Misty Moncur’s In All Places
Is this a trick question? Haha J Here’s a couple tries.
Keturah returns from the war and tries to fit back into village life.
Keturah’s supposed to marry Zeke but fell in love with another soldier during the war.
What genre is In All Places?
In All Places is a YA historical fiction. It takes places in America in 64 BC among a group of people who were converted to Christianity. It’s got some coming of age themes, some romance, and some adventure.
What was your favorite scene to write?
I have lots of favorites.
I love when Lamech finds Keturah washing tunics and tells her Zeke doesn’t want to see her. He’s such a little brat in that scene. I love how Ket pulls his hair and treats him like a little brother.
I also loved writing the part where Jarom, Zeke’s little brother, blows the coals into flames on the morning before they march on Manti. That was one of those plot twists that completely surprised me, and I loved it so much I just went with it.
One of the new parts I added into the final version takes place when Ket’s unit escorts her home after the war. They stop in Judea for the night and Eve runs into Zeke’s arms and makes Keturah jealous. Ket’s been such a jerk to Zeke, I just loved seeing her get a little taste of her own medicine.
But my most favorite part to write was when Gideon kisses Keturah goodbye in the middle of the village in front of God and everyone—her brother and mother, Zeke’s parents, the other warriors, and all the people of the village. It’s so unlike him, and yet exactly like him to do that.
What was the hardest scene to write?
I loved writing the part where Gideon’s men hide in the ravine while the rest of the army lures the enemy away so Gideon can sneak back and take the city. I love how they instinctively squeeze in tight against the ravine wall while dirt and leaves rain down on them. I really loved imagining how their hearts must have pounded to be that close to the huge enemy army, how they must have worried about their friends that were essentially being used as bait, and how they must have wondered if they would be strong enough to overtake the guards when they snuck back to the city.
The reason this part was hard to write was because it would normally be the climax of a story. Will they or won’t they take the city? But for this book, it fell in the middle of the story, so it couldn’t be the climax. I had to find ways to tone it down, I guess, and I hated doing that to such a heroic part.
Did you ever experience any writers block? How did you overcome that?
I did not experience any writer’s block while writing this book. The ideas came so fast and I couldn’t get them down fast enough. I remember scribbling as fast as I could through so many of my ten minute breaks at work. I wrote a good portion of this novel that way.
I have had writer’s block on other books, though. When that happens, I mostly just wait it out. I think if you force it, it will sound terrible.
But sometimes, you just have to press on and hope you can fix things in editing. Simply writing through it anyway, even if you’re not feeling it, can get the creative juices going. Maybe you have to trash what you wrote during that time, but so what? Words are free.
Brainstorming with a friend can also help, or moving on to a part that is more exciting to write, or fixing another part of your life that might be interfering with your ability or desire to write.
Do you outline before you write or do you just dive in?
I try to outline, and I always recommend it to new writers, but with this series, it all came so quickly. I wrote it faster than I could update my outline, and it ended up that the outline just got in my way. So I would have to say that with this story, I just dove in.
Did any music inspire you while writing In All Places?
I know it’s like the cool thing to have a playlist/soundtrack that inspired a book, but I prefer to write in silence. Just me and the click of the keys or the scratch of the pen.
But during other times, like when I’m driving or doing dishes, I will listen to one or two songs over and over that keep me in the mood of where I am at in the manuscript. Depending on if I am writing a fight scene or a romantic scene, my music choices will reflect that. For example, I listened to (If You’re Wondering If) I Want You To by Weezer a lot, because even by the end, Gideon is still not sure of Keturah’s feelings. And of course, who could write teen romance without some Taylor Swift going on, am I right?
What is your favorite quote from In All Places?
“Sometimes, the fiercest battles in life are not fought on the battlefield. They are fought inside the heart.” The reason I love this so much is because it’s Zeke’s mother who says it to Keturah when Keturah tells her she is trying to choose between Zeke and another boy.
There is also this part where Keturah is sure Zeke is going to tell her she’s a big-time screw-up and a distraction to all the warriors, but he says, “Keturah, you are what every man wants to fight for.”
Are you currently working on anything else?
I have written eight books in this series. The first three are about Keturah, and the other five are about some of the other warriors in the army with her. They are told through point of view of the girls they fall in love with when they come home. I am currently working on getting these all published and available, and in my spare time, I am working on book nine in the series, which is about Gideon’s youngest brother.
There are a few other books I would like to work on, but this series will be keeping me busy for a long time. I’ve got a contemporary YA, a western romance, and a YA Dystopian on the back burner.
I really like LuAnne Rice because of the way she writes families. She can portray how people in families both love and hate each other, resent and care for one another. I think relationships can be so complicated, especially close relationships that last over years. I try to emulate her in my own writing.
What is the best book you’ve read recently?
The Divergent series, hands down.
Next Ten Books on Misty’s TBR pile/E-reader
Let’s call it the eReader list. I LOVE being able to carry all my books with me wherever I go. I get kind of panicky without them, lest I should be sitting at the dentist’s office or the long line at the grocery store with nothing to read. J Here are a few of the books I hope I get to soon.
The Bane by Keary Taylor
I read What I Didn’t Say by Taylor and LOVED it, so I’d like to give something else of hers a try.
Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanan
My fifth grader read this at school and he asked me to buy it so he could finish it before the class, and I thought if it’s that good, maybe I should try it! Plus, it sounds really cute.
You Belong With Me by Shannon Guyman
I know lots of people who like this book, but I haven’t read it yet.
Just Ella by Annette K Larsen
One of the book reviewers whose opinion I really respect said this one was good, so I thought I’d give it a try.
The Reluctant Bachelorette by Rachael Anderson
Looks totally cute.
Emma: A Latter Day Tale by Rebecca H. Jamison
Rebecca is a writer friend of mine, and I haven’t yet taken the chance to read one of her books. She is such a nice person, and I’m such a jerk for not getting around to this yet.
Love Overdue by Pamela Morsi
I know nothing about this or Morsi, but it sounded really cute on the Netgalley, so I thought I’d try to get to it.
Losing Mars by Cidney Swanson
I took a chance on Saving Mars by Swanson and really fell in love with Jessamyn. She grows, she learns, all the things I like in a YA novel. Can’t wait to finish up the series.
The Hero by Robyn Carr
Might be part of my secret Robyn Carr addiction…
Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer
I’ve read all of Witemeyer’s other books, and can’t wait to read this when it comes out. I like Karen’s work because I know I can count on it to be clean, and also, western romances are probably my favorite genre.
Misty Moncur’s Holiday Traditions
One of my favorite holiday traditions is a Thanksgiving one. Instead of having potatoes and turkey gravy, we have mashed potatoes in a bowl with homemade chicken noodle soup over the top. I remember this from all our Thanksgivings with my mom’s family growing up, and now that I’m grown, I’ve taken on making the soup because it is a tradition that I want to carry on.
We also have a quirky little birthday tradition. My family always sings a second verse to the Happy Birthday song. Instead of singing, “Happy Birthday to you,” we sing, “’Tis love brings us here.” Every time I hear it at my birthday or someone else’s in my family, I try to remember that the reason everyone is there singing, eating cake, laughing and supporting each other, is because of love.
I prefer the older, family traditions instead of trying to do every new thing you see on the Pinterest or hear about other families doing. I like writing out Christmas cards like my mom used to do as opposed to, say, moving some creepy elf around my house. Making new tradition can be fun, and even necessary when times change, but I think the old traditions that you pass on hold the most meaning.