I had the honor of meeting Robin Roe at YANovCon, and when I found out that the main characters in A LIST OF CAGES were foster teens, I knew I had to feature it:
When Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist, he thinks he’s got it made. Sure, it means a lot of sitting around, which isn’t easy for a guy with ADHD, but he can’t complain, since he gets to spend the period texting all his friends. Then the doctor asks him to track down the troubled freshman who keeps dodging her, and Adam discovers that the boy is Julian—the foster brother he hasn’t seen in five years.
Adam is ecstatic to be reunited. At first, Julian seems like the boy he once knew. He’s still kindhearted. He still writes stories and loves picture books meant for little kids. But as they spend more time together, Adam realizes that Julian is keeping secrets, like where he hides during the middle of the day, and what’s really going on inside his house. Adam is determined to help him, but his involvement could cost both boys their lives…
According to your website bio, you’ve been a counselor for adolescents and a special education teacher. What was most rewarding about both careers, and what ways, if any, do they show up in your writing?
When I was working with teens, there was this daily joy and the feeling that I was doing something that mattered. Writing is much more solitary, so I miss that part of my life. However, being an author is incredible, and I love spending my days in a creative state of flow.
What a wonderful place to be. A LIST OF CAGES has a beautiful beginning. What do you think are some necessary elements of a book’s first few pages?
Thank you—I really appreciate that. What draws me into a book is the main character. If I care about the character, I care about the story. So I’d say that it’s important to do anything you can do as a writer to make us care as soon as possible.
Indeed. I love your website. What advice, if any, do you have for authors wanting to either build or update their online platform?
I do think having a website is important, but I’m finding that, for me, it’s better if I use social media sparingly. I know some writers are amazing at balancing social media and their work, but I’m not sure if I’m one of those people. I post when I have an event or to answer my readers, but not much apart from that.
Social media can be a vortex, and it’s probably good not to get overly tangled within it! What are some of your current projects?
I have quite a few things in the works, but my next book will also be a YA contemporary. Like A LIST OF CAGES it explores the psychology of the victim, but this one will delve further into the psychology of the offender.