Alyson Noël Talks about Fated

June 8, 2012 § 3 Comments

“The sky is bigger here than in California.”—Alyson Noël at her Fated book launch at Alamosa Books in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Ever since Alyson Noël visited New Mexico over a decade ago, she has wanted to write a story set here. While she was doing research for her best-selling The Immortals series, she repeatedly came across the topic of Shamanism. That’s when she knew she had her New Mexico story, and the Soul Seekers series was born. The first in the series, Fated, was released May 22, 2012, and three more books— Echo, Mystic, and Horizon—are scheduled to be published in subsequent six months intervals. At the Fated book launch at Alamosa Books, Alyson talked about her new series and writing in general.

Fated: When sixteen-year-old Daire Santos starts having hallucinations, Daire’s mother sends her away to stay with her grandmother in Enchantment, New Mexico. It is her grandmother who recognizes that Daire is beginning her journey as a Soul Seeker, one who can travel between the world of the living and the dead.

Alyson conducted extensive research for Fated, traveling to New Mexico, interviewing Native Americans and teenagers who live in New Mexico, and even taking a 3-day course in Shamanism. Check out the book trailer on the Soul Seekers website. Alyson said it perfectly matches what she pictured in her mind: landscape, characters, mood, everything. I got chills the first time I watched it, so I am excited to start reading this book.

Alyson Noel and Me at Alamosa Books

Creating Story: Alyson begins with a premise that appeals to her, then develops a character that is totally not ready for what’s about to happen to her. To create a compelling story, Alyson said you must “put your character through absolute hell.”

Recommended Reading for Writers: Two books that are always on Alyson’s desk when is writing:
Story by Robert McKee. “This book changed my writing.”
Save the Cat by Blake Snyder. “I always make sure I hit the fifteen beats that are outlined in this book.” (I had recently bought this book at the Southwest Writers Script and Screen conference, and started reading it after Noël’s talk. Based on the first few chapters, I have already made a change for the better in the first chapter of my novel.)

Advice to Aspiring Writers: For those who are looking for a critique that is actually helpful and constructive, she said it is important to get your feedback from someone who understands and appreciates your genre.

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