Becky Moynihan: there’s a quote by Toni Morrison that says, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” So I started to do just that!
Adaptive, the second book of The Elite Trials trilogy is out now!
Alejandra: What inspired the world you have created?
Becky: This is a multifaceted question! So, at first, I just wanted to write another dystopian series like the ones I enjoy reading. I was struggling to find more to read since I’ve pretty much read them all, then there’s this quote I found by Toni Morrison that says, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” So I started to do just that! Book one, Reactive, was heavily inspired by The Hunger Games. HG was the series that sparked my passion for the dystopian genre and I’ve never read a series quite like it since. Although the world I created is an oppressed one and sports a dangerous competition, that’s where the similarities between the series ends. The Elite Trials trilogy quickly morphed into a twisted version of my own personal story, a journey that I’m still on. The main plot line is about freedom and what it takes to find it—and if there’s more to life than just being free. As for the setting, I decided to ground it in the real world. The entire series takes place in a futuristic North Carolina, and Tatum City is actually located on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. I embellished a few details, but the house depicted in the book is pretty accurate to the real thing!
Are the characters based on you and/or people you know?
Most definitely. But none of the characters are based off of just one person. Lune, for example, is heavily based on me, but we don’t share all of the same characteristics. Her bravado and flamboyant sarcasm aren’t things I naturally possess. Maybe deep deep down, buried inside me, but I don’t outwardly practice that behavior, lol.
Which of the characters do you see yourself most in?
Lune. But I’m also a bit like Bren who has an insatiable need to “fix” things, even when fixing it seems impossible.
What was the most challenging part about writing this trilogy?
Writing Lune’s emotions clearly. I feel everything intensely, just like she does, but I don’t often know why I’m feeling a certain emotion until I take the time to analyze it. However, Lune doesn’t want to analyze her feelings at all, which makes it doubly hard to write her character. Thankfully I have some incredible beta readers and critique partners who help pinpoint the confusing spots!
Are you planning on starting another project soon?
Yes. In fact, I’m already in the middle of another project! A New Adult Urban Fantasy series that I’m co-authoring with Tyffany Hackett. Book one is tentatively set to release in January 2020!
Do you get writers’ block and how do you overcome it?
Very often. I usually get it when I’ve overworked myself or when I’m starting a new project. What usually helps me is taking a break to read a good book and/or watch a TV show/movie. They usually inspire me in some way, which helps the words flow again! But sometimes it’s simply a matter of procrastination and I have to discipline myself to sit down and start writing already (and stay off social media). The words don’t have to be perfect, but once they’re out there, it gets easier and easier to write.
If you could only pick 3 books, which ones would they be?
I don’t know if I can answer this question, lol. Off the top of my head, I’d choose The Hunger Games (a series counts as one book, right?), Redeeming Love and Mark of the Lion series, both by Francine Rivers.
What is one thing I haven’t asked you but would like to share with your readers?
I’m Team Bren 😉