Young author's novel began during internship
Rachel Stark of Shepherdstown, W.Va., wrote a psychological suspense novel, "A Veil of Shattered Dreams." She says the book is suitable for adults and mature young adults. (By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer / January 19, 2013)
City in which you reside: Shepherdstown, W.Va.
Day job: Communications student at Shepherd University
Book title: "A Veil of Shattered Dreams"
Genre: Young Adult/Psychological suspense
Synopsis of book: "A Veil of Shattered Dreams" is the story of a teenage girl, Katerina, struggling to piece together lost fragments of truth — the reality of the dark past that she has forced herself to forget.
Publisher: Cressen Books LLC
In your bio in the book, you say you have always loved the written word. Did someone — Mom, Dad, grandparents — influence you in reading or writing?
Actually, I would have to say all of them. Both of my parents and my grandparents have always influenced my love of reading and writing. I remember that my grandma used to take me to the library and read to me as a young child. My parents, also, helping me with my writing as I grew up, always giving me advice and feedback on story ideas. You could definitely say it runs on both sides of the family.
What inspired these story ideas? Parents abandoning their children. A young woman bouncing between two worlds. A ghostly woman.
It actually started out as a story idea I had about a young woman meeting someone in her dreams, but then as I developed it more, it became more psychological, and definitely more complex.
Some experts advise writers to write about what they know, and the book's protagonist goes through a mental breakdown of some sort, so, um, is the story a little autobiographical?
Not at all! It was definitely just a creative means to an end. When you think about how you want to get from Point A to Point B, you start developing the character and their motives and thought processes. And for me, it was as my editors told me, that the characters started writing themselves.
I am thankful that I never had to go through what my character did, but I absolutely had to do my research.
I enjoy reading psychological novels and watching films in the genre, so that certainly influenced the book's style. It was also important to me to make my main character as authentic as possible, so I had to dig a little bit into the dark side of myself.
What was your process of writing like? Did you write it all in one long weekend or did you work on it for a year?
The writing process was long, but necessary. It was about six months total. With a plot this intensive and so intricately woven, it took months of writing and planning to execute the ideas in the way I wanted.