David Estes Fans and YA Book Lovers Unite! discussion

Ashes (Ashes Trilogy, #1)
This topic is about Ashes
155 views
Author Q&A > Ilsa J. Bick (author of Ashes) Q&A Nov. 11-17th

Comments (showing 1-50 of 140) (140 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1 3

message 1: by David, Mr. Blue Eyes; He's the Best--Ain't no lie!! ;) (last edited Nov 12, 2013 02:42AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

David Estes (davidestesbooks) | 10675 comments Mod
From November 11th to 17th, author Ilsa J. Bick will be coming to our group to answer questions about her incredible dystopian/post-apocalyptic books, her life as an author, and about anything else you all can come up with!! So get ready for the fun and start thinking of some questions to ask her!

And if you haven't checked out her books, take a peek, I think you'll enjoy them!

Ashes (Ashes Trilogy, #1) by Ilsa J. Bick Shadows (Ashes Trilogy, #2) by Ilsa J. Bick Monsters (Ashes Trilogy, #3) by Ilsa J. Bick

Note: a master list of all questions asked and answered is in message 3! Thanks for maintaining the list Jenny!


Karen | 10896 comments Mod
Eep! I'm half finished with Monsters (Ashes Trilogy, #3) by Ilsa J. Bick and I have some burning questions for her!! So excited to pick her brain!


message 3: by Jenny, Always smiling! :-D (last edited Nov 17, 2013 09:13AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jenny (juliababyjen) | 12605 comments Mod
I'm so excited for this, it will be fun!

Questions:

1. (Karen) Ilsa, how the heck were you able to write some of those gory scenes without freaking yourself out?

What scares YOU? ;-)

2. (Jenny) Ilsa, you created so many different and unique characters in your Ashes trilogy. Who was your favorite character to write and why?

3. (Karen)Your world in the Ashes trilogy happened due to an EMP, how did you come up with the idea of that type of apocalypse?

4. (Karen) You mention a background of emergency rooms and trauma. What IS your background?

5. (Karen) William Shatner or Chris Pine?? ;-P
Old Star Trek or new Star Trek?

6. (Liz)Ohh I have a question for Ilsa - how exciting, lovely when authors do this! Keeping in mind that I have not yet finished (midway through shadows with Monsters awaiting me on the kindle) did you always have an ultimate plan for the ending of the trilogy or has it evolved over time? I ask with great interest having been extremely disappointed with the ultimate resolution of a recent YA Dystopian series which I felt lacked cohesion. And I'm mad about Alex..one of the best characters in this genre that I have come across...and certainly the best cover art :) Thank you Ilsa. And thanks David!

7. (Jenny)What is your favorite movie/TV remake?

8. (Karen) I know White Space (Dark Passages, #1) is due out next. Can you tell us when it will be released and what it's about?

9. (K)Did you use the Amish community because it was a good fit as a plot device with the elements of the story, or do you have some connection/special interest in the Amish?

10. (K) Also, while Alex's monster, her tumor spared her, and with Tom and Chris it seems like the psychological trauma of war and abuse may have Spared them, how do you explain the other Spared?

11.(Caitlin)A) When you first began working on the Ashes Trilogy did you plan on it being three books?

B) What is your writing process like? From when you conceptualize something to the final product do you find yourself always doing similar steps with each book?

C) Have you been tempted to do anything else with the world you created in the Ashes Trilogy? Like write a book with different characters that are in the future of this world or anything along those lines.

12. (Karen)Do you have any "quirks" during your writing process?

13. (David)How do you keep up such a high level of action for so many pages? Do you drink a lot of coffee while writing to keep your energy levels up?

14. (Kristina) Why was Ellie such a brat in the beginning?! Did you get her character from someone you know/knew?

15. (Sherrie)Was your book the Sin Eater's Confession inspired by a real life event?

16. (Sherrie)Who are some of your favorite authors and how have they influenced your writing?

17. (Jenny)What do you want readers to take away from reading your books?

18. (Karen)Where do these ideas for your books come from? Especially something like White Space?

19. (Nanouk)I haven't read Monsters yet (I'm DYING to read it but school makes it impossible), but I'm really curious about how authors come to the ending of a book. I talked to Lauren Kate (Fallen series) a few days ago and she told me that she'd rewritten the ending of the series about a million times and it killed her. How was that for you? Was it hard to end the trilogy?

20. (Sorus)Okay, I have to know. Why do you routinely count cats if you've been gone awhile?

21. (Karen)Ilsa, from your books, you seem to be a pretty knowledgeable camper and hiker. What survival gear is in your backpack/fanny pack? (I learned all sorts of things from reading Ashes!)

22. (Karen)This question is one that we batted around during our buddy read of Monsters. I have to be cryptic to not give away any spoilers.

Does W take it? (I think he did!)

23. (Brenda) I just finished Monsters and have to say, this is now my fave trilogy. Will you possibly be continuing the story or any additions? I got so caught up with and connected to all the characters, setting and relationships that I want MORE!!! Hmmm? :)

24. (Karen)What do you like to do for fun when you're not glued to your desk writing?

25. (Jeann)Hi Ilsa, do you think YA books are getting more stereotypical these days with instant love, love triangles and daft heroines? As a book blogger these are some of the blogosphere's most hated tropes, yet authors still continue to use them. What are your thoughts on this?

26. (Jenny)What are your book turn offs? And what would you absolutely refuse to write about?

27. (Kelly)Have there been any other YA novels that you've felt have been a little too close to your work, or that you've felt were borderline plagiarism?

28. (Kelly)How are you able to keep your storylines fresh and unique, when it seems most mainstream YA are all just following the trends?

29. (Sherry)In Shadows, how did Kincaid get back to Rule?

30. (Dre)If a zombie apocalypse came upon us, who would you pick as your team to ensure survival? Why? Choose from any fictional character from books or TV.

31. (Jenny)What is the best the thing about being a writer? What is the worst?

32. (Karen)Dogs or cats?

33. (David)Are you a coffee drinker?

34. (Karen)Ilsa, IF you ever decide to revisit the world of Ashes, would you consider doing some prequels? Maybe even short stories or novellas? There are so many interesting backstories I'd love to learn more about. Chris, Peter, Simon, Lena, Kincaid, Jess, and especially Alex and Tom. The story of Rule! So much to know!

35. (Karen)Ilsa, in Monsters, you touch upon an environmental issue about wolves. Are there any causes you are interested in, environmental or other?

36. (Jeann)What do you enjoy about writing dystopian books? Also what do you find challenging?

37. (Jeann)I'm excited about your upcoming book White Spaces. I hear there's many POVs within it, could you tell us about how this is weaved into the story? How do you think readers will find your new release?


38. (Jenny)What things were you excited about doing when your kids left the nest?



Karen | 10896 comments Mod
The group banner looks amazing!! Well done!!


message 5: by David, Mr. Blue Eyes; He's the Best--Ain't no lie!! ;) (new) - rated it 4 stars

David Estes (davidestesbooks) | 10675 comments Mod
Kelly did an AWESOME job with the banner, love it! And I've got plenty of questions for Ms. Bick ;)


message 6: by Jenny, Always smiling! :-D (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jenny (juliababyjen) | 12605 comments Mod
Me, too! I should start writing them down now, while Monsters is still fairly fresh in my head!


message 7: by Dre (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dre (drewolf) | 266 comments Love the banner, Kelly!


Brenda Burchell Wise | 11 comments David wrote: "From November 11th to 17th, author Ilsa J. Bick will be coming to our group to answer questions about her incredible dystopian/post-apocalyptic books, her life as an author, and about anything else..."

AWESOME! This is my new FAVE trilogy! Yes!


message 9: by David, Mr. Blue Eyes; He's the Best--Ain't no lie!! ;) (new) - rated it 4 stars

David Estes (davidestesbooks) | 10675 comments Mod
Aw yes!!! Ilsa will love hearing that ;)


message 10: by Lauren (new) - added it

Lauren Stoolfire | 2002 comments Ashes sounds amazing! I need to read it! :)


Karen | 10896 comments Mod
It's one of my all time favorites, Lauren!!


Karen | 10896 comments Mod
This event is almost here! I need to start thinking up my question!


message 13: by David, Mr. Blue Eyes; He's the Best--Ain't no lie!! ;) (new) - rated it 4 stars

David Estes (davidestesbooks) | 10675 comments Mod
Yes! We all do!


message 14: by Karen (last edited Nov 04, 2013 08:11AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Karen | 10896 comments Mod
Aw.... Here is Ilsa's blog from today! Happy Birthday Ilsa!

http://www.ilsajbick.com/?p=2443 Look at what her amazing hubby did for her!


message 15: by Jenny, Always smiling! :-D (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jenny (juliababyjen) | 12605 comments Mod
OMG, that is AMAZING!!! HAHAHA! He got her good!

Darryl usually gives me his credit card and turns me loose in a bookstore for my birthday! He tries to surprise me every Christmas, but I always figure out what he's getting me, which drives him crazy!


Brenda Burchell Wise | 11 comments Can't wait! I'm halfway thru Monsters and this trilogy is FANTASTIC! One of the Best reads of the year thus far and in my top FAVES!


message 17: by Ilsa (new) - added it

Ilsa Bick Hey, guys:

Just poking my nose in, waving hi . Looking forward to next week! SQUEEE!

And, Jenny. . . yeah, like, he TOTALLY blew me away.


message 18: by Jenny, Always smiling! :-D (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jenny (juliababyjen) | 12605 comments Mod
Hi, Ilsa! *waves like crazy* I can't wait either!


Karen | 10896 comments Mod
Hey Ilsa!! So happy you dropped by! Next week is going to be a blast! WOOT WOOT! :-)


Karen | 10896 comments Mod
Brenda wrote: "Can't wait! I'm halfway thru Monsters and this trilogy is FANTASTIC! One of the Best reads of the year thus far and in my top FAVES!"

Same here, Brenda!!


Karen | 10896 comments Mod
I have my first few questions planned out! ;-P Squeee!!!!


message 22: by David, Mr. Blue Eyes; He's the Best--Ain't no lie!! ;) (new) - rated it 4 stars

David Estes (davidestesbooks) | 10675 comments Mod
Ahhh, this is going to be SO AWESOME!!! Thanks for popping in Ilsa!


Donna (DonaNicole) | 868 comments David wrote: "From November 11th to 17th, author Ilsa J. Bick will be coming to our group to answer questions about her incredible dystopian/post-apocalyptic books, her life as an author, and about anything else..."

Well, I missed this one and I have actually read the first two books and have the third one on my Kindle awaiting a read. Who needs television when they have so many books on my Kindle? Me, I guess.


message 24: by Karen (last edited Nov 10, 2013 09:22AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Karen | 10896 comments Mod
I'm starting on some of my questions.

Ilsa, how the heck were you able to write some of those gory scenes without freaking yourself out?


What scares YOU? ;-)



message 25: by K. (new) - rated it 5 stars

K. | 7 comments What time is this happening???? I have read all three books and have questions about the last, Monsters.


message 26: by Jenny, Always smiling! :-D (last edited Nov 10, 2013 10:50AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jenny (juliababyjen) | 12605 comments Mod
Starts tomorrow!!! Nov 11-17th! You can start posting questions whenever you want to, though!


Karen | 10896 comments Mod
Jenny wrote: "Starts tomorrow!!! Nov 11-17th! You can start posting questions whenever you want to, though!"

What she said. We have Ilsa for an entire WEEK!! ;-D


message 28: by Jenny, Always smiling! :-D (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jenny (juliababyjen) | 12605 comments Mod
Squee! So excited! I think I'll go ahead and post my first question now, too!

Ilsa, you created so many different and unique characters in your Ashes trilogy. Who was your favorite character to write and why?


message 30: by Ilsa (new) - added it

Ilsa Bick Jenny wrote: "I'm so excited for this, it will be fun!

Questions:

1. (Karen) Ilsa, how the heck were you able to write some of those gory scenes without freaking yourself out?

Actually, it wasn't too hard. I don't scare easily. I think that when you've spent as much time around emergency rooms and trauma patients as I have (did), it's that you become . . . accustomed to it? When you've doing a job, you don't have time to be horrified. If you are, then the patient crashes, you know? In terms of the writing . . . just didn't bother me much. There might be something wrong with that...

What scares YOU? ;-)

2. (Jenny)..."


Jenny, I loved ALL my characters, and each was my favorite to write at one point or another in the book. Really. I can't pick a favorite because I really tried to put everything I could into each character. When you do that, it's like asking a mom to pick her favorite kid: can't be done. [Well, at least ... not in public. ;-) ]

I dunno...which is your fave?


message 31: by Ilsa (new) - added it

Ilsa Bick As for what scares me . . . hmmm . . . getting my eye poked out, I guess. (Probably because I really almost did lose an eye once, a long time ago. Never have liked umbrellas since.)

I'm also not a big fan of drowning or being strangled.

The rest . . . you know, I figure: enough emo; just deal.


message 32: by Jenny, Always smiling! :-D (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jenny (juliababyjen) | 12605 comments Mod
Ilsa wrote: "Jenny wrote: "I'm so excited for this, it will be fun!

Questions:

1. (Karen) Ilsa, how the heck were you able to write some of those gory scenes without freaking yourself out?

Actually, it wasn'..."


I think probably Alex. She was one tough cookie! And a great MC!


message 33: by Jenny, Always smiling! :-D (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jenny (juliababyjen) | 12605 comments Mod
Ilsa wrote: "As for what scares me . . . hmmm . . . getting my eye poked out, I guess. (Probably because I really almost did lose an eye once, a long time ago. Never have liked umbrellas since.)

I'm also n..."


I wouldn't like umbrellas either. And sorry, that made me LOL hehe ;)


message 34: by Ilsa (new) - added it

Ilsa Bick Yeah, I'd be lying if I didn't say I liked Alex myself, Jenny ;-)


message 35: by Ilsa (new) - added it

Ilsa Bick Jenny wrote: "Ilsa wrote: "As for what scares me . . . hmmm . . . getting my eye poked out, I guess. (Probably because I really almost did lose an eye once, a long time ago. Never have liked umbrellas since.) ..."

CRUEL.


message 36: by Jenny, Always smiling! :-D (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jenny (juliababyjen) | 12605 comments Mod
Well, you didn't actually get your eye poked out, so I felt entitled to have a chuckle ;)


message 37: by Karen (last edited Nov 10, 2013 09:15PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Karen | 10896 comments Mod
Ilsa wrote: "As for what scares me . . . hmmm . . . getting my eye poked out, I guess. (Probably because I really almost did lose an eye once, a long time ago. Never have liked umbrellas since.)

I'm also n..."


Funny that you talk about eyes getting poked out!! I seriously had nightmares after chapter 54 in Monsters due to a particular scene!!

Your world in the Ashes trilogy happened due to an EMP, how did you come up with the idea of that type of apocalypse?

You mention a background of emergency rooms and trauma. What IS your background?

William Shatner or Chris Pine?? ;-P
Old Star Trek or new Star Trek?



message 38: by Ilsa (new) - added it

Ilsa Bick Karen wrote: "Your world in the Ashes trilogy happened due to an EMP, how did you come up with the idea of that type of apocalypse?"

To be honest, I was fed up with scenarios that posited a virus or plague because I'd thought they'd been done to death. Plus, I wanted something that would bring down civilization in a big hurry. (A beef I've always had with dystopians is that we rarely get to see a disaster in the making; it's sort of--poof!--and now here we are.) I also wanted something that was scarily, scientifically plausible. It is, too; you can find the rough schematics for e-bombs online, for example. Or explode a nuclear device at 300 miles above the geographic center of the U.S. (somewhere in middle of Kansas), and you could theoretically take out all of North America. Congress knows this is a threat, too; they and the military are always trying to figure a way to "harden" electronics against an e-bomb attack.

So the science is all real. Even the neurological effects--the biggest stretch--have some basis in reality. I wanted to bring everything crashing down quickly--and kill off anyone who MIGHT be able to fix anything--and launch us into the story


message 39: by Ilsa (new) - added it

Ilsa Bick Karen wrote: "You mention a background of emergency rooms and trauma. What IS your background?"

I'm a physician. Started out in general surgery (would've done ER/trauma if that had been an option in my day) and then switched to child and forensic psychiatry. Served in the Air Force during the first Persian Gulf War and might have stayed in if I didn't have two little kids by then. Somewhere in there, I got bored and went back to school at night to get a degree in film and literature studies, and I've written a bunch of psychoanalytically-informed articles on things like Aliens, X-Files, and a ton of other sf/fantasy shows and movies, including--of course, Star Trek.


message 40: by Ilsa (last edited Nov 11, 2013 05:42AM) (new) - added it

Ilsa Bick Karen wrote: "William Shatner or Chris Pine?? ;-P
Old Star Trek or new Star Trek?"


Oh, Bill. Natch. When he was young, those pecs and that chest were serious beefcake in my day. Plus, his voice is better. It really is. Pine is okay, but he's got that nasal-whine.

As for the TREKS: well, you know, the problem is that one is based on movies and the other on a series that developed over time, with actors who had great chemistry. I mean, nice CGI and all, but the new TREK is a PALE imitation that plays a riff on the chemistry developed by the actors in the original. Even the bromance was way better. So...old Trek. I liked the first new Trek movie okay but haven't seen the second. To be honest, I thought it was a little insulting to both the original Khan--I mean, SERIOUSLY, you needed to improve on Ricard Montalban with some skinny, pasty-faced white guy?--and the audience. You mean to tell me that you can't do any better than to continually mine OLD Trek stories, do the old wink-wink, nudge-nudge?

Come on, treat your audience as if we've all got brains. I've SEEN this story before.


message 41: by Liz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz Barnsley (Lizzy11268) | 3 comments Ohh I have a question for Ilsa - how exciting, lovely when authors do this! Keeping in mind that I have not yet finished (midway through shadows with Monsters awaiting me on the kindle) did you always have an ultimate plan for the ending of the trilogy or has it evolved over time? I ask with great interest having been extremely disappointed with the ultimate resolution of a recent YA Dystopian series which I felt lacked cohesion. And I'm mad about Alex..one of the best characters in this genre that I have come across...and certainly the best cover art :) Thank you Ilsa. And thanks David!


message 42: by Jenny, Always smiling! :-D (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jenny (juliababyjen) | 12605 comments Mod
My parents are huge Star Trek fans, and as a result, I have watched a LOT of Star Trek! I haven't seen the newest movies, though, so I'll take your word for it!

What is your favorite movie/TV remake?


Karen | 10896 comments Mod
Well, your background completely explains the gore factor, especially in Monsters! I loved how you wrapped up the series, BTW!

And you see can the child psychiatry background in Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick.

I love that you have such a rich and colorful background because you really know your stuff and it shows up in your books!

I know White Space (Dark Passages, #1) by Ilsa J. Bick is due out next. Can you tell us when it will be released and what it's about?


message 44: by K. (new) - rated it 5 stars

K. | 7 comments Did you use the Amish community because it was a good fit as a plot device with the elements of the story, or do you have some connection/special interest in the Amish?

Also, while Alex's monster, her tumor spared her, and with Tom and Chris it seems like the psychological trauma of war and abuse may have Spared them, how do you explain the other Spared?


Caitlin (CaitlinSiem) | 409 comments Hello Ilsa, thank you for taking time out of your week to talk with us. It is greatly appreciated. And I just want to add, thank you for serving, Happy Veterans Day.

A) When you first began working on the Ashes Trilogy did you plan on it being three books?

B) What is your writing process like? From when you conceptualize something to the final product do you find yourself always doing similar steps with each book?

C) Have you been tempted to do anything else with the world you created in the Ashes Trilogy? Like write a book with different characters that are in the future of this world or anything along those lines.



Karen | 10896 comments Mod
Caitlin wrote: "Hello Ilsa, thank you for taking time out of your week to talk with us. It is greatly appreciated. And I just want to add, thank you for serving, Happy Veterans Day.

A) When you first began work..."


Seriously, Caitlin!! Happy Veterans Day, Ilsa!! Thank you for serving our country!


Karen | 10896 comments Mod
Do you have any "quirks" during your writing process?


Karen | 10896 comments Mod
Ilsa wrote: "Karen wrote: "Your world in the Ashes trilogy happened due to an EMP, how did you come up with the idea of that type of apocalypse?"

To be honest, I was fed up with scenarios that posited a virus ..."


I think that's why I was sooooo drawn to Ashes. It had such a scientific realistic apocalyptic scenario that scared the begeezus out of me.


message 49: by David, Mr. Blue Eyes; He's the Best--Ain't no lie!! ;) (new) - rated it 4 stars

David Estes (davidestesbooks) | 10675 comments Mod
Wow, awesome answers so far, Ilsa! Thanks for sharing so many details!

How do you keep up such a high level of action for so many pages? Do you drink a lot of coffee while writing to keep your energy levels up?


Kristina | 119 comments Why was Ellie such a brat in the beginning?! Did you get her character from someone you know/knew?


« previous 1 3
back to top

70863

David Estes Fans and YA Book Lovers Unite!

unread topics | mark unread


Books mentioned in this topic

Ashes (other topics)
Shadows (other topics)
Monsters (other topics)
Drowning Instinct (other topics)
White Space (other topics)
More...