Thursday, July 19, 2012
Author Interview: Ella Bella by Jennifer Kathleen Gibbons
Little Blurb about yourself:
To paraphrase Laura Bush: I write, I read, and I wonder.
1. Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
Nancy Drew. Thirty years ago this summer, I read one Nancy Drew after another. One day I realized that I wanted to be like Carolyn Keene. I wanted to write, tell good stories. Of course I didn't know there wasn't a Carolyn Keene, but I was already on my way making up all these stories. I thought I'd have a book published by the time I was eleven. Nope, nope, nope.
2. How long did it take you to write Ella Bella?
Seven years, although I came up with the idea nine years ago when my mother's job was outsourced. However I didn't put words onto paper until I arrived at Mills College, where it became my senior project. I wrote my first draft one summer when I was house sitting a teacher's home and I just kept revising, revising, revising.
3. While writing how many times do you go back and rewrite a plot?
Constantly. The problem with my early drafts plot is not a strong suit of mine. I once spent five years working on a novel that had no real plot. I read a rare interview once where Anne Tyler told young writers to revise all the time. Sometimes I worry I revise too much, but I want to make sure that the story that comes out is a good one.
4. You run into a bookstore, where do you go first?
New books, for sure. Then the Young Adult section to see if there's anything good there. I also check out writing books, then arts and entertainment to see if there's any dishy celeb memoirs I might like. If the store has magazines I tend to look at Poets and Writers, Entertainment Weekly, and if they have it Glimmer Train.
5. How many books in a month do you tend to read?
It depends on the month! I tend to read two to three books a week, plus I'm usually listening to something on audible.
In all the books you've read. Who is your most favorite character and why?
That's a hard one!!! I love Francie Nolan in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. She has such a resilient soul and never ever gives up wanting a better life for herself and her family.
7. State 5 random facts about yourself.
a. I worked for my local library system for ten years.
b. I graduated from college when I was thirty-three.
c. I also write essays. This year I put out an essay collection titled Take What You Got and Fly With It which is available on Amazon.
d. I have two cats: Ida B and Opal. Ida B is named for Ida B. Wells, one of the first African American activists in American history. Opal is named for Opal from the comic strip Pickles.
e. I love classic movies; one of the reasons why I keep my cable is for Turner Classic Movies.
8. Your favorite Genre?
I truly don't have one!
9. What are you currently reading?
A Ring of Endless Light by Madeline L'Engle
10. What is the best book you've read?
I can't pick!!! My favorite novels are To Kill a Mockingbird, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, East of Eden, She's Come Undone, and the Tales of the City novels by Armistead Maupin. I loved anything Judy Blume has written.
11. Any new projects coming up?
I'm going to start revising a YA novel I wrote three years ago for NaNoWriMo. All I can say about it is it's Great Gatsby meets the sixties. I'm also hoping to have another essay collection out soon as well; this time focusing on Christmas Carols. Deck those halls!
12. Here’s your chance to market your book. Describe it. And why readers should pick it up?
Ella Bella is a story about what happens when the worst happens to a family, how do they pick themselves up, brush themselves off, and start all over again? Ella tries to stay strong, but she can't do it alone. With the recent economic downturn, I think she's a character people can relate to, and be inspired by.
Where you can find author Jennifer Kathleen Gibbons:
Red Room page
About the Author:
Jennifer Kathleen Gibbons is the author of the Smashwords bestseller I Woke Up In Love This Morning and the essay collection I Woke Up In Love This Morning. She lives in Lafayette California and is working on a novel.
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