I’m really excited to be chatting with Becky Moynihan this month. Becky’s debut novel, Reactive, is out this week. I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy and I’m already hooked!
Reactive is the first book in Becky’s Elite Trials series, a young adult dystopian romance series.
An easy one to start off with! Which part of the world do you hail from and have you always lived there?
I’m currently living in North Carolina, USA! I actually grew up in Minnesota where the winter temps freeze the tears on your face.
How long have you been a writer and what was the first piece of fiction you wrote?
Technically I began seriously writing in March of 2017 when I started the first draft of Reactive, but I wrote several short stories in high school and college. In one of them, the two main characters were both named Jesse. Ummm…
What was the last book you read, and would you recommend it?
The last full-length novel I read was The Last Namsara, a YA Fantasy, and I definitely recommend it! Fun read and it has dragons. I also finished reading debut novella Wall of Crosses that my friend Baj Goodson just released! It’s a mystery/family drama and I was blown away. Highly recommended.
Tell us about your writing process. Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m a plantser, actually. I usually know the genre, general gist of the story, and the main character’s names. The rest is a mystery until I begin writing that first chapter! I then loosely outline the plot as I go. But most of the time, my characters take charge and I’m just a passenger.
Where do you write your books and what’s your choice of drink and music to keep you typing away?
On the left side of my living room couch. It’s the comfiest spot in the world! Every evening (when I should be in bed), my imagination stirs to life. Aided by a can of Mountain Dew and complete utter silence, I type.
Aside from writing and reading, what do you love doing most?
Spending time out in nature, as long as the mosquitoes aren’t too terrible!
Which character in your books do you most relate to and why?
Lune. She’s the inner me! I just can’t kick butt like she can. But her emotions and refreshing sarcastic wit are mine.
Do you have any children or pets?
I have the sweetest, kindest eight year old daughter and the cutest, sassiest black goldendoodle (who doesn’t really like hugs from her older sister).
What three books have influenced your style of writing or the themes you write about the most and why?
The Hunger Games, because it introduced me to young adult books and the dystopian genre. I was captivated by the story and have several similar elements in Reactive. Throne of Glass series, namely Sarah J Maas’s writing style. It’s so emotional and I have picked up some of this in my own writing. And The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. I love that he created a bleak, post-apocalyptic world yet his main character throws around sarcasm like candy. I incorporated these concepts into my own writing as well!
Tell us about Reactive and The Elite Trials series. Where did your initial idea come from and why did you choose to write this book?
At first, I was inspired by The Hunger Games concept, but it quickly morphed into something else entirely. Although still dystopian, the story has a vastly different feel. I took the saying “Write what you want to read” and poured my life experiences into characters in a fictitious setting. It has a little bit of everything I love: flawed humans, impossible stakes, special abilities, action action action, humor, and… swoon-worthy romance. This is a dystopian romance, after all!
Can you sum up Reactive in five words?
Strength is facing your fears.
AN INESCAPABLE CITY. THREE DEADLY TRIALS. ONE WAY OUT.
For eleven years, Lune Tatum, adopted daughter of the Supreme Elite, does as she’s told.
She doesn’t ask questions.
She trains for the Trials. She follows the rules.
And she wants out.
Her plan has always been to win the Elite Trials and earn Title of Choice, her only chance at freedom.
But a boy from her past shows up on her eighteenth birthday.
His presence threatens Lune’s carefully laid plans and exposes memories she’s desperate to forget.
One thing is painfully clear: he can’t be trusted. He has secrets. Big ones.
And they could ruin everything.