For those just tuning in, here’s the history behind these posts:
I love reading about the Publishing Journeys of my favorite writers.
I love the long, soul-searching interviews that reveal every obstacle and triumph: the author whose agent made her do three revisions before signing her … the author who gets up at 4:30 a.m. to write, because it’s the only time she has to herself … the critically acclaimed author who spent nine years trying to get published … I never tire of this stuff!
Long, luxurious interviews aside, don’t you sometimes find yourself wondering: “But do you like Thai or Chinese food better?”
Reader, I asked them.
I assembled a grab-bag full of random questions and emailed them to some of my favorite writers.
And now, without further ado, please welcome E.M. Crane!
E.M. Crane – emcrane – is the author of Skin Deep, which won the 2006 Delacorte Press Prize for a First Young Adult Novel.
Sixteen-year-old Andrea Anderson describes herself as “plainish, boring, nervous,” on the first page of the book. “A Nothing.” She discovers light and color through an unlikely friendship with a forty-year-old neighbor woman, Honora, who needs help with her dog, her garden, and her pottery-making. Andrea’s deepening affection for Honora contrasts with the antagonistic relationship she has with her single mother. (Such appropriate themes for this Mother’s Day post!) As Honora grows weaker due to illness, Andrea grows into a more confident and sympathetic young woman. She even grows to like her mom’s new boyfriend, “Dennis the Clydesdale.” (I liked Dennis, too … and was relieved when he didn’t devolve into a cliché’d icky boyfriend preying on a woman’s teenage daughter.)
E.M. Crane’s second contemporary YA is in the editorial stage, and she is revising a third. I look forward to reading whatever she writes in the future. :-)
If you couldn't write in your current genre, what would you write?
Philosophical, quip-riddled, despondent short stories for literary journals with a circulation of 27 philosophical, quip-riddled, despondent readers. Or maybe picture books.
Thai food or Chinese?
Where did you go on your first date?
If you mean the kind where the boy comes in the house and Meets the Fockers, that would be the prom. I wore a bouffy dress that was completely out-of-character and tried not to move my jaw while I chewed my dinner roll. What a relief when we changed into sweatshirts and headed for a post-prom bonfire. I stuffed my prom dress in a plastic trash bag and put it in the trunk of the car. My mother was appalled.
Snorkeling or skiing?
Do you speak a foreign language?
Not without foreigners looking at me funny.
I'm not a pie eater, but on the fourth of July my family holds lakeside pie wars. Hilarious. Then you get to jump in the lake and wash off the cool whip.
Spring or fall?
Fall, even though it only lasts about a week where I live. Halloween costumes are built around snowsuits here.
Which celebrity shares your birthday?
Last book you gave as a gift.
Goodnight, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann.
Furthest you've ever been from home.
Tropical paradise or winter wonderland?
Winter wonderland. I'm hoping for the day they film Survivor in the Arctic.
Favorite state (not counting the one you live in)?
Tell us something weird about you.
I'm hoping for the day they film Survivor in the Arctic.
If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Rain or sun?
Both. In equal measures.
Advice for writers in 5 words or less.
Leave your house and observe.
My book's ISBN on my butt.
(Was that convincing? I'm nervous around needles.)
Do you use writing prompts?
If you mean coffee, chocolate and pizza, yes.
Chocolate chip cookies or snickerdoodles?
Five of each, thank you.
Write a spam subject line for us.
I can't really think of one that's not offensive.
Bach, Beethoven, Bon Jovi, or Bono?
Bono. Especially from the days when he sported a feathered mullet.
What books are on your night-stand right now?
The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke and Fiddlehead by Ayn Rand.
If someone made you sing karaoke – you couldn't refuse! – what would you sing?
”Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes. To add to the spectacle, I'd have to do air drums, too.
Who do you wish you could meet, living or dead?
"House" or "Grey's Anatomy"?
I've never seen either -- but the theme music to “Seinfeld” wafting from the living room draws me out of my writing cave, every time.
Thanks for indulging our curiosity, Eileen!