One author, Four questions. Today we’re talking to R.C. Lewis, author of STITCHING SNOW. Here we go!
Hey, you’re getting published! How’d that happen?
Very quickly. Abnormally so. Not the first part, though. I’d been querying a couple of different manuscripts over two and a half years without quite getting all the way to representation. When I was getting ready to try with Stitching Snow, I got involved with The Writers’ Voice contest and sent out one batch of queries. Two weeks later, I signed with Jennifer Laughran of Andrea Brown Literary Agency. That was at the start of summer, and by summer’s end, we’d sold to Disney-Hyperion in a two-book deal.
What do you do in your daily life outside of writing?
I teach math! (Don’t groan or run away screaming, math-phobes! You just didn’t have the right teacher—me!) Right now I work with 8th and 9th graders in some very large classes, but for six years before this, I taught at a school for the deaf. Deaf high-schoolers, everything from basic math through calculus, all in American Sign Language. My current students find it fascinating, especially when I indulge them by showing how to sign things like “Let’s steal her socks.” (I don’t know why they wanted to sign that, but that’s one they asked for.)
What inspires you to write?
In the general sense, I’ve always enjoyed doing things that stretch parts of my brain that don’t get used so much when I’m teaching math all day. I began writing my first novel because I wanted certain students to see characters who were like them in ways I wasn’t seeing often. It went from there. I like exploring what-ifs and how choices impact people’s lives.
Stitching Snow in particular was inspired by a line in a Florence + the Machine song that I’d thought I heard wrong in the car. Turns out I heard it right. Either way, it sparked an image that grew into a story.
What’s your debut book about? Can you share any cool details with us?
I came up with a line for my query, and now my sister makes me repeat it every time someone asks what my book’s about. It’s Snow White in space, if Snow were a cage-fighting tech-head with daddy issues.
Despite being published by Disney, this isn’t the Snow White I grew up with. My MC doesn’t sing with birds. She doesn’t clean much of anything. And “Prince Charming” has problems of his own.
R.C. Lewis teaches math to teenagers—sometimes in sign language, sometimes not—and resists defining herself further since that definition remains in flux. Coincidentally, she enjoys reading about quantum physics. Her debut novel, STITCHING SNOW (Disney-Hyperion, Summer ’14), takes Snow White into space.