Author Spotlight: A. K. Downing
Writer Mandy Yokim featured Into the Air on her Author Spotlight blog series. Following are excerpts from her post. To see the full post, visit: www.mandyyokim.com/author-spotlight-downing
Is this your first novel? Tell us about your inspiration for writing the book.
Yes, Into the Air is my first novel. Over the years, I’ve written creative content for clients, but never a work of fiction. The inspiration for Into the Air began as my daughter and I walked home from a play date. She was making up a story and mentioned a name. For some reason the name stuck with me, and later that night I wrote it down. Around the same time, my husband and I became hooked on “prepper” shows. I started to wonder what the earth would look like a hundred years after a catastrophic event. I was even more interested in how people would resurface and rebuild. A few months later, bits of the story started to take hold… and the name my daughter made up suddenly had a purpose.
What was your writing process like for this book?
I didn’t have much of a process – at least initially. I didn’t create an outline. I didn’t start at the beginning and work chapter by chapter. Ideas came in jumbles. Bits of dialogue woke me up at night. At times, the ideas came so fast it almost felt obsessive. But the story evolved organically, which allowed it to build and become more complex as the years passed.
Almost all the writing took place after my daughter was in bed, or was jotted down while sitting in traffic during my morning commute. During the final year, I was introduced to an editor who pushed me to rewrite, revise and rethink. Rethinking the story three years into writing it was incredibly hard work, but it made the novel stronger and much more engaging.
Are you working on other projects now?
I am currently working on the sequel to Into the Air – and it feels so good to be writing again. The second book is roughed out. I know the sequence of events and Mia’s path. Just the other day I had an ah-ha moment that changed the focus of chapter 2. All I can say is Mia and Archer’s adventure continues with new characters, returning faces, and more mysteries revealed.