Friday, February 19, 2010
Funday Friday! Featuring.... Gayle Forman!
Yepp, today is another Funday Friday :) This week's author is Gayle Forman! She was way nice and let me interview her. Here it is:
1. Where did you get the idea for If I stay? Sisters in Sanity?
"If I Stay: Years ago, friends of mine--a family--were killed in a car crash like the one that kills Mia's family and one of those friends held out a little longer and I always wondered if he knew what had happened to the rest of his family. And if he did, did he choose to go with them. I guess I obsessed about that for a while when maybe seven years later, out of the blue, this character Mia, who was total fiction, popped into my head, prepared to take us both on a journey to answer that question.
Sisters in Sanity: This one also percolated for a while, and is also based on a true story, though not my story, but rather an article on behavior modification bootcamps I wrote for Seventeen magazine a dozen years ago. Those places horrified me, and stuck with me long after I'd finished the piece. One day, years later, I had a new baby and was trying to figure out how to make a living now that I couldn't travel around and report stories like I'd done before. I got this idea to do a young-adult novel and then I thought of those girls in those schools again and then I imagined this girl Brit, and that's how Sisters was born."
2. Have you always been good at writing/ wanted to be a writer?
"I've always written, but I didn't even think about becoming a writer until I was in my twenties. I was never one of those kids who aspired to be a novelist or reporter. I didn't write for my high school newspaper or yearbook. But I did always write—stories and plays and poetry—ever since I was a little kid. It wasn't until I was in my twenties and in college (I took a few years off before starting at university) when I realized that pre-med was not for me and started taking random classes that I happened upon a journalism course and a lightbulb went on."
3. If you could work with any other author, who would it be?
"There are so many authors I love and admire but I think I'm too bullheaded to collaborate. I love the collaborating with my editor, Julie, because she brings out the best in me, or reigns in the worst in me. One of the reasons I like writing is that I am my own boss and answer to only me."
4. Are there any parts of your books that are based on events in your own life?
5. How long did it take to find an agent/publish your first book after finishing the manuscript?
"My first book is actually a travel book called You Can't Get There From Here: A Year On The Fringes Of A Shrinking World. It was nonfiction so it works a little differently. I wrote a proposal and sent it out to various agents and I think the whole process from proposal to agent to publishing contract was about three of four months. With If I Stay, I had to get an agent all over again--my first one had shut down her agency--and even though I'd published two books, the entire process took just as long, maybe longer. I described both ordeals at length in a blog post that you can read here: http://www.gayleforman.com/blog/2010/01/19/answers-part-2-query-letters/ "
6. What advice would you give to people who "run out of creativity" when writing?
"I don't think you run ever out of creativity. You might run out of energy. For me, there are days when it's just not right to write so I don't force it. But I'm also a big believer that momentum breeds momentum, inertia breeds inertia. So if you don't feel like the thing you're working on or creating is working, put it aside and work on something else, something fun and perhaps with no end goal (i.e. nothing you want to publish or show anyone). For myself, I often find that something grows out of this. But if I just sit there waiting for some magic lighting bolt of creativity to strike, it doesn't. The muse most often visits while you're already working."
7. What's your favorite part of a book?
"The part that makes my chest feel like it's about to break open a bit."
(Now for a couple fun questions)
"Lately, Chicago by Sufjan Stevens, but this is not immutable."
9. If you were going to be stuck on a deserted island, which book, movie, food, and person(s) would you take?
"Book: A large blank composition book (plus a pen). To take advantage of the fact that I'm stuck on a deserted island.
A movie: Clueless. To take my mind off the fact that I'm stuck on a deserted island.
People: Husband and kids (and a babysitter for occasional dates on the other side of the island)"
10. Five of your favorite things?
Books—and the people who read them"
So there you have it everyone. The lovely Gayle Forman :) Thank you again Gayle for letting me do the interview! I hope you guys enjoyed the interview and found it useful! Happy reading everyone :)