Miranda Asebedo was born and raised in rural Kansas with a love of fast cars, open skies, and books. She carried that love of books to college, where she got her B.A. and M.A. in English, with an emphasis in Creative Writing and Literature. A Seaton Fellowship recipient, her short fiction has appeared in Kansas Voices, Touchstone, and Midway Journal.
Miranda still lives on the prairie today with her husband, two kids, and two majestic bulldogs named Princess Jellybean and Captain Jack Wobbles. If Miranda’s not writing or reading, she’s most likely convinced everyone to load up in the family muscle car and hit the road.
What inspired you to write The Deepest Roots?
I love this story! A few years ago, I lived in a mobile home out in the middle of a huge, open field, and I waited too long to leave during a tornado watch. By the time I knew I had to get out of there and find a storm shelter, it was far too dangerous to leave, and the watch had turned into a tornado warning, sirens blaring. So I had to stay in the trailer and hope for the best. Talk about a terrifying hour of my life! But I was recalling that storm in the summer of 2016, and about how a storm could change the course of a person’s life. And I started imagining a teenage girl in that storm, and how she might react in that situation, and how it might affect her. That girl eventually became Rome, and that’s how I got the opening scene for the THE DEEPEST ROOTS.
What were the biggest challenges in writing The Deepest Roots? Were there any moments that surprised you?
I think the biggest challenge and surprise for me was the characters steering the ship, so to speak! There were several plot points in the book that I hadn’t originally planned on, but the characters sort of took control and did their own thing. For example, there’s a scene where the main character, Rome, sabotages the truck of someone that has hurt one of her friends. I hadn’t originally planned on that, but after writing the scene where Rome discovers her friend has been hurt, I knew that the Rome’s character would immediately seek revenge. She’s not a big talker, but she is definitely a woman of action! And as the story shaped up, that became a major plot point that affects how Rome sees and interprets events that happen later in the story.
What do you hope readers will take away from The Deepest Roots?
I really hope that readers will take away the strength and importance of friendship, especially female friendship. I feel like the media bombards us with images and gossip stories of women constantly in competition and working against each other, but I don’t believe that accurately depicts the real world. I think especially now, as we see the influence of the #MeToo movement and women really working together to help one another, that it’s important to recognize the strength of female relationships and how women are working together to make a better society for all of us.
What lessons have you learned since writing your first book?
I have definitely learned patience! From writing a book to seeing it on a shelf is nearly a two year journey. So it definitely doesn’t happen overnight! There’s a lot of “hurry up and wait” going on, but ultimately it’s those waiting periods that wise writers will use to start their next project!
What do you love about writing YA fantasy and YA contemporary fiction? Have you noticed any trends in these genres? And what do you hope to see more of?
I love the ability to play with magic and the supernatural within the constraints of the real world. It’s easy to make a ghost or a curse seem real in a complete fantasy world, but it takes a lot of work to make it seem real and honest in contemporary fiction. I think (and I hope) we’re going to start to see more supernatural elements in our YA. Think ghosts, demons, witchcraft, vampires, etc. I think they’re making a comeback!
What writing projects are you currently working on?
I just turned in edits for my second YA book, which is another contemporary YA with a twist of magic like THE DEEPEST ROOTS. This book is called A CONSTELLATION OF ROSES, and it’s set to come out Fall 2019 from HarperTeen. It’s up on Goodreads already if anyone wants to add it! Clever readers will spot a few Easter eggs from THE DEEPEST ROOTS!
What YA books would you recommend to our readers?
I’ve been so lucky to have connected with a group of writers from the Kansas area, and their books are just phenomenal. We’re having a Midwest renaissance out here! Definitely check out THE BIRD AND THE BLADE by Megan Bannen, SEA WITCH by Sarah Henning, DARIUS THE GREAT IS NOT OKAY by Adib Khorram, A BLADE SO BLACK by LL McKinney, STRANGE GRACE by Tessa Gratton, and SEAFIRE by Natalie C. Parker. They are all Kansas City-area writers, and their books came out this summer/fall.
Read more about The Deepest Roots
INTERVIEW : YA SH3LF