Sunday, May 11, 2008

Author Interview: Jody Gehrman!

Hey everyone! Yesterday I reviewed Jody's first YA novel, Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty! Today, we get to have a chat with Jody herself. Enjoy!

About the Author: While Jody Gehrman's primary obsession is writing, she has also been a freelance journalist, a playwright, an actress, and a singer-songwriter. (She even wrote a song about the Bettys, which she mentioned in yesterday's QnA, that can be found by clicking here!) She currently teaches writing at Mendocino College in northeastern California. Her inspiration for Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty came from one of Shakespeare's most hilarious plays, Much Ado About Nothing. You can check out her website at http://www.jodygehrman.com/.
(Adapted from the author bio inside Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty.)


Could you describe your road to publication for us?

Well, technically the first novel I published, Summer in the Land of Skin, was actually my second novel. I wrote one while still in grad school, and I did get an agent based on that manuscript, but we never sold it. I think it's fine to have a sort of "training wheels" novel, and that was mine. SUMMER went through a number of years worth of grueling revisions; I even hired a friend of mine, a magazine editor, to help me get it into shape. When it finally sold it went to auction and I ended up with a three book deal, so that kept me busy for quite awhile.

Triple Shot Betty was your first young adult book. Aside from its sequel, can we expect more YA from you?

Next I plan to tackle a YA novel about a girl who goes undercover at a boys' boarding school. The working title is BABE IN BOYLAND.

How important is music to the writing process? Any artists you want to give a special shoutout to?

I love music, but I never listen to it while I'm actually writing. I need silence for that. At the moment I'm really into The Propellerheads, though--they're my favorite wind-down-after-a-long-day-of-writing band. I love their sense of humor!

What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Write what you love as often as you possibly can and keep anyone who trivializes your work at a distance. I think you should take yourself seriously in terms of the amount of time and energy you give to it, but also let there be pleasure and a sense of whimsy in your writing life. Having fun is so essential. External validation is always a blast, but it's the delight you take in the writing itself that will keep you coming back.

In a word, what were you like as a teenager?

In a word? Antiestablishmentarian.
What is your biggest non-writing-related dream?

I really want to live in a tower above the sea with a zipline straight down to the beach.

What is your biggest inspiration?

Coffee.

What's the most fun you've had to date?

I had this moment when I was seven that was incredibly memorable for no particular reason. I was running along on a beach, splashing in the waves, and for some reason I think I experienced a moment of enlightenment.

What makes you laugh?

Urban Dictionary. Pelicans. Faculty meetings.

What would most people be surprised to find out about you?

I haven't watched TV in twenty years.

What is the most random fact about yourself that you can think of right now?

I like nutritional yeast on my popcorn.

If you had to pick any other career outside the realm of writing, what would it be?

Radio drama starlet--like from the 40s, though, so it would require time travel.

Finish this sentence:

I would not be who I am today if it weren't for...the wackieness of Northern California.

What book(s) can we currently find on your nighstand, and how are you liking it/them?

I'm reading Cassandra Clare's CITY OF BONES and I'm fascinated by the urban magic realism she and Holly Black are into. It's really fresh and interesting.

Most important question of the day: Does writing YA rock or what?

Seriously, there's so much happening in this genre. It's a total renaissance. I just hope we can keep the momentum building.

Now we get to see your creative side! Make yourself a question and answer it.

Q: What's your favorite food group?

A: Chocolate.

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A big thank you goes out to Jody for being so fast with the awesome responses!

Tomorrow, we'll have a contest, so stay tuned.

3 comments:

Book Chic said...

Great interview!! I loved reading it. :)

ambeen said...

Another awesome interview! I can't wait for tomorrow's contest!

The Book Muncher said...

Babe in Boyland...awesome :D

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