We are thrilled to introduce you to our newest published authors, Leslie Rosoff and Zoë Gilbertson! Leslie and Zoë recently published their book, The Ninth Faction, through our Fresh Ink publishing program. In Fresh Ink, youth authors with a completed draft of a novel are mentored through a chapter-by-chapter revision process. At the end of the program, the authors are guided through the publication process resulting in an ink-and-paper book they can hold in their hands and share with other readers!

We interviewed Leslie and Zoë about their experience in the program and writing as a team. Keep reading to learn more about Leslie and Zoë’s book and Fresh Ink.

Interview with Leslie Rosoff and Zoë Gilbertson

What inspired you to tell this story?

In third grade, we had a teacher who inspired us to write. As nine-year-olds, our character naming was interesting at best, so while scribbling things down on lined paper we decided, “Hey! Let’s make their names our names backwards!” That year, we wrote a short story together. In retrospect, the plot wasn’t the best, but we did fall in love with the characters’ traits and personalities. Of course, their names had to stick, too. Since then, our creative writing skills have improved, and we decided to make good on our long-time dream to write and publish a book together. We are very excited to have reached our goal!

Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

Zoë: My favorite character is Wren because she has a mysterious aura to her personality and is super important to the development of the protagonists. While we don’t mention her past much, it could be interesting material if we were ever to write a sequel.

Leslie: This was really difficult to choose, but my favorite character is probably Red. He was fun to write, and I have some ideas for him in the future if we write a sequel.

What do you hope your readers will take away from your book?

Our book is intended to pose the question, “is violence justified if its end results and purposes are good?” Additionally, we hope our book will convey the idea that every villain has a backstory, and is not necessarily pure evil. Lastly, action can be taken to prevent the past from repeating itself. We do however encourage readers to make their own interpretations of The Ninth Faction.

You can grab your copy of The Ninth Faction at Amazon, Bookshop.org, IndieBound, or request it at your favorite indie book store!

Are you ready to publish your novel?

It’s time to take your novel, and your writerly skillset, to the next level! In the Fresh Ink Program, professional writers mentor youth through a chapter-by-chapter revision process which results in a printed or published book available through independent bookstores and other retailers.

Through Fresh Ink, you will: complete a full novel revision, take your writing skills to the next level, and learn what it takes to publish a book