Friday, May 24, 2013

All About Middle Grade Interview: Laura Golden (author of Every Day After)


I am very excited to welcome Laura Golden, author of Every Day After, to the blog this week to chat about her debut novel. Hope y'all will give her a warm welcome.

About the Author:

Laura Golden is the author of EVERY DAY AFTER, a middle grade novel about a young girl learning to let go and find her own way amidst the trials of the Great Depression. It is available now from Delacorte Press/RHCB and can be purchased through your favorite independent bookseller or online retailer. Find out more about Laura and EVERY DAY AFTER by visiting her website or following her on Twitter and Facebook.

You can haunt Laura Golden at-
Website | Twitter | FB |

Interview


1. Laura, why do you think readers will enjoy reading about Lizzie and the challenges that life is getting ready to throw her way?

Lizzie’s story presents many topics that are relevant to today’s kids: bullying, an absent parent, misunderstandings and troubles between friends. Lizzie is also quite self-sufficient, a quality that many latchkey kids exhibit. So while the book is historical fiction, it feels rather modern in subject matter. Kirkus alluded to this in the last line of their review of Every Day After. The book touches on subjects and themes that are always current, no matter what time period you live in.  

2. While writing Every Day After, what did you enjoy the most about writing Lizzie's story? Ever wish that you could reach into the screen/paper and give your character a hug? 

I most enjoyed experiencing Lizzie’s emotions right along with her. As I’ve gone through tens of revisions on the book, a bit of that emotion has waned. Nothing that happens within the story is a surprise to me now. But the roller coaster of emotions I felt as the story appeared on the page is what I most remember.

As to wanting to reach in and hug Lizzie, of course I did. Also, at times, the maternal instinct would come out in me and I’d want to shake some sense into her. I wanted to tell her to stop trying to fix everything herself, to stop being so stubborn, but she had to go through all the trials in the book in order to come out a different person on the other side—as most of us do. 

3. Could you tell us a little about the setting for Every Day After and why you chose it?

Every Day After is set in Alabama in 1932, the height of the Great Depression in the south. I chose this as the setting because the story itself was inspired by my paternal grandparents’ own stories of growing up during the Depression. It couldn’t have been set in any other time or place. 

4. If you had not sold your first book, what do you think you would be doing now? If you could hop on a plane today and travel anywhere in the world where would you like to visit?

If I had not sold my first book, I would have written a second and attempted to sell it. I would still be writing, and refusing to give up. Like Lizzie, I can be stubborn. I think that is a useful trait in certain situations.

If I could travel anywhere in the world, I would visit Paris. I cry when I see it in movies. I’ve always romanticized Paris, and France in general, in my mind. There is a scene in Funny Face starring Audrey Hepburn in which her plane is flying over Paris making its descent. I tear up every single time they show the aerial shots of the city. I can’t help it. I also love the movie Sabrina with Julia Ormond for the same reason. Paris is a beloved character in that film. Adore. 

5. Laura, here's you chance to brag on your home-state, Alabama. So, what do you think is the most unique thing about Alabama?

This is the hardest question ever! Seriously. I was born and raised in Alabama, so everything about this state seems too homey for me to consider it unique or special.

If I had to say, I suppose I love the location. I am a traveler by nature, and it’s easy to make trips to the Gulf and the Smokey Mountains and the east coast. Alabama is convenient to loads of travel destinations. 

And, regarding the world of literature, we get to claim Harper Lee and Fannie Flagg as our own. I’ll never complain about that.


6. If you could travel back in time and hand middle-schooled aged you one book what would it be? Why?

I wouldn’t add or take away a single book I read. Summer of the Swans, Charlotte’s Web, Little House on the Prairie, The Ordinary Princess (my childhood fave), The Black Stallion, The Secret Garden, Black Beauty, King of the Wind, and on and on and on: I needed those stories as a child. The books I’ve read as an adult are books that I needed to read as an adult. The right stories have found their way to me at the right time. I’m thankful for that.

7. Everyone has at least one comfort read that they turn to when nothing else will do, so, I was wondering if you would like to share with readers what your long-time favorite book is? 

Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson. This is a book I didn’t read until my twenties. I don’t think I would have appreciated it as much had I read it any earlier. Again, the whole right story at the right time bit. But it’s my favorite book. It’s beautiful and epic and I cry like a baby at the end.

*weird, I just bought and read Jacob, Have I loved last year. Loved it too!*

8. The world has fallen to a robot invasion and only one heroine/hero can possibly save the day, who do you choose? 

Percy Jackson. If he can conquer Greek gods, he can defeat robots.

9. Care to tell us about your writing cave (include picture if you want)?

My writing cave is actually a very tiny bedroom that has been converted into a very tiny office that I share with my husband. He develops GIS apps for iOS devices, and works largely from home. I would include a picture, but you would be appalled at the disorganized clutter in this room. There are far too many books and not enough bookshelves (read: there are piles of books in the floor), multi-colored sticky notes dotting the walls for a book I am pre-plotting, miscellaneous old family photos littered across my desk for inspiration, piles of phones and gadgets scattered (read: piled) on top of my husband’s desk. It’s not a pretty sight. It’s not a cave that’s very writerly or private. ;) 

10. Any upcoming projects that you can share with us? 

Of course! I’m not very far along, but the next book I’m working on—another historical to be set in 1950—was inspired by the life experiences of my maternal grandmother. I’m still brainstorming and taking notes, so I’ll see where the ideas take me.

Many, many thanks for having me, Orchid! Your questions were fantastic. Fingers crossed that my responses lived up to them.


Your office sounds like my room, Laura. Only one of my four bookcases survived this last move, so, I now have a few hundred books stacked on my bedroom floor. Thank so much for stopping by and answering some questions, Laura. Loved your answers.

Every Day After by Laura Golden, June 11, 2013. Published by Delacorte Press.
Jennifer Holm's fans will root for Lizzie Hawkins. RUTA SEPETYS, New York Times bestselling author of BETWEEN SHADES OF GREY, says: "A beautiful story of acceptance and determination. Lizzie Hawkins reminds us that in the mids of losing something precious we may find something equally important: ourselves."
Trouble has rained down on Lizzie Hawkins. Her daddy has deserted the family, her mama is silent with sadness, and the bank is after their house.
Daddy always said Lizzie was born to succeed, but right now she can't even hold on to her top grades or her best friend, Ben. Bratty newcomer Erin Sawyer has weaseled both away from Lizzie, but Erin won’t be satisfied until Lizzie is out of her hair for good, packed off straight to the nearest orphanage.
Still, Lizzie refuses to lose what's left of her family. With the bank deadline fast approaching, Erin causing strife at every turn, and Mama and Ben slipping away from her, Lizzie finds comfort writing in her journal and looking at Daddy's face in the heirloom locket he left her. She's keeping her head high and holding onto hope that Daddy returns on her twelfth birthday. Still, she can’t help wondering: Why did Daddy have to leave? And can I save us if he doesn't come home?
Times may be tough in Bittersweet, Alabama, but the unsinkable Lizzie Hawkins will inspire readers with her resilience and determination.

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