Wednesday, 24 February 2016

INTERVIEW- 6 KIRTIDA GAUTAM INTERVIEWS TANYA ANNE CROSBY

INTERVIEW 6
KIRTIDA GAUTAM INTERVIEWS 
TANYA ANNE CROSBY
Tanya Anne Crosby is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-five novels. She is known for stories that are charged with emotion and humor and filled with flawed characters. 
Thank you Tanya for taking out time for this interview.

How your growing-up years have inspired you to become a writer?
I knew I wanted to be a writer from the time I was a little girl. I remember being 12 and getting my tonsils out and my father told me I could have anything I wanted, probably thinking it would be ice cream. But I asked to use his typewriter!

What is the secret behind being the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-five novels? Consistently being able to write books that garnered huge readership and praise, do you follow a writing method or regime?
Writing is a very individual journey, but if there is any secret at all, it’s this: Perseverance matters. If you have a drive to write, it’s what you must do, and to do it well, it takes practice. With lots of practice, you have a published book, and after a number of great books, you have a following. Essentially, the secret is simply to write the best book you know how to write and to keep doing it for as long as you love what you’re doing.

Is there a character of yours, which is closest to your heart?
My favorite character is always the characters I’m currently working on. It’s important, I believe, to love every book from the bottom of your heart as you are writing them. Your passion for your work always shows.

You have written books in different genres. How do switch between the genres? What are the difficulties that you face?

I actually find it fairly easy to switch between genres. As long as you’re writing a book you love, and feel a passion for, each and every book has its own rewards and pitfalls. In general, historical are a little harder, because they take more research, but although contemporaries are easier in the sense that we are living this history, right now, you’ve got to get it right, because there’s always someone out there who is ready to bonk you on the head with your mistakes (figuratively, of course!).

You refer the term Hybrid Author for yourself, having your roots in both trade and self-publishing. What are the pros and cons of traditional publishing and self-publishing according to you?
Although my publishing roots are trad, I definitely do not consider myself either indie or trad. I guess the term hybrid author most applies to me. I don’t believe there is any one right path for an author to take and I do believe under the right circumstances traditional publishing is still a great option, although I know that doesn’t answer your question. I came to a point in the late nineties that I no longer enjoyed what I was writing. That, and life got in the way, so I took a break. When I came back to the industry, it was an entirely different world. I was determined to love writing again. For me that meant telling the stories I wanted to tell and that was far easier to do as an indie author.

What is the inspiration behind choosing the historical background for your romance Novels?
Literally, it could be anything. I’m inspired by life in general.
After ten years hiatus, you returned with your first contemporary romantic suspense Novel. What made you take a break for ten years? What stirred you to choose contemporary suspense as a genre for your comeback Novel?
I came to a point in the late nineties that I no longer enjoyed what I was writing. That, and life got in the way, so I took a break. When I came back to the industry, it was an entirely different world. I was determined to love writing again. For me that meant telling the stories I wanted to tell and that was far easier to do as an indie author.

Could you please tell us little about your future work? Which character will take the lead in the story?

This year is going to be crazy. I have a new book out in March, HIGHLAND STORM and one out in April, THE GIRL WHO STAYED. I am now working on the next release, a second anthology with Glynnis Campbell and Laurin Wittig, called THE SUMMER STAR. And I’m also in the midst of book 4 of the Guardians series, which takes the series in a whole new direction. HIGHLAND FURY is due out in January 2017, and I’m plotting and scheming a new book for The Story Plant.

How writing has moved you as a person? Are you different in your personal life then what you are as a writer?
Probably not so much. Although I can’t say I identify with all my characters, there’s probably a tiny bit of me in all my characters, heroes and villains.

Being the editor for ten years and a renowned published author for over twenty years, what advice would you like to give to new authors of today regarding editing, publishing and book promotions? 
My advice is pretty rudimentary. Writers write. So do it every day. It seems simple, but this piece of advice has served me through twenty seven years as a published writer. The more you do it, the better you get.

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Kirtida Gautam is a clinical psychologist and author of Dark and Gritty YA #iAm16iCan. Follow her on Twitter @KirtidaGautam  

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

INTERVIEW 5- KIRTIDA GAUTAM INTERVIEWS KAREN FORTUNATI

INTERVIEW 5
KIRTIDA GAUTAM INTERVIEWS 
KAREN FORTUNATI
Karen Fortunati is a writer of contemporary, realistic YA. The subject of her  first book, The Weight of Zero, is mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder, and it explores the shame, stigma and anxiety that often complicate the management of this chronic condition. 
Her path to writing and publication was a long and indirect one. She graduated from the University of Scranton with an accounting degree  and then got a law degree from Georgetown. After working as a lawyer for many years, she found herself growing interested and then fascinated with history, specifically the American Revolution. This fascination sparked the idea for a middle grade story so between family, dogs and a return to school (Trinity College for a master’s degree in American Studies), she threw herself into writing.
Thanks Karen for taking out time to answer the questions for this interview. As a clinical psychologist, I am eager to read The Weight of Zero. I hope the book reaches in the hands of people who fight the neurotic demon named Bipolar Disorder. I applaud you for writing a novel on this important topic. 


  
What was the one thing that made you want to write The Weight of Zero?
The Weight of Zero is a young adult novel about a girl considering suicide. Two factors drove me to this story. The first was a collection of personal experiences – observing family and friends deal with mental health issues and treatment. It’s interesting in that I never realized how much these experiences impacted me until I sat down to write this story. The second factor is my husband. He’s been a child psychiatrist for sixteen years and through him, I’ve learned about different mental illnesses and courses of treatment. For this story, I wanted to lift the veil and explore that process – get into the nitty gritty of medications, group and individual therapy and different types of support. I aimed for a respectful and honest approach because I know that treatment can work. In young adult literature, some portrayals of treatment are negative. My goal was to give a positive perspective so that someone who would have never considered talking to someone about a mental health issue might do so now.

What is the theme of The Weight of Zero?
There is always hope.

Tell the readers more about the protagonist. What does she seek?
Seventeen-year-old Catherine has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and has made one suicide attempt. When you meet her, she is convinced that a life with this condition isn’t worth living. She’s planning to overdose and is stockpiling meds to take when her depression (aka “Zero”) returns. But changes in her treatment  - a new doctor who prescribes a new med and a new Intensive Outpatient Program – are making a surprising and positive impact. Brand new relationships start to develop with people Catherine could’ve never imagined. So the main issue then becomes whether Catherine can realize that life with bipolar disorder is worth living.

What research you needed to write The Weight Of Zero? Which are the books that helped you the most?  
I read constantly, scouring the Internet for information, personal accounts and blogs. The International Bipolar Foundation presents excellent webinars and publishes the fantastic bp Magazine. I was incredibly moved by Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison’s An Unquiet Mind. I also found Two Bipolar Chick’s Guide to Survival: Tips for Living With Bipolar Disorder by Wendy K. Williamson and Honora Rose enormously helpful.  My husband, though, was my best resource! Not only did he give technical advice but was also great at editing.

What was the most satisfying moment of your writing career? 
Two moments tie for most satisfying: the first was when my agent, Sara Megibow, offered me representation and the second, learning that The Weight of Zero was going to be published by Delacorte. When I finally got an agent, I had been writing for about six years, mostly on my first full novel, a middle grade manuscript that had gotten soundly rejected. So when Sara’s email arrived offering representation, I remember staring at it, stunned that it had actually happened, that an agent wanted to take me on. When you get rejected so many times, it feels like that day is never going to come.

If you have to make a movie trailer of your writing career, what the trailer will look like?
This is a hard question…hmmmm. I guess it would be something like Julie and Julia. I loved how that movie showed what publication rejection feels like – when you invest years into writing and it seems to never pan out and then suddenly (six years for me), it does.

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Tuesday, 2 February 2016

INTERVIEW 4- KIRTIDA GAUTAM INTEVIEWS ANNE GOODWIN

INTERVIEW 4
KIRTIDA GAUTAM INTERVIEWS 
ANNE GOODWIN

Anne Goodwin’s debut novel, Sugar and Snails, is about a woman who has kept her past identity a secret for thirty years. It was published in July 2015 by Inspired Quill. Her second novel, Underneath is about a man who keeps a woman captive in his cellar, is scheduled for May 2017. Anne is also a book blogger and author of over 60 published short stories. If you’re in the UK, come and meet her at one of her author events. Alternatively you can connect via her website: annethology or on Twitter @Annecdotist.

Thank you very much Anne for taking out time to answer the Questions for Authorprenuer Blog and sharing your journey as an author with the readers. 

What makes the process of writing worthwhile for you?
I find the process of revision the most intrinsically rewarding: cutting out redundant words; finding a way of expressing something with greater clarity, subtlety or eloquence; and, even though my fiction is not plot-heavy, I love spreading clues, like a trail of breadcrumbs, to lead to the climax.However, I must admit my writing is also an addiction that won’t let me go, with origins in my love of reading and the dream of my own words giving a similar pleasure to others. The addiction is driven by a need to express the unexpressible and to tame the thoughts bubbling in my head. It’s maintained by the satisfaction of publication and from readers’ appreciation but, as with any addiction, the highs can leave me wanting more.

What was the most frustrating moment of your writing career?
The writer’s path is strewn with disappointments; how does one choose among so many? But it was certainly frustrating when, after she’d fallen in love with my novel, an agent’s assistant was unable to persuade her senior colleagues in the agency to take it on. Luckily, I was able to find a happy home for my novel with a publisher who accepts direct submissions. A little further along the path, however, I remember the shock when a bookseller informed me that, due to the discount required for a shop to stock it, my novel was priced too low; fortunately something the publisher was able to rectify.


What was the most satisfying moment of your writing career?
A string of moments connected with getting my first novel published: the generous quotes from the early readers; the excitement of publication day; and seeing friends and family actually enjoy themselves at my launch parties and queue up to buy signed copies of my book.

If you have to make a movie trailer of your writing career, what the trailer will look like?
What a fascinating question, although a tricky one for those of us who work with words rather than images. But I’m picturing a girl with a gag across her mouth sitting reading a book. The girl morphs into a young woman scribbling in an exercise book as if her life depends on it (maybe illustrated by that cliché gallows in the background or a ticking time-bomb)! Finally – because don’t we all love a happy ending – she’s older and greyer, but nevertheless radiant as she signs copies of her first book. Alternatively, in the arthouse version, it won’t finish there but will move back to her frantic scribbling, although she’s now quite old and frail, in a dark and shabby room while, through the window, we see “normal” people out in the sunshine getting on with real-life. On reflection, I think I’ll have the Disney version, please.

How much do you rely on personal emotions and memories to write your novels?
I like to read, and try to write, fiction that has emotional depth, so I’m drawing very much on my own emotional experience. I often use my memories of real places, and of houses especially, for my settings, although will happily play around with the details to suit the plot. The occasional episode from my own life can seep into the story, but generally I’m happier making things up. Yet, at an emotional level, much of my fiction could be read as a metaphor for my own personal story.

Would you like to research some vocations as possible jobs for a character?
The narrator of my next novel, Underneath, has worked in a rural school in South Africa, a dive centre in Belize, a car hire firm in Hong Kong and a cycle repair shop in Guatemala. I don’t think I have enough lifetimes to try all these, and I’ve lost the travelling bug, so maybe I’ll pass.

Tell me about some research information which you would never have known if you would not have written your book.
Another fascinating question, Kirtida. I’m a lazy researcher, and tend to write about topics I already know something about, just checking facts and details. However, I was rather thrown in the process of writing Sugar and Snails by the discovery, or rediscovery, that a law passed by parliament one year doesn’t come into operation until the next. Although this sounds pretty humdrum, it caused me some problems with the timeline until I was able to build it into the plot as a point of tension.

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Kirtida Gautam is a clinical psychologist and author of Dark and Gritty YA #iAm16iCan. Follow her on Twitter @KirtidaGautam