Earlier I wrote a review about THE LIE novel by K.C. Sprayberry, here.
Now, here is an interview with her about the novel.
K.C. Sprayberry, welcome to my blog, I am glad to interview you.
1-Why did you write The Lie?
The Lie came about when two characters were born—Amy and Jane. Amy was an unsure teen whose Mom didn’t approve of her choice of friends. Jane was the troublemaking friend. As the story evolved, I realized Amy needed a champion, her younger brother, Bryce.
2- In your realistic life, have you met young adults that inspired you to write Jane, Bryce and Amy?
I’ve run into many teens that are exactly like or close to Amy, Jane, and Bryce. Maybe not to the degree these teens were in The Lie, but they did have many of the same elements in their lives that could have led to the decisions made in this book.
3- As you are not a young adult, do you think it was easy to think like young adults and teenagers?
I may not be a young adult, but I do have children and I did listen to them when they were teens. My youngest child graduated high school just a few years ago and I was more involved with him, mostly because I didn’t have any other children at home during his years as a teen.
4-In The Lie, we can see a lot of lessons to learn. Do you think novels should have lessons or wisdom for the reader?
Lessons and wisdom can become an integral part of any story for teens, or even adults. The world we live in is evolving but also growing smaller because of how we’re electronically connected. By presenting teens dealing with these situations, by having them figuring out how to deal with trouble or toxic relationships with guidance or support from those they love, a lesson is inevitable. Do we make those lessons and/or wisdom so blatant that it appears we’re lecturing teens? No. They must be subtle, presented in such a way that they appear simple to learn.
5- Amy appears to be weak and dependent on her family and brother. What do you think she should have done to escape all the stuff she got into?
The mother in me says she should have walked away from Jane immediately. But then I have to step back and see this situation from Amy’s point of view. She has a soft heart. Some people say that makes her weak, but it actually makes her stronger. She’s a good friend, until the friendship is betrayed. She’s a person willing to stand with someone she likes. Unfortunately, as was proven in this book, there are some people that use those with soft, loyal hearts and then dispose of them.
6- Jane appeared as an evil character from the beginning. Do you think someone’s character like hers and in her age can be fixed?
In some people, this type of aberration can be fixed, but that requires identifying the problem early on, long before they are high school, and dealing with the individual in a way that guides them away from the acts that bring them attention. Unfortunately, many of these types of children haven’t had the firm guidance necessary to understand that the whole world doesn’t revolve around them, nor do they have the right to do as they please and then blame the consequences of their actions on others.
7- Amy’s mother deals with her in a different way than Bryce, just because she is a female and Bryce is a male. Do you think this model is common in US community? If yes, why does it happen? And how to change it?
The way their mom deals with Amy and Bryce has nothing to do with being male and female. Mom’s reaction is typical of many Western mothers when they don’t want their child interacting with another child. Until the child acquiesces to the parent’s desire to stay away from what they view as a threat, the child will be treated in a different manner, as is evidenced by the change in the mother/daughter relationship later in the book.
I’ve seen mothers and fathers do the same to their son’s instead of their daughter’s. It’s a model common worldwide, not just in the United States. Parental expectations often don’t meet what a teen desires and there will inevitably be clashes while each side of the issue asserts their desire to control what is happening.
How do we change that? I don’t know if you can. The teen years are a time of massive change. The child is growing into adulthood at a rapid rate. They are like a baby bird leaving the nest, learning to fly. Yes, they’ll fall and crash occasionally, but it is natural for our young to want to strike out on their own and learn how to survive.
8- Do you believe Amy’s parents should have interfered from the beginning to end her friendship with Jane? Or should teenagers and young adults have complete freedom in their relationships and friendships with others?
A parent certainly does have the right to decide to order their child to stay away from an individual they feel isn’t good for this teen. However, as has been evidenced in many other situations, that type of heavy-handed behavior usually backfires, with the young adult in question sneaking around to be with what is considered forbidden fruit.
9- Do you think people should not lie whatever happens with them? Is that possible in realistic life?
I’m a firm believer in telling the truth. It’s how I live my personal life and what I showed to all of our children while they were growing up. Lies, no matter how big or small, will always come back to haunt you. Prevarications will cost you trust of those around you. Is it realistic to live a life of truthfulness? Yes, it is, if one understands that tempering your words when a person asks a question that will cause pain if answered with the unvarnished truth. In those situations, the best way to avoid lying is to decline to respond, or to tell the truth, but in a way where it doesn’t hurt.
10- How was your experience in writing a YA novel? How do you compare it to writing other genres?
I’ve been writing since I was very young. Most of those stories didn’t survive many moves around the world, but they’ve all stayed with me to one degree or another. As for writing for young adults, this is born of a lack of good teen novels while I was growing up. Teens were somewhat forgotten, except for certain book series, such as The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and Trixie Belden. We were considered too young for adult novels and eschewed books for younger children.
I think writing for teens has taught me a lot when writing other genres. Young adult books don’t rely on heavy description or long paragraphs of exposition. The focus is always on the plot and sub-plots. In this situation, writing for young adults can make an author a better person to write in other genres.
11- What are you working on currently?
I always have several projects in the works, but for teens, I’m working on another psychological thriller, A Lifetime of Goodbye. This one is about a military brat forced to uproot her life yet again, to what is promised as her last move ever… until she goes to college. That she’s been forced to say goodbye to many friends throughout her lifetime, to move at a moment’s notice without any consideration for her goals or desires, leaves her jaded and cynical. Then she discovers forever really doesn’t exist… or does it?
I’m also plotting out Canoples Investigations Exposes Space Dodger, which will be much different from the first two books and the short story in the recently released Project 9 Volume 2. Nothing to report there yet, except to say this book will change how readers see the team and we’ll soon be meeting the “next group” of intrepid investigators.
12- Would you like to add anything not mentioned in this interview?
Just that teens are wonderful people in their own right. They are smart and savvy, in a way teens even ten years ago weren’t. Today’s teens are connected to friends around the world in real time. Yet, they still suffer the same insecurities, the same afflictions, and the same desire to belong, to be part of the group as teens have all through history. To be able to write for this group of people is a great honor.
Thank you for accepting this interview. I wish you success with your novels.
Thank you for interviewing me. It was a wonderful experience.
About the Author:
Born and raised in Southern California’s Los Angeles basin, K.C. Sprayberry spent years traveling the United States and Europe while in the Air Force before settling in northwest Georgia. A new empty nester with her husband of more than twenty years, she spends her days figuring out new ways to torment her characters and coming up with innovative tales from the South and beyond.
She’s a multi-genre author who comes up with ideas from the strangest sources. Those who know her best will tell you that nothing is safe or sacred when she is observing real life. In fact, she considers any situation she witnesses as fair game when plotting a new story.
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