Thursday, May 14, 2009
Interview with Linda Gerber!
Today we have Linda Gerber with us, who is the author of the wonderful Death By. . . series, whose third book, Death by Denim, was released today.
1. What made you want to write a mystery series for teens?
Good question. I write YA because that's what I love to read, but I kind of fell into the mystery part of it. I love to read mysteries and thrillers, so those elements just naturally crept into the first draft. My publisher zeroed in on the mystery and we built it from there.
2. Are you currently working on any books? If you are, can you tell us what they're about?
Yes! I'm working on a YA paranormal that will come out next year about a couple of trance-writing sisters. And I'm cooking up a couple of MG projects as well, but I can't really say much about those yet.
3. What kind of music do you listen to? Do you listen to any certain music while you write?
I love good music and I'll listen to anything from Andrea Bocelli to Led Zeppelin to Nirvana to Black Eyed Peas to Mozart. While I write, I don't usually listen to music with lyrics - I always want to sing along and I get distracted!
4. What inspired you to write the Death By... series?
It all started with a writing exercise I was doing for one of my writers' groups. The short story grew into a book, and that evolved into Death by Bikini. Once I had found the direction, the others grew from there.
5. What is your favorite food?
Does chocolate count? Other than that, I'm a big sushi fan. And I love karjalan piiraka (a Finnish rice pastry). And yakitori. And Italian food. And good cheese. And...
6. When did you realize you wanted to be an author?
I've always loved to write and create stories, but being an author sounded like a long-shot, impossible thing to me. And then one of my favorite authors came to a library near me and spoke. She mentioned that she belonged to an online writers' community. I joined the same community the next day. It was there that I found the confidence and the drive to make it happen.
7. Who has been the most influential person in your writing career?
Probably my crit partners, who are the best cheerleaders and eagle eyes anyone could wish for, and my editor, Angelle Pilkington, who has the patience of a saint and spot on intuition.
8. What was the weirdest time you got inspiration for a story?
So much inspiration comes in weird ways! It's hard to choose one, but I guess it might be an experience years ago that led to the paranormal I'm working on now. In high school I had a very vivid dream about an airplane crash. It freaked me out so much, I told my friends about it. And then, a week or so later, a plane crashed in the US in the exact same way I had seen in my dream. It got me interested in precognition and eventually evolved into a story.
9. What is your advice to teens who want to be authors?
READ! Look at reading as your apprenticeship to being a writer.
Write. Polish your craft. I read that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill - music, sports, art, etc. Put in the time. Make it work for you.
Don't stop!!! Don't let anyone discourage you. If you really want to write, use critiques and rejections as learning tools and keep on keeping on!
10. Ask yourself a question and answer it!
Don't you feel like the luckiest person in the world that you get to do what you love for a living?
Why, yes, I do!!!
Thank you, Linda!
Linda was also kind enough to donate one signed copy of Death by Denim for one lucky winner! This contest will run from today, Thursday, May 14th, until Thursday, May 21st at midnight eastern time.
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