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.
This will be a weekly post, as long as I have a supply of
And by the way, if you’re an author and I haven’t emailed you yet … do not imagine that you’ve escaped my clutches. My curiosity rambles far and wide! I will get to you. Also, if you have a book coming out (or already published), and you want to play along, feel free to contact me at my LJ email address. (For now, I'm limiting the interviews to writers of MG and YA, since that's what I read and write.)
And now, without further ado, please welcome Julie Swanson!
Julie A. Swanson - julieswanson - is the author of Going for the Record, a YA novel about Leah, a star soccer player who must cope with her father’s terminal cancer diagnosis. The word that keeps coming to mind when I think of this book is “unflinching.” Books about death are more prevalent than they used to be, but books about dying are still rare. In fact, Julie wrote the book as a way to share not only the painful journey that a family must travel when a loved one is dying, but the life-affirming element of that experience. This is her answer to the question, “What inspired you to write Going for the Record:
“My own dad's death of cancer. His suffering and death was the most powerful thing I've ever witnessed. Yes, it was sad and hard to watch, but because of the faith and bravery he demonstrated, it was beautiful in many ways, too, a love-filled, life-affirming, inspirational thing. I wanted to share that, that and some of the thoughts and ideas which brought me comfort or gave me strength throughout it.
When my dad was sick, I couldn’t find enough to read in the way of personal accounts of people going through similar situations. I craved stories about people losing a loved one to cancer. It relieved me to know others had the same strange thoughts and emotions, made me feel less guilty, weird, selfish, angry, confused. Just to know others have reacted the same way, it helps us to feel more human. Sharing somehow lessens the burden.”
You can find out more about Julie and her works-in-progress on her website: http://julieaswanson.com/index.htm.
What are you reading right now?
A BOOK CALLED WRITER'S DREAMING, BY NAOMI EPEL--THE AUTHOR INTERVIEWS 26 FAMOUS AUTHORS ON HOW THEIR DREAMING AFFECTS/INFLUENCES THEIR WRITING, OR NOT. I HAVE ALWAYS HAD VIVID DREAMS AND BEEN INTERESTED IN DREAM INTERPRETATION. I FIND DREAMS FASCINATING AND HAVE HAD SEVERAL WRITING-RELEVANT DREAMS. THE BEGINNING OF ONE OF MY STORIES CAME TO ME IN A ONE DREAM, AND IN ANOTHER, THE SOLUTION TO A PLOT PROBLEM CAME TO ME.
What's the last song you listened to?
STOP THIS TRAIN, BY JOHN MAYER. IT'S ON A CD MY 17-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER MADE UP AND WE WERE LISTENING TO IT IN THE CAR; I'VE REALLY GROWN TO LIKE IT.
If you couldn't write in your current genre, what would you write?
I WOULD LOVE TO WRITE PICTURE BOOKS--SOMETHING A LITTLE LESS CUMBERSOME TO WORK WITH THAN A NOVEL FOR ONCE--BUT I FIND IT DIFFICULT TO BE AS CONCISE AS YOU NEED TO BE TO WRITE A GOOD PB.
Thai food or Chinese?
CHINESE--I'VE ALWAYS LOVED CHINESE FOOD. IT IS MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE. BESIDES, I JUST HAD A BAD EXPERIENCE WITH THAI FOOD JUST THIS WEEK; BOTH MY DAUGHTER AND I THOUGHT THE DISH I WAS SERVED SMELLED LIKE CAT URINE!
If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Early bird or night owl?
NEITHER; I DON'T LIKE TO WAKE UP EARLIER THAN THAN 6:45 AND I HAVE A HARD TIME STAYING AWAKE MUCH PAST 11.
Bach, Beethoven, Bon Jovi, or Bono?
What's your favorite childhood Halloween costume?
I DON'T HAVE ONE. I WAS A VERY SHY, SELF-CONSCIOUS KID, DIDN'T WANT ANYONE LOOKING AT ME SO I HATED HAVING TO DRESS UP FOR HALLOWEEN, FELT VERY FOOLISH DOING SO. I WAS ALWAYS SOMETHING BORING AND EASY TO THROW TOGETHER AT THE LAST MINUTE, LIKE A HOBO OR A COWBOY. BUT MY DAUGHTER WAS A HEADLESS WOMAN ONE YEAR AND THAT WAS MY FAVORITE COSTUME EVER (YOU CAN FIND OUT HOW TO DO IT IN ONE OF THE KLUTZ PRESS COSTUME BOOKS).
Beach or mountains?
BEACH. I GREW UP ON A LAKE SO THERE'S NOWHERE I FEEL MORE AT HOME THAN BESIDE A BODY OF WATER.
Thanks for indulging our curiosity, Julie!