I'm so happy and honored to be taking part in Alyssa B. Sheinmel's The Stone Girl blog tour!
A huge thanks to Alyssa and Random House Books. :)
Here's my interview with Alyssa:
1) Hi Alyssa! Thanks so much for joining us here at The Teen Book Guru! Your latest novel, The Stone Girl, is being released really soon. Could you tell us a little about it?
The Stone Girl is the story of a lonely girl like Sethie. There are two things that are true about Sethie; one, she is always hungry, a mean angry hunger that feels like a piece of glass in her belly; and two, that she is always missing Shaw, the boy she loves, the boy who isn’t quite her boyfriend. I think of Sethie as starving from the outside in – starving both physically and emotionally.
2) Where do you normally draw inspiration from when you are writing? Was there anything in particular that inspired you to write The Stone Girl?
The Stone Girl was a book that I never wanted to write. Still, I always knew that I might end up writing a book involving body-obsession since it was a large part of my own young-adulthood.
3) The concept behind The Stone Girl is so different and intriguing, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anything like it, really. How did you come up with it?
A few years ago, an image of Sethie just popped into my head, almost out of nowhere. Suddenly, I knew everything about her: I knew that she tried to skip meals and hated herself when she failed; I knew that she loved a boy who didn’t love her back; I knew that would make herself throw up time and time again. Once I saw her, I couldn’t keep myself from telling her story.
4) The Stone Girl raises (among others), the issues of eating disorders, and body problems. What do you want readers to take away from this book?
As a writer, I don’t feel like I have any say in what my readers will take away from my books – that part is what happens after the book is out of my hands. I hope that I’ve told Sethie’s story well, and I hope that it will ring true to the people who read it. I also hope that this book sparks conversation; whether readers recognize Sethie in one of their friends, one of their classmates, or even in themselves – I hope that reading this book will give them the impetus to talk about it.
5) How did you come up with your characters? Do you see yourself in any of them? Sethie, in particular?
There’s definitely a little bit of me in Sethie, though The Stone Girl is far from a memoir. Sethie’s story is not my own, but her experiences are informed by my experiences. (Though I guess that’s true of every character I write!)
6) What are your writing habits?
I’m a morning person, so I tend to do most of my writing before noon. I like to set myself a daily word-count goal; sometimes I get there in under and hour, and sometimes after three hours, I still haven’t made it.
7) Do you suffer from writer’s block? If so, how do you get past it?
I think the best way to handle writer’s block is to walk away from what I’m working on and do something else entirely. And, there are a few authors whose work never fails to inspire me; whenever I read them, I tend to find my way back to the computer, and back to whatever story it was that I’d walked away from.
8) When did you first realize you wanted to be an author? What/who made you want to become one?
I know it’s a little corny, but I don’t think I ever decided to be an author. My sister, Courtney, (an author, too), and I grew up in a house where we were encouraged both to read books and to put our own stories down on paper. We both wanted to be writers for as long as I can remember.
9) There are a lot of aspiring authors out there today, and many children and teenagers who want to be authors when they grow up. What advice would you give them?
My number one piece of advice is never stop reading. I think you can learn something about writing from everything that you read – novels, essays, articles, even textbooks.
10) Are you working on any other projects that we can look out for?
I actually have a few works-in-progress at the moment, but I’m absurdly superstitious about talking about what I’m working on while I’m working on it – I’m convinced I’ll jinx myself.
11) What are your favorite book(s), and who are your favorite author(s)? What authors/books are you currently reading?
Favorite books (just a few): A Moveable Feast, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Great Gatsby, Pride and Prejudice.
Some of my favorite authors: Alice Hoffman, Joan Didion, Ernest Hemingway.
12) When you are not reading or writing, what can you be found doing?
If I’m not reading or writing, then odds are I’m playing with my dog. He’s at my feet right now, waiting for me to finish working so that we can go outside.
13) What type of music do you like to listen to?
I can’t think of a type of music that I don’t like to listen to, at least once in a while, but I probably listen most to the music my parents introduced me to when I was young – I grew up hearing Carly Simon, Fleetwood Mac, James Taylor, Carole King, and that kind of music is still what I listen to most.
14) Pick this or that:
Dogs or Cats?
Dogs, dogs, dogs. (Nothing against cats, but I’m just a dog person!)
Facebook or Twitter?
Twitter. Facebook scares me. (Follow me @AlyssaSheinmel!)
Coke or Pepsi?
Coke. Well really Diet Coke. Without ice. (Everyone in my family orders soda without ice.)
Music or TV?
Outdoors or Indoors?
Depends on the weather!
15) If you could be one Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor, which one would you choose and why? Or, if you don't like Jelly Beans, what type of candy would you choose and why?
Hmm…I honestly can’t remember the last time I had a jelly bean, so I’m going to have to go with a different kind of candy. Maybe a pineapple Lifesaver?
Thank you so much for being on the blog today, Alyssa! I can't wait for my review copy of The Stone Girl to arrive. It seems truly great!
Here are the rest of the stops!
8/2—Emily’s Crammed Bookshelf Interview & review
8/3—Literary Rambles Guest post & giveaway
8/6—YA Romantics Review
8/7—The Book Addict’s Guide Interview
8/8—Book Club Chic Review
8/9—A Tale of Two Bookies Guest post
8/12—The Teen Book Guru Interview
8/13—The Teen Book Guru Review
8/14—Itching for Books Guest post
8/15—Random Acts of Reading Guest post
8/16—The Children’s Book Review Guest post & giveaway
8/17—Isabel Bandeira Mini-interview & guest post
8/20—YA Romantics Interview
8/21—Taking It One Book at a Time Interview
8/22—Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers Review & giveaway
8/23—Confessions of a Bookaholic Guest post & giveaway
8/24—The Compulsive Reader Guest post & giveaway
8/27—Almost Grown Up Interview
8/27—A Chair, a Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy Interview
8/28— A Chair, a Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy Review
8/29—Letter Blocks Interview
9/1—Distraction No. 99 Guest post
9/2—Literary Escapism Guest post (for School’s In)
9/3—Dear Teen Me Guest post
Check 'em out!
So, hope everyone's having a fabulous Monday! -.- Today was my first day of 10th grade and I'm so friggin tired but I have a boat load of homework. *sigh* You gotta do what you gotta do...
On a brighter note, my new batch of ARCs just arrived! Will be writing a post shortly. :)
Here's a little something for all of y'all who feel like you just can't hold on any longer... I know I've felt like that before, and it really sucks. Just keep holding on, cause it gets better. I promise. :')
"When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on." ~Franklin D. Roosevelt