The Year of the Great Seventh, a newly released book written by the lovely Teresa Orts, is about a young couple who go on a journey across the United States to unlock an Egyptian prophecy. After reading her amazing novel, I got the opportunity to ask the author a few questions.
A: I didn’t come up with the entire plot at once. One day, I was walking around Central Park and I came across Cleopatra’s needle. I thought it was quite interesting that there was a piece of Ancient Egypt in the middle of New York. When I got home, I researched on the internet how the obelisk had ended up in NY, and that was how I decided to have the prophecy linked to Ancient Egypt.
Q: In The Year of the Great Seventh, Sophie and Nate go across the country to research and unlock an ancient Egyptian prophecy. What kind of research did you have to do for your novel?
A: I spent a lot of time on the internet reading about Ancient Egypt. Also, I went to the Metropolitan Museum to see their Egyptian art, visited Cleopatra’s needle in Central Park several times, and the Cloisters in Washington Heights.
Q: Why did you decide to make Emma and Megan actresses? Did you base them/their experiences off of anyone in reality?
A: I’ve never lived in L.A., but I have visited several times. The entertainment industry is a big part of the city’s soul, and most people there, even if they’re just teenagers, are in one way or another related to it. I wanted the characters to come across as real, so I felt obliged to make some of them actors.
I didn’t base them on anyone in particular. Instead, each character is a combination of people I had met through the years.
Q: What chapter was the hardest to write and why? Which was the easiest?
A: I think the hardest chapters were the first few. Once you go into the action part of the novel, it is much quicker. Building up the characters and showing implicitly the relationship between them, it is definitely the hardest task. This is always done in the first chapters.
The easiest chapter was the one where the movie premiere takes place. I had been looking forward to writing it for a long time. I could see the scene clear in my mind, so it was easy to write.
Q: If you had to make a playlist for your book, what songs would be on it?
A: I know that playlists are in fashion at the moment, but I’m not really sure if I have one. I can share the songs I listed to for inspiration.
“A Drop in the Ocean” Ron Pope
“Set Fire to the Rain” Adele
“Rolling in the Deep” Adele
“Devil Came to me” Dover
“The One” The Kin
“Somebody Told Me” The Killers
“I Wanna” The All-American Rejects
“Mona Lisa (When the World Comes Down)” The All-American Rejects
“The Wind Blows” The All-American Rejects
“Sex on Fire” Kings of Leon
"My Delirium" Ladyhawke
Q: Do you have any idea when the sequel will be released, and what we can expect from it?
A: I’m aiming to publish it next summer (2014). I think we’ll see a more mature side of Nate and Sophie. The sequel won’t focus on Ancient Egypt, but it will, obviously, still have a fantasy element.
Q: Which authors inspire you the most?
A: I rate authors and books, not by how much I enjoy a novel, but how many times I think about a book after I finished reading. For some reason, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes has been haunting me for a while.
Q: Finally, what advice do you have for aspiring writers?
A: I think the best advice I can give is, do what you love, enjoy the journey, and don’t obsess too much about the endgame. That way, no matter what happens, you got some pleasure out of it. Publishing a novel sounds fantastic, but the true joy comes from writing each page.
Check back tomorrow for my review of the book! Thanks again to Teresa Orts for allowing me to read and review her amazing novel. :)