matter of fact, the only thing left of the dream in the story is Wendy (who is not me--I'm not nearly that cool or traumatized) waking up and not knowing where she is. The part that remains is the feel of the dream. It was dark and cold and felt so alone. Wendy gets all of that. Poor kid.
Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I'm an outliner. The more I wade through the story before I start, the less times I have to rewrite it. I have a whole list of things I go over as I plan, including plot points, a theme, the characters needs and desires, the main conflicts and as many other little things that I can think about before I actually begin writing.
However, things always, always, always change. It's taken me a few years to realize that it's okay to rewrite a story. Six times. It just takes a while. My process is getting better, but I suspect that I will always have a throwaway rough draft that ends up only getting about 20% of it into the final manuscript.
I've tried the "just write" approach, and for me it always ends in a spectacular temper tantrum by me and a shopping spree.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book? Why should anyone read it?
Fractured Memories is a kick a**, YA Post-Apocalyptic novel that 's one part action, one part horror, and one part fun.
I once heard an author say that when you tell people about your story, you should look and act as if you are telling them about the first time your baby said "ma ma.". I totally feel this way about Fractured Memories. Wendy is a character that's been rolling around in my head for a lot of years. Her friends have been lurking as well. They all have hopes, they all have dreams, they all have faced sorrows and horrors that hopefully none of us have to face. They're scarred, but they're still people, and they still care about others.
The world in the book has changed, but the ever-present need for friendship and trust will never die. That's what this book is about. Wendy is alone, on a mission to avenge her family at any cost, when these pesky teenagers befriend her. Hard to plot revenge when someone is trying to make you laugh.
Will you have a new book coming out soon?
Oh goodness, I hope so.
Right now I'm writing some short stories that go before my first novel, New Sight. (New Sight is not the same story as Fractured Memories) Those should be out this summer. I'm pretty excited about these, they're origin stories for the characters of that series. Then New Sight 2--oh how I hate finding just the right title--will be out in the fall. Barring a disaster in my life, the second book of Fractured Memories should be out early next year.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Like all good stories, there's a character that's just a jerk. Think Malfory in Harry Potter. In FM, his name is Dennis. Wendy takes him down in a fight the first time they meet, and he's pissed about it. In the middle of the book, he tries to extract his revenge, and what he does to Wendy is pretty terrible. But what Wendy does in return is bad enough to make me both flinch and let out an evil laugh at the same time.
It wasn't in my original version of the story, but all of my beta readers felt as if Dennis had gotten off too easy. That is no longer the case. I honestly didn't know I would get as much glee out of Wendy hurting him as I did.
Your Chance to Win!
Ends July 31st
a Rafflecopter giveaway