Welcome to BookView Interview, a conversation series where BookView talks to authors.
Recently, we interviewed Connor Owens, the author of The Adventures of Abby and Friend, (Read the review here.) a gripping, action-filled YA tale.
Connor was born and raised in Nassau County, New York. When not writing, Connor works in construction on the North Shore of Long Island, where he lives. He is a construction worker and a writer because he loves working with his hands and creating a story. Writing is a lost art that he truly enjoys. He is always creating something, whether it’s sculpting, drawing, or Zbrush. After High School, Connor enrolled in the Douglas Education Center for Learning. It is here that Connor learned how to do Character Creation. The best part of his experience at this school was being surrounded by other creative minds. Real, talented people that understood Connor and he really understood their artistic thinking. The students there energized him to reflect on his own direction in life and he felt confident enough to build on his imagination and creativity taking it to a new level. At the age of 23, Connor started to write all of his ideas and thoughts down building his characters which was the beginning of his first chapter in The Adventures of Abby and Friend. He cares deeply about his characters and where they are going as this will be a series.
What 3 things was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
The best money I spent having to do with writing is my microphone. The technology today is so convenient compared to just six years ago where I was constantly writing or looking for paper. Talk-to-text is so much easier and faster in getting my thoughts and ideas out before I lose them.
Also, working with a professional editor was extremely helpful in editing and formatting my book. That was a lot more work than what I thought and now I know going forward how to better prepare myself.
And lastly, I took a class in school called Character Creation. The class was about taking characters and fitting them into an environment you are creating for them. Very informative class.
Do you read your book reviews? Do they please you or annoy you? Do you think you can learn a lot from reading criticism about your work?
I absolutely do read my reviews. It is very important feedback that provides me with recommendations on how to make positive improvements on my work. It gives me a new perspective to look at things in a different way that I might not have considered.
What is your greatest failure? What did you learn from that failure?
When I was younger, I decided to sell my artwork at a local flea market on the weekends during the summer. I was panicky and impatient plus spent a lot of money on displays. I didn’t know how to price my art and ended up selling nothing. Looking back, I now know that I need to do research on pricing and learn more about the business side of things. Also, to be more patient as things take time to work out.
Is there anything you want to unlearn?
I would like to unlearn all those how-to online art classes and videos and be confident to do things my way, my style. That is what makes me unique. Getting rid of self-doubt.
What do you hope readers will take away from this story?
My story is about friendship and overcoming bullying in school. A good friend can provide comfort, joy, and even prevent loneliness. Abby needed Friend during an awful time in her life and he chose to help her. He empowered Abby to be strong and made her realize she can overcome her difficulties. I hope my readers will realize in their own lives that they too can overcome hardships. Life is full of them but there are people, strangers even from all walks of life, that really do care about them. Reach out to a Friend.
Tell us some more about your book.
Fourteen-year-old Abby’s life is thrust into turmoil when a monster crashes through her window one stormy evening, bloodied and carrying a necklace identical to hers. But when she wakes up the next morning, it’s like the night before never happened, except for the new voice in her head telling her to trust the monster. A greater danger is on the way, and only he can prevent it. To prove her words, the voice shows her a vision of Morgantown’s future through the necklace, one of complete destruction. Abby must save Morgantown!
Tell us a little about how this story first came to be. Did it start with an image, a voice, a concept, a dilemma or something else?
It started with a simple conversation with a school friend and that conversation evolved into a thought about friendship. What friendship means to me, and a history of bullying is where the story started from. It took five more years of writing the character developments to get the book to where it is now.
Which scene, character or plotline changed the most from first draft to published book?
The most changed scene in my book was when Abby went to live for a short period of time with Izzy and her boyfriend Richard. Even though Richard was not a significant character in the book, Friend did kill Richard. The decision to have Friend do that to a character weighed on me but Richard was bad, not pure. I think it was important to keep the death in the book in a way that wasn’t traumatizing or too graphic for a young reader.
Where do your ideas for a story come from?
Every thing in life we do is from a thought. But its being able to recognize in all these thoughts a good idea and working on it right away before you lose it. That’s the key. My ideas come when I least expect it, at work, unamused, and zoning out in my head. That’s when my amusement starts!
What’s next for you?
The Adventures of Abby and Friend is the first book of my series “The Adventures of……”
I am presently working on my next book to this series which will eventually lead back to Abby.
Categories: BookView Review Interview