Category Archives: Author Interview

Q&A with Corinne Demas, author of “Returning to Shore”

Returning To Shore by Corinne DemasToday on the blog I’m honored to have Corinne Demas, author of Returning to Shore, answer a few questions.

Returning to Shore is available now!

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1. Returning to Shore is a coming of age story of Clare who reconnects with a father she hasn’t really known. Was there any particular inspiration behind this novel?

I’ve always been interested in father-daughter relationships. And I’ve known many young women who’ve had to try to forge a relationship with a father who wasn’t always present in her life. The  setting of this novel—an island off the coast of Cape Cod– came to me along with the characters’ story.  It seemed an ideal place for exploring an intense relationship.

 
2. Is there a character in Returning to Shore that you can relate to most?

Clare, of course! I’m interested in the way her mind works.  I like her courage and her honesty.  I really suffered along with her as I was writing this story, and I was rooting for her right till the end.

3.  What are you hoping readers take away from Returning to Shore?

I hope readers will appreciate Clare’s situation and the decisions she makes. I also hope they’ll be moved to continue to think about their relationship to the natural world.

4. Some writers have quirks such as: they can only write at specific hours of the day, or the room/office has to be tidy, certain windows (twitter/FB/a show or music) need to be open beside their document..etc. Do you happen to have any writing quirks?

If my office had to be perfectly tidy in order to work, I wouldn’t get much accomplished! I like to look out the window beyond my computer screen while I’m writing. I watch my donkeys munching on hay or looking up at me with their soulful eyes.

5. If you could spend a day with any one character in the book, who would you choose and why?

I’d like to spend the day with Clare’s father Richard.  As another character in the novel says, he’s a man of many mysteries. He’s quirky, passionate, and complex. I’d like to hike the beach with him and learn about his world.

corinnedemasABOUT THE AUTHOR

Corinne Demas is the award-winning author of thirty books including  five novels, two short story collections, a memoir, a collection of poetry, and numerous books for children, as well as two plays.

Her recent novels Everything I Was (YA) and The Writing Circle are now out in paperback. Her new YA novel, Returning to Shore, was just published. She is a Professor of English at Mount Holyoke College and a Fiction Editor of The Massachusetts Review.

Website: www.corinnedemas.com
Twitter: @corinnedemas

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Get to Know: Elena Perez, author of The Art of Disappearing

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THE ART OF DISAPPEARING

THE ART OF DISAPPEARING by Elena Perez (Alloy Entertainment; 2012) is by turns haunting, suspenseful, introspective, poignant, relatable and fun. For most people “seeing is believing” but for Delia Dark, it’s downright terrifying. Delia is a high school girl whose whole world is turned upside down after a psychic dream predicts the death of one of her classmates. As she struggles to understand if she’s psychic or just plain crazy, Delia is outcast from her best friend Ava and her other friends and her once-tight relationship with her Mom steadily begins to crumble. Her only options are to play by Ava’s rules and ignore her premonitions or accept permanent D- list status by the cool kids at school. Delia can see the future, but if she denies her gift she will be powerless to change the outcomes of her visions. Is being popular more important than being responsible and true to herself?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Born and raised in New Jersey, Elena discovered a love for writing early on and was often crafting poems and stories. The author went on to major in English as an undergrad and was then awarded a graduate fellowship in Creative Writing from Temple University. Today Elena lives and writes on NYC’s Lower East Side with her boyfriend (also a writer) and her dog (who prefers naps to writing).

visit the author on:
Twitter | Goodreads | Her Blog

263171lxlble1hnkGet to know Elena

Q: Why did you write THE ART OF DISAPPEARING?

A:  Well, there’s the simple, kind of cliché fact that I feel like I have to write as, well, an extension of breathing. So that had something to do with it! But I decided to write a novel – and particularly this novel – in a moment of clarity I had 38,000 feet in the air. (Yes, I was in an airplane.) I had been considering my history as a writer and while I had spent time in so many genres, including poetry, short stories, short film and lyrics, I realized I hadn’t yet written a novel. It was always part of the plan, but I had put it off because I was… yeah: scared.

As I’m staring out at the wing of the airplane, it’s sinking in that writing a novel would to be a truly terrifying pursuit and that if I tried to do it and failed, I would no doubt hate myself forever and maybe even never write again. (Nothing like keeping the stakes low!)

So I decided I better get started immediately. And I did, right there on the plane.
Of course everything I wrote during that flight was fairly horrible and didn’t make the cut for the final project. But you have to start somewhere, right?

Q: Elena, in writing THE ART OF DISAPPEARING, where did you start? Where did you find inspiration for the characters or the story?

A:  The first thing I had to work with in THE ART OF DISAPPEARING, besides complete trepidation, was Delia Dark, the protagonist. Her name came to me in an instant and in that same instant I knew who she was: a young girl trying to find her path but struggling with a blurry and maybe misplaced identity. I knew she started out in a comfortable place – isn’t that usually the moment life throws its curves at us? And I knew that something major would happen to force her to look more deeply into her own identity. That something turned out to be two things – the witnessing of her classmate’s death and the realization that she dreamed about it the night before. I had to make sure her world was totally shaken up.

Because so much of THE ART OF DISAPPEARING is about a girl figuring out who she is, the other characters emerged based on their position in the same journey.  For example, Ava, Delia’s best friend, seems to know herself all too well. She has a plan to be a star cheerleader and she is so vigilant about it that she drags Delia along for the ride – or tries to, at least, until things fall completely apart. Trisha, the other friend in their trio, is more like Delia; she seems to be satisfied with tagging along with Ava but, when Delia goes off course, so does Trish. It’s like there’s a ripple effect of change that’s triggered by that one terribly tragic moment in the beginning.

Q: Did you do a lot of research for this book?

A: The cool thing about writing about a psychic means that every time in my life that I had ever visited one suddenly qualifies as research. But one day in particular, when I had smashed into a merciless creative roadblock, I came across a reader in the East Village with a $5 dollar special. I stepped into that small little room with the small little table with tarot cards and crystals and a woman came out from behind a curtain. I was just a typical interruption as she kept house and cared for her kids. She instantly gave me the hard sell for the more expensive reading and was disgruntled when I stuck to the $5 special… Of course, if you’ve read THE ART OF DISAPPEARING, you might recognize some of this. My experience wasn’t as eventful as Delia’s visit to Linda, but when I got back to my machine the words started flowing again.

Q: What is it like being a novelist?

A: Well, first – I absolutely love that I get to answer that question! As I mentioned before, I had always planned to write novels so having achieved such a specific life goal makes me really, really happy. But that lasts for a few seconds and then it’s time to think about the next steps in my current project. That’s the ‘work’ part of a novelist – you are your own source of discipline, so you have to do whatever you can to keep yourself focused.
But by far the best thing about a writer is being able to connect readers. As a teenager, I always had a novel in hand and even got up early so I could get some reading time in before school started. I seriously devoured books like some crazy-hungry bookworm, always looking out for the next great escape. Now I aspire to provide that same kind of nourishment for other hungry readers. And when I hear from someone who connected with THE ART OF DISAPPEARING, I kind of explode inside. But in a good way, you know? With happiness.

Q: Who are your favorite contemporary YA authors and why?

My ‘favorite list’ is always changing as it’s built from the books I most recently enjoyed.
For instance, I read Rainbow Rowell’s ELEANOR AND PARK this summer and it blew my mind. There’s something so exceptionally fresh in her approach – she captured a rawness of relationships in a way that had me clinging to every word. I’m so looking forward to reading more of her work.
Another great was CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein. I don’t really think of myself as a historical fiction fan, but yet I keep finding myself drawn to this time period. And Wein’s story about a young female spy in World War II had me hooked. It’s suspenseful and she gives us a unique, realistic take on what is a really wonderful trend of strong female characters. And the level of detail that Wein brought to the story is phenomenal.

Q: Which of the characters in THE ART OF DISAPPEARING do you most identify with and why?

A:  Delia Dark, for sure. Sometimes I think I remember that period of life, that fourteen-going-on-ugh days, better than I remember last week. The story is certainly not autobiographical – and not just because I don’t think I’m psychic. But I can relate to the moment where you suddenly discover that you aren’t who you thought you might be, before you necessarily understand who you actually are. I think a lot of people can, though. Isn’t it kind of what happens when you’re growing up?

Q: Which of the characters in THE ART OF DISAPPEARING do you least identify with and why?

A: It would have to be Delia’s cousin Zach. Zach looks the way he wants to look, he listens to what he wants to listen to, he pursues knowledge beyond what’s given to him. He isn’t the type of person who will lose sleep thinking about who he is or how other people think about him. He’s very different from Delia in that he’s ‘science guy’ and Delia is driven more by emotion. Zach is probably the most level-headed character in all of THE ART OF DISAPPEARING, and that includes the adults. I wish I were more like him.

Q: Are there any issues related to adolescence that you are particularly passionate about? Are those issues addressed in THE ART OF DISAPPEARING?

A: There’s a ton of emphasis on romance in YA, but I think equally—if not more—important are the relationships between friends. When you’re younger, you don’t really get to decide who you go to school with or where you live, so in many ways your choices of friends can be very limited. At the same time, it’s a critical time to build connections with people that have similar interests and can help lay the foundation for a strong and happy life. So, I think it’s safe to say that I think a lot about the role of friendship in these formative years. Delia’s story is interesting to me because she starts out on what is essentially the wrong path – she isn’t really meant to be a cheerleader or dwell in someone else’s shadow (Ava). Ultimately, she’s forced off the path because of who she is, deep down inside, even if she doesn’t realize it yet.

Another element is the importance of self-expression – As Delia’s world falls apart, she finds solace in her illustration. Creative pursuits – whether it’s writing, illustration, producing music, film, apps, etc. – can be such an important survival tool in adolescence and well beyond those years. It’s imperative that kids get the support they need to discover and connect with their own creative outlets.

Q: Can fans of THE ART OF DISAPPEARING expect to see Delia Dark again in a future book?

A: Hopefully! I’m working on a different project now, but I’d love to hear from readers that want to find out what happens next for Delia Dark. I can be reached via my website at elenaperezbooks.com or on twitter @ Elenabooks.

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READ A SAMPLE NOW!

 

The Art of Disappearing by Elena Perez

*I would like to thank Elena Perez, Alloy Entertainment, and Tayannah McQuillar for providing me with the featured content for the blog!

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Q&A with Kat Kruger, author of THE NIGHT HAS TEETH

I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Kat Kruger, author of the exhilarating debut THE NIGHT HAS TEETH, which releases September 23rd from Fierce Ink Press! I would like to thank the author as well as the lovely folks over at Fierce Ink Press for making this interview and my review of The Night Has Teeth (which will be posted tomorrow) possible! Enjoy!

1. What inspired you to write THE NIGHT HAS TEETH?

Science. I know that’s kind of a geeky answer, but it’s the truth. While I’ve always been a fan of SFF (Science Fiction/Fantasy), world-building is kind of crucial to me as a reader and a writer. Some famous author at some point said that all fiction requires a “willful suspension of disbelief” but let’s just say I can be a skeptic if things don’t line up right. When I set out to write an urban paranormal novel, I knew I needed to ground my world in science. That’s when my husband submitted his DNA to a genographic project (where genetic samples are used to map out human origins on earth). In any case, it got me thinking about how werewolves could exist from a scientific standpoint and that started a whole research process into genetics, etc. Even though I’ve always been interested in Discovery Channel and National Geographic programs, I was never strong in sciences so that presented challenges of its own!

2. If you were to describe the book in one or two sentences, what would they be?

A nerdy seventeen-year-old New Yorker gets a scholarship to study in Paris where his teen angst is magnified a million times due to falling in with an underground society of werewolves. Oh, and he’s on the wanted list of a four-hundred-year-old “bitten” mad scientist.

3. Do you have any writing quirks or habits? (Some authors have music in the background, have to write away from home or have a cup of coffee, write predominately at night or in the morning..etc.)

I pretty much always have a playlist going at all times. And the playlist changes as each draft progresses. I’m kind of fanatic about it, actually. Sometimes I swear I spend as much time building playlists as I do thinking about plot. At the same time, it usually happens when I’m stuck and need to find inspiration so it’s not like it’s taking away from my writing per se…

4. If optioned, could you see THE NIGHT HAS TEETH as more of a TV Show (live action or animated) or a Film?

I love this question. Only because I’ve already thought of the answer. Film for sure. I’m a big fan of Jean-Pierre Jeunet, especially his films Delicatessen and Amélie. Because the book takes place in Paris it would be awesome to have a French director. Who am I kidding though? It would be awesome if the book was optioned period. But Jeunet would be my dream director.

5. Is there anything else you would like readers to know?

This ain’t Twilight. There are a lot of books in this genre right now that are epic love stories between paranormal boys and mortal girls. I eat up those books along with the rest of the fangirls. That said, this is completely, totally, absolutely not that kind of book. I definitely wrote it with both genders in mind.

© Edmund Lewis

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kat Kruger is the winner of the 34th Atlantic Writing Competition. She is a freelance writer and social media consultant and holds a degree in public relations from Mount Saint Vincent University. She currently lives in Toronto with her husband. The Night Has Teeth is her first novel.

You can find Kat on:

 

YOU CAN HELP FUND THE NIGHT HAS TEETH AT INDIEGOGO BY CLICKING THE LINK BELOW!

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