Today we have a guest post from author Victoria Schwab. Her book, The Archived, releases on January 22 and in the post below Victoria gives some insight into her inspiration for the book as well as some of the relationships you can expect to see. The Archived is a must-read novel.
I always say that while good books make me want to be a better writer, they aren’t the source of my ideas. I’m a big believer in looking to other mediums for inspiration, and most often the seeds of my stories come from art, or music, or in the case of The Archived, dance.
That’s right, The Archived, or at least, one of its most important seeds, came from a dance on SYTYCD.
Now, if you watch this dance, and then read the book, the connection might not be that clear. It was, after all, a seed that grew into something different, something more.
But this dance is about addiction, and addiction is a kind of broken relationship, uneven, abusive.
The Archived is a supernatural thriller, but at its core it is a story about life, memory, and the marks we leave on each other and the world. It is a story about relationships.
So often the emphasis in a book or series is on the romantic arc, but I think the non-romantic relationships can be as, if not more, important, and The Archived looks at the full spectrum. Mackenzie’s relationship with the little brother she’s just lost. Her hero-worship of her dead grandfather and mentor, Da. The dysfunctional, lie-and-silence-filled relationship with her parents, who can’t cope with her brother’s death, and can’t find out about Mackenzie’s struggles. The new and frighteningly honest friendship with the guyliner-wearing Wesley. The addictive, dangerous attraction to the secretive Owen. The Archived is a book about relationships. Broken, uneven, abusive.
Just like that dance.
I remember sitting there, watching it on television, fixated and marveling at my fixation, wondering what had me so compelled. It was the intensity of the routine, and under that, the toxicity implied, the complicated nature of the relationship conveyed in those moves, in the push and pull and violence and tension. There was something so gruesomely honest about that number. It was complicated. It spoke to me because it was complicated. Because in life, most relationships are complicated. Most of them are messy.
I wanted to write that dance (not glorify it, not transform into an ideal and label it healthy or love). And so I did. Pieces of that dance, extensions and leaps and tangled limbs, are woven into every relationship in The Archived. And even though one end product bears little resemblance to the other, I know the seeds are there.
And now, so do you.
The Archived will be released on January 22.
About Victoria Schwab
Victoria Schwab is the author of The Near Witch – which Kirkus praised for its “shivery horror tang” – as well as several upcoming novels. Victoria suffers from a wicked case of wanderlust, but when she’s not haunting Paris streets or trudging up English hillsides, she can usually be found tucked in the corner of a coffee shop in Nashville, sipping tea and dreaming up monsters.