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.
To read any of the previous interviews, just click on the tag “authorial intrusion” on the left side of the page.
And now, without further ado, please welcome Christine Fletcher!
Christine Fletcher - www.christinefletcherbooks.com - is the author of Ten Cents a Dance, a historical YA novel whose main character works as a taxi dancer in the 1940s. Fifteen-year-old Ruby Jacinski hates working in the meat-packing plant, but what choice does she have when her mother becomes too ill to support the family? Enter Paulie Suelze, an irresistible bad boy who introduces Ruby to the world of taxi dancing, where girls compete over who gets the most “fish” – customers who pay ten cents a dance, and after hours, often provide meals, dresses, and other forms of appreciation.
Ruby is a good girl, but not passive and sweet. Her grit and sass enable her to defend herself (very ably!) when things get unpleasant.
I loved the 1940s mood and tone set by Fletcher throughout the novel – Ruby looks “hotsy-totsy, togged to the bricks,” the band is “frisking the whiskers” (warming up), and the after-hours club where they go to hear jazz is full of “jump and jive.” Fletcher uses a deft touch to work in sobering realities about racism and poverty as well.
Ten Cents a Dance is Christine Fletcher’s second novel. The first is Tallulah Falls, a contemporary YA. She also works part-time as a veterinarian in Portland, Oregon.
Who's the better patient, dogs or cats?
Both are amazingly tolerant most of the time. However, it’s a rare person who’s not unnerved by a really angry cat. Most veterinary staff I know would rather handle a 100-lb vicious dog than a 10-lb furious cat. Cats have lots of pointy bits--and they know how to use them!
Bowling or Guitar Hero?
Physical incoordination vs. technological impairment…hmm. Bowling, if only because the way I bowl amuses everyone else. Rule to live by: if you can’t be good, at least be funny.
Other than your own, favorite historical novel?
Ooh, there are so many great ones…but my desert isle pick is Gone With the Wind.
What's your cure for the blues?
Cheese popcorn and Pride and Prejudice (BBC version…Colin Firth, rawrr!)
If you couldn't write in your current genre, what would you write?
Thai food or Chinese?
Thai. Tom yam, yum!
Favorite movie snack?
Skittles. (All these food questions are making me hungry!)
Where did you go on your first date?
Pizza and a movie. Classic, huh? The movie was some slasher flick sequel, Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street, I can’t remember which. I was sixteen and I’d never seen a horror movie before. The suspense during the opening credits just about killed me. When the girl onscreen got stabbed through the temple with a knife, I apologized to my date and told him I’d wait for him in the lobby. We weren’t even five minutes into the movie yet. He gallantly left the theater with me. What an embarrassment! To this day I can’t watch suspense or horror films.
Ocean or lake?
Ocean. I love trying to get my head around its vastness and never being able to.
Are you a fan of any reality shows?
Confession time! I’ve been a fan of “America’s Next Top Model” since it began. It’s so cheesy but I love it. A few of my friends do, too, and we’re like a little support group. We always get together to watch the premiere, the “makeover” episode, and the finale, and laugh at Tyra’s over-the-topness.
Stop with the food! I’m starving, and there’s nothing in the house to eat. Oh, right, the question. Pecan. Warm, with vanilla ice cream. I can even make one from scratch. Pecan pie is the easiest pie in the world, but still. It makes me feel accomplished.
Tropical paradise or winter wonderland?
My idea of winter wonderland is snow outside, me inside with hot cocoa and a fire. If that counts, then sign me up!
Advice for writers in 5 words or less.
Butt in chair.
Where would you like to travel that you haven't yet?
Australia. We’re hoping to get there in the next couple of years (fingers crossed).
Is there anything you want to tell us that you wish I'd asked?
I must now make myself hot cocoa. I wish I had tiny marshmallows, too. Mmmmm. Other than that--these were great random questions, Lisa, thanks!
Thanks for indulging our curiosity, Christine!