Hello Readers & Writers,
Joining me on the blog today is Naomi Hughes, author of Afterimage which comes out September 18th, 2018 from Page Street Publishing. This is Naomi’s debut novel and it involves ghosts, conspiracy theories, and a race against time.
Before I kick off the interview, here is a synopsis of Afterimage.
A horrific explosion levels part of the city and Camryn Kingfisher is the sole survivor.
Amidst controversy, conspiracy theories, and threats from government officials, Camryn longs for the truth. But the only person who she can turn to is a transparent boy in a lab coat named Quint. Unsure whether he’s a hallucination or a ghost, Camryn has no choice but to trust him as they become embroiled in a plot that is bigger than either of them realize.
In a race where the fabric of time and space is at stake, they must figure out who caused the explosion before the culprit comes back to finish Camryn―and her city―off for good.
1. Before we start off, I want to say thank you so much for joining me on the blog today! First question: does being an editor impact your writing process? As an editor too, I find that I often have to shut off my editor brain in order to get words on the page.
Naomi: Hey! Thanks so much for having me. I’m excited to get to chat with you about Afterimage. These look like some really fun questions, so let’s dive in!
Being an editor has, for the most part, been hugely beneficial for my writing. I have a lot of amazing clients and by pinpointing areas of underdeveloped potential for them, I also help form more ideas about how to better develop my own work too.
On the downside, it can absolutely be difficult to shut off my editor brain. It sometimes helps to write early in the morning when my brain is coherent enough to write but not yet critical enough to stop me before I’ve started. It also helps when I can keep a light editorial workload during the periods when I’m drafting a new story, so my brain doesn’t have to switch between writer-Naomi and editor-Naomi too frequently.
2. How did the idea for Afterimage form? Did it come in pieces, hit you all at once, or something else?
Naomi: Afterimage started off as a tiny amoeba of inspiration and very, verrrry slowly evolved into what it is today. It took multiple forms in between, each of which looked like a completely different story, and I cut maybe around five times as much material (actual drafted scenes as well as random notebook brainstorming) as I ended up including.
3. Which of your characters do you relate to the most and why?
Naomi: I definitely relate most to Camryn. She and I both have Panic Disorder, annoying but ultimately loveable brothers (don’t tell mine I called him loveable), and a strong desire to do the right thing.
4. I saw this challenge going around twitter and I found it hilarious so, describe the plot of your book badly.
Naomi: A girl hop-scotches through alternate timelines with her see-through maybe-boyfriend. They do physics, eat pie, and occasionally jump off cliffs.
5. Did you have to do research for Afterimage and if so, what’s a cool fact you learned?
Naomi: I did do research, and it was SO interesting. The two main areas I looked into were Panic Disorder and time travel. One of the most interesting things I learned but didn’t get to include was that time travel is possible, and in fact has already happened—but only travel to the future, not the past.
Speed and gravity both slow time, so if you were able to travel at close to the speed of light, or hang out near a black hole (which I don’t recommend), minutes would pass for you while years pass for everyone else. Astronauts are all time travelers; they travel so quickly while in orbit that they come back home having aged microseconds less than their friends on the ground.
6. Are there any shows, media, or books that influenced the creation of Afterimage?
Naomi: Absolutely. Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos show and StarTalk podcast gave me quite a lot of science-y inspiration, and there were many shows and movies that contributed to the tone and general geekery of Afterimage. Among them were Doctor Who, BBC’s Sherlock, Avatar: The Last Airbender, the Marvel superhero movies, and plenty of others that I Easter-egged throughout the book.
7. I saw you’re a fan of time traveling doctors so I have to ask – who’s your favorite Doctor?
Naomi: In my acknowledgements I mention Matt Smith as my favorite Doctor (I even got one of his lines—“We’re all stories”—tattooed on my arm to celebrate my book deal). Lately, though, I have to admit that season 9-10 Capaldi is pretty dang amazing. And now Jodie Whittaker is about to start her reign and I don’t know, can I just have three favorites? *clutches doctors*
8. Huge lover of Marvel here too so – favorite Marvel comic, show, or movie? (Or all three).
Naomi: Thor: Ragnarok forever!!! Also if I can pick a favorite character: Loki. Or maybe Valkyrie. No, Doctor Strange! Or Ruffalo’s Hulk??
9. What’s something you hope readers take away from your book?
Naomi: That bravery is not the absence of fear, but action in the face of it.
About the Author
Naomi Hughes grew up all over the U.S. before finally settling in the Midwest, a place she loves even though it tries to murder her with tornadoes every spring. She writes quirky young adult fiction full-time and works as a freelance editor. In her free time she likes to read, travel with her husband and daughter, and geek out over British TV and Marvel superheroes.
So after all of this talk about time travel, A+ inspirations, and a really cool plot, I am urging you to put Afterimage on your radar. It won’t disappoint! And once again, a huge thank you to Naomi for joining me.
Until next time,