Check This Out: Edie in Between

It’s been a while since we met, but here we are to welcome the awesome Laura Sibson, who is here to talk about her YA fantasy novel, Edie in Between, which debuts today!! It was published by Viking. The illustrator of cover is Lisa Sterle. Cover designed by Jessica Jenkins.

Laura is repped by Brianne Johnson. Click here to read a synopsis and to get to an excerpt of Edie in Between.

El Space: You and I have had conversations about fantasy shows and book series we like. Please tell us how you came to write this contemporary fantasy.
Laura: I’ve loved stories with magic for as long as I can remember. I especially love stories in which magic could be just out of sight; magic that exists in our world but is kept secret from us. For a long time, I’ve wanted to write such a story. When I pitched ideas to my editor for my second book, she suggested a mash-up of two ideas. One was about a girl dealing with the death of her mother in an unusual way and the other was about a girl who found her magical lineage burdensome. By merging the ideas together, I was able to create a story in which magic exists, but it also serves as a metaphor for acceptance.

El Space: As you consider the characters, the magic system, the plot, and the romance, what was the most fun part about writing your novel?
Laura: You may already know the answer as you were a trusted early reader. I love writing blooming romance and banter between friends. Those elements come easiest to me. Crafting the malevolent aspects of the magic system was challenging, but in a problem-solving way. Plot is always the most difficult part of drafting for me.

El Space: Your book has dual narrators. How did you keep track of each storyline?
Laura: Not only did I need to keep track of the individual storylines, but I also needed to ensure that Maura’s journal entries appeared when Edie needed to read them. I draft my stories in Scrivener which allows you to view the order of scenes in a sidebar. Each scene was titled with the narrator’s name so I could see at a glance where Edie’s chapters appeared relative to Maura’s. I also used index cards on a big white board to help me visualize how the scenes interlocked with the overall scavenger hunt storyline.

El Space: Edie in Between has strong themes of friendship and family. Without giving any spoilers, since this is a book about family secrets, why were both—friendship and family—important for you to include in this book?
Laura: Edie In Between was always going to be a story about intergenerational family relationships. I was especially interested in looking at how Edie and her grandmother dealt with grief in different ways and how that could create tension between them. I also love the idea of found family and how friends will show up and support you through hard things when maybe your family cannot.

El Space: If you could have magical power, and could choose what power you have, what would your power be?
Laura: In my story, the magic that travels through the Mitchell family is elemental. Edie struggles with her element of fire, her mother commanded water and her grandmother, GG, commands earth – especially plants. Of all of those, I’d most like GG’s magic because she can grow anything. Not only does that seem incredibly useful to me, but I also love lush, overgrown gardens and I’d like to have a talent for creating one like GG’s.

El Space: Excluding the great VCFA authors who are too numerous to name, who are some of the fantasy authors you find inspiring?
Laura: Akwaeke Emezi for their talent for showing over telling. Laini Taylor for full-on originality. Holly Black for making me feel all things while also creating delicious fairy worlds. Tomi Adeyemi for the infusion of West African myth. Leigh Bardugo for balancing a huge cast of interesting characters. Brigid Kemmerer for retellings.

   

  

El Space: What are you working on now?
Laura: I am working on another young adult novel with paranormal elements. In this story, a group of friends summon an urban legend connected to their historic private school in hopes that it will grant wishes. The legend is more dangerous than they’d believed, so they’ll need to work together to defeat it—before one of them dies. But when a student transfers into their school in the middle of the semester, it seems that he has his own interest in the legend—and it’s at odds with theirs.

Thank you, Laura, for being my guest!

Looking for Laura? You can find her at her website, Instagram, or Twitter.

Looking for Edie in Between ? Check out your local bookstore, Children’s Book World, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Indiebound. Be sure to check out the book launch—info here: https://www.childrensbookworld.net/sibson-edie-in-between/

One of you will receive a signed copy of Laura’s novel. Just comment below to be entered in the drawing. Winner to be revealed next week.

And don’t forget Laura’s first novel:

Book cover and author photo courtesy of Laura Sibson. Author photo by Rachael Balascak. Other book covers from Goodreads. Magic image from dreamstime. Garden image found on Pinterest.

30 thoughts on “Check This Out: Edie in Between

  1. Congratulations to Laura! I’m glad Scrivener works well for her. Years ago, I purchased the program, but I continue to use journals to keep track of everything. Maybe when I retire I’ll have time to conquer the learning curve. Thanks for hosting, L. Marie.

  2. Wonderful discussion, Linda and Laura. Congrats on this book, Laura! I have tried and tried Scrivener. Alas, I cannot master its massive format. Maybe one day…

  3. I love that you’re with Viking, Laura! Who is your editor? What I wonder is: when your editor suggested the mash-up for your second novel, how easy was it for you to go with HER idea? It’s always a challenge to me to find the story that wants to be told. I look forward to reading this one!

  4. Laura’s author photo looks very familiar to me, and so does her earlier book, the Art of Breaking Things. I may have WON it!

    As for Scrivener. I bought the rather expensive program, but never actually used it. Thank you for featuring Laura’s new book today, L. Marie! 🙂

  5. Congratulations on your new book, Laura. It’s fascinating to me how you incorporate magic into your stories. It must make everything more interesting and fun.

  6. Being able to grow things would be a great power. I think my wife believes in Garden Fairies – she would like a beautiful garden but doesn’t take any time to do anything with it 😂 Maybe she’s just dropping hints for me.

    • Haha! I, too, want a beautiful garden and I, too, do very little to make that happen. Hence my desire for that talent 🙂 I read a lovely Mary Oliver poem recently in which she noted that she’d seen her gardener friend as a sort of Merlin until she saw him on his knees each day and then she realized, it’s all just dedication and labor, not magic. 😉

  7. Best of luck with your book, Laura, and thank you, L. Marie, for hosting 🙂
    I’m using Scrivener for my WIP and I really like how easy it is for me to move parts of my novel around. There’s definitely a learning curve (and I’m still learning), but I’m glad to have the tool.

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