February 1, 2012 by Alice in Readerland
“If you liked The Breakfast Club and The Swiss Family Robinson, you’ll love WRECKED! An ill-fated Caribbean cruise and four teenagers: a nerd, a jock, a mouse, and a beauty queen…an island, a treehouse, some nefarious interlopers…life and death…fear and loathing…love and laughter. Follow Jonathan, Kevin, Candi and Sarah as they find their typical high school lives and their worlds totally WRECKED.” ~ Goodreads description
Author: Elle Casey
Genre: Young Adult Action/Adventure
Age Range: I’d say older teens.
Book Courtesy Of: The author, in return for an honest review.
What do you get when four teens from opposite ends of the social spectrum find themselves wrecked on an uninhabited island? Well, if you’re Elle Casey, you get the YA Action/Adventure novel Wrecked.
From being introduced to the four protagonists, to when they’re on the cruise ship, to when they’re in a life boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, to their life on the island, and all the way to the satisfying conclusion, Wrecked will keep the reader interested.
The relationships, emotions, and actions of the four protagonists were kept real, like I could honestly see these characters as teens with real reactions. They make great decisions, make not-so-great decisions, take action, make a home, fall in love, laugh, cry, have meltdowns, and do what they can to survive.
Oh, and did I mention there are pirates? Because there are pirates (okay, the marijuana growing drug dealer type of pirates); and, as Wrecked puts it, “You know, Pirates of the Caribbean is very misleading…Why was I rooting for the bad guys?”
Look below for an interview with Elle!
Me: How did you come up with Wrecked?
Elle: I came up with the idea after reading several shipwrecked type books (Robinson Crusoe, Treasure Island, The Swiss Family Robinson) and seeing the film Castaway. These books/film were always about adults though. I wondered how kids would do if they didn’t have adults around. As a kid, those books were always my favorite – where kids had to make it on their own without parents around. I was an independent kid, so I think a piece of me always wanted to do things on my own – probably way before I was ready.
Me: Each of your four leads have fairly equal amounts of time in this book; was it easy for you switching between characters and still maintaining their own unique voice?
Elle: It wasn’t too difficult for me to keep the voices of my characters separate and unique, until the end of the book when each of them changed and grew with their experiences and kind of met in the middle as far as attitudes went. I mean, Sarah and Candi started out at opposite ends of the popularity spectrum with completely different attitudes towards other people and life, but by the end of the book, Candi had gained confidence, getting stronger and Sarah had gained compassion, getting softer, so they ended up having some similarities. But they were distinct people in my mind, not just book characters, so it was easy to keep them true to themselves, if that makes any sense.
Me: What is your writing process like?
Elle: I start with a few paragraph synopsis of the idea. Then I do a basic outline that’s anywhere from two to five pages. Then I start writing. By the end, the final product doesn’t really resemble the outline much. I always come up with better ways to progress through the idea than I did in the outline. I’m not even sure why I use one really…maybe just to start somewhere. Honestly, I feel as though I’m not really writing the story – it’s writing itself. Ideas come as I type. Ideas come when I’m sleeping or riding the train or whatever. Now that I’m writing more (I have two more novels in editing), I make sure to write every day, and that helps the story kind of write itself in a way. I get a flow going…
Me: How much research did you have to do for Wrecked?
Elle: Not a whole lot of research was done, really. I lived inFlorida near the coast for years, so descriptions of the environment and so on were firsthand experience for me. I did some research for Jonathan’s part. He’s a pretty scientific and fact-oriented guy.
Me: Were any of the characters based on you or people you know?
Elle: I’d say that Candi is very loosely based on my oldest daughter and there are pieces of me in Sarah – mostly just the sassy part of her personality. Other than that, she and I have no similarities. I would say if you combined the best parts of Kevin and Jonathan, you’d have a version of my son there.
Me: Wrecked makes for a great story line, but do you really think that teenagers today could survive being shipwrecked on an uninhabited island?
Elle: I think teenagers would do great. Most people will never know what they are capable of because they will never find themselves in a position to survive like that. But when a person is placed in a live or die situation, they fight to live. It’s human nature. I think people also crave a home environment, so I think most people would try to form some sort of permanent home like these teens did. And kids or teens are much better at saying “Why not?’ and just doing things, whereas adults come up with excuses why not to do something. So building a treehouse might sound like work to an adult but fun to a younger person.
Me: As a teen, what were your favorite books and T.V. shows?
Elle: As a teen I preferred fantasy novels, particularly those with elves, dwarves, dragons, magic, strong female characters. (Two of my favorite authors are Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman when they write as a team.) So my next novels have much of this in them. The series is called War of the Fae. The first book will be out February 11th and Book 2 on March 11th. My favorite films as a teen were all the John Hughes movies (Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Some Kind of Wonderful, Better Off Dead, The Sure Thing, Say Anything). I could go on and on about movies, but I don’t remember much about TV shows. Now I watch Vampire Diaries, True Blood, Revenge, Game of Thrones, and Hart of Dixie. I’m a sucker for romance or fantasy shows.
Thanks so much Elle, for letting me interview you!
To learn more about Elle and her books, visit www.ellecasey.com