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 Elise Broach!
At our school’s Scholastic book fair recently, I picked up a copy of Elise Broach’s middle grade novel Shakespeare’s Secret. It’s the story of Hero, a sixth grade girl who is drawn into a mystery involving a missing diamond that may have belonged to Queen Elizabeth I. A fascinating sub-plot revolves around the theory that William Shakespeare was not actually the author of the plays attributed to him. I loved the book so much I decided to contact Elise about answering some questions for my Intrusions. (I’m getting quite bold about approaching authors I don’t know!) She was kind enough to agree.
Elise’s new middle grade novel, Masterpiece, about stolen art, forgery, and friendship, is due out this fall. She is also the author of a young adult novel entitled Desert Crossing, and five picture books. A sixth picture book, GUMPTION (illustrated by Richard Egielski) is scheduled for release in 2010. You can learn more about her at her website: http://www.elisebroach.com/.
What are you reading right now?
Adult fiction: The Gathering by Anne Enright, a really talented Irish writer who knows her way around family and love relationships very well indeed.
Children's fiction: I just re-read some Beverly Cleary books--Henry Huggins, Ramona the Pest. I love her stuff. She gets childhood exactly right, with all of the complexity and none of the forced cuteness.
Thai food or Chinese?
Oh, Thai, definitely! Tom Kha Gai--coconut soup--is heaven.
Do you speak a foreign language?
Depends on what you mean by "speak." I'm pretty good at Spanish. I've been to Spain and Mexico a couple of times, and my traveling companions relied on me to do the talking (though we couldn't always figure out what I actually said!).
Strawberry-rhubarb or blueberry.
Spring or fall?
Both. I like new flowers, and falling leaves.
Last book you gave as a gift.
Lydia Davis's short-story collection, Varieties of Disturbance.
Your five favorite movies.
Too hard! But some favorites: Shakespeare in Love; Witness; American Beauty; L.A. Confidential; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
Furthest you've ever been from home.
Vietnam. My sister was living in Singapore, so for her birthday, a friend and I went to visit her and traveled to Vietnam and Cambodia. It was amazing!
Tropical paradise or winter wonderland?
If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Advice for writers in 5 words or less.
Write fearlessly, frequently, and joyfully.
Not even tasteful ones.
Chocolate chip cookies or snickerdoodles?
Both! But I have a soft spot for snickerdoodles.
Bach, Beethoven, Bon Jovi, or Bono?
Bach and Bono.
If someone made you sing karaoke – you couldn't refuse! – what would you sing?
Oooo, tough one. I can sing Bette Midler's The Rose by heart; also that sad song Stockard Channing sings in "Grease"... what is it, "There are worse things I could do?"
"House" or "Grey's Anatomy"?
Grey's Anatomy, but I like both.
Do you have a favorite writing how-to book?
I liked Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird, Stephen King's On Writing, and Elizabeth George's Write Away. I'm reading Francine Prose's Reading Like a Writer right now and it's great.
Orlando Bloom or Johnny Depp?
Orlando Bloom for his face, Johnny Depp for his acting.
Is there anything you want to tell us that you wish I'd asked?
Nope! This is a very comprehensive and nicely random list.
Thanks for indulging our curiosity, Elise!