Logan Young is a Colorado-based young adult author. As a child, his overactive mind never seemed to shut off, filling his head with all kinds of stories and worlds. Now as an adult, he’s decided to put those stories on paper. When not writing, Logan enjoys getting out and exploring in nature whenever he can.
So let’s get into the questions!
First, tell us about your book!
My debut novel, The Vanquisher of Water, tells the story of Kym Collins. Kym is a young teenage girl who’s life has been negatively impacted by magic. Then, when she discovers that she herself has magic, she must learn to accept her place in a world she never wanted to be a part of.
How did you come up with this idea? What inspired you?
The idea for this world and Kym’s story really came out of nowhere. I was sitting in my parent’s house when I was 17 years old one night in December, and suddenly, the idea of Princirum, the setting of Kym’s story, plopped into my head. I knew there were gods and rulers and demons and people who could do magic, but there also weren’t that many of them. I started writing the mythology of the world, most of which only makes brief appearances in the actual story. Then, once I felt like I had a semi firm grasp on the world of Princirum, I started looking at Kym’s story.
Tell us a little bit about your main character(s). Were you inspired by anyone particular when writing them?
The main character of The Vanquisher of Water is 16 year old Kymbralyn Collins. With Kym, I really wanted a hero who wasn’t, for lack of a better phrase, “special because they are the hero”. I wanted a hero who struggled with their place in the world, and who also struggled with the magic itself. Of course, there is always a little of every author in all of their characters, and that is very true for myself and Kym. Growing up as a competitive swimmer, I was not good when I was young. I had to work really, really hard to improve while other around me with more natural talent didn’t need to work as hard. And that struggle bled into Kym, to whom magic does not come naturally and who has to work extremely hard just to keep up with her magical training.
What about your setting? What inspired you to choose where the story took place?
For a story like the one I wanted to tell, I needed a little more control over it. So, I invented a whole world, complete with it’s own religion, gods, and customs. I thought it would be fun to have a technologically advanced society living alongside a magical world that seemed so stuck in the past they were almost out of place. Then, since this was a magical world, that let me get away with having some very different locations on what is in actuality a relatively small island.
Obviously, stories change from their initial inception. How has your story changed while working on it?
The biggest changes came near the beginning. In the very first draft, I did the rookie author mistake of trying to info dump all of the information I thought the reader would need, resulting in what is now the first chapter starting out as the third. I also spent many, many years writing this book. So, even if the story itself didn’t really change, everything got a little deeper and darker is I grew out of my angsty teen years and into my early twenties.
What is your writing process like?
I’m a big planner. I like to know what I’m going to do and where a story is going to go. However, I alway allow myself the room to let the story deviate from the plan and go where it needs to. With any part of my writing process, I really only have one rule: finish what you’re doing BEFORE you move on to the next part. This really comes in handy during drafting, where I always have ideas about how I could change and “fix” what I did a week ago. So, I jot down the idea so I don’t forget it, and then I keep pushing forward with the draft and save all changes until the draft is done.
What part of the writing process do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy drafting the most. It’s where I feel the most free, and where literally anything can happen in the story, since there really is no story until I write it down.
What was the most difficult part in writing your book? How did you overcome it?
The most difficult part of writing the book came about halfway through the process. I’d been writing the book for about 3 years at that point, and when I sat down to do another read through of the draft, I realized I couldn’t read it. The writing was just too hard to read. I couldn’t get through the first 5 pages of my own story. That was a huge blow. Even to me, the one who loves this story the most, the book was unreadable. So, I ended up rewriting the entire novel, from start to finish. And even though it took months to do, I’m happy I did it in the end, since the book wouldn’t be what it is without that step.
Now let’s talk personal inspiration: did anyone or anything inspire you to be a writer?
I grew up in the Harry Potter era, and it would be ridiculous of me to say that wasn’t a big inspiration, because it was. That series was the series that made me enjoy reading, and want to explore worlds of my own. I was also inspired my the TV series Avatar the Last Airbender, which had so many diverse characters and personalities that made a really fun group dynamic.
Finally, do you have any words of inspiration or tips to new authors?
If you have a story to tell, tell it. Don’t let anyone stop you from telling a story you are excited about. Also, the only person you should be trying to please with your story is yourself. Write the story that excites you, not the one you think other will like.
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Until next time,