Sunday, 25 September 2011

AUTHOR INTERVIEW - ROBIN WASSERMAN



What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now? 
Robin Wasserman. I was born in Philadelphia and now live in New York City. 

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say? 
My new book is THE BOOK OF BLOOD AND SHADOW, which comes out in January 2012, and if forced to sum it up that quickly? Hmmm. How about: Girl must escape from evil secret societies, solve centuries old mystery, rescue boyfriend, and avenge murder of best friend. 

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series? 
I am working on a new book as we speak, but it's a secret...all I'll say is that it won't be a sequel to THE BOOK OF BLOOD AND SHADOW. It's something new and exciting and terrifying. 

How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write? 
I've been writing ever since I learned the alphabet, and I've wanted to be a writer every since I started to read, since it was clear to me at age 5 that making books was the only job I would ever want to do. I had a lot of teachers in elementary school who helped nurture this obsession, but my real inspiration was all the books I fell in love with as a child and teenager. All I've ever wanted to do is write books that will change other people's lives the way those books changed mine. 

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews? 
Often I'll give out books as contest prizes, but when it comes to review copies, I usually direct bloggers to my publisher, which has a bigger stock of books to give away for review purposes. 

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books? 
Occasionally a title will just come to me out of the blue, but usually I spend a lot of time brainstorming, making long lists of words and quotes that I think evoke the theme of the book. As for the cover, the publisher is actually entirely responsible for that. Here's the story of how the covers for my trilogy came to be -http://www.melissacwalker.com/cover_stor... - though next month, those books will actually be re-released with all new covers and titles. So sometimes we don't get it right the first time around! 

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you? 
I've learned the hard way not to base characters on people I know in any more than the vaguest sense, but I do often fictionalize events from my life -- the Seven Deadly Sins and Hacking Harvard, especially, have a lot of call-outs to my real life. But good luck figuring out which ones they are... 

Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing? 
That's always a hard question to answer, since while I'm sure my writing's been shaped by many of the books I've read and re-read, I don't know that I'm conscious of the influence. With my most recent book, I did draw a lot of inspiration from The Secret History (by Donna Tartt) and with the Cold Awakening Trilogy, I was drawing on the massive amounts of Asimov and Heinlein and other sf authors I read when I was younger. 

Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?
 
I'll admit I love owning hardcovers, for the prettiness value, but a paperback is always easier to read. I've never read more than a page of an ebook, and it's possible (though I admit not probable) I never will. I'm still a total luddite on that front. I just love the feel of a book in my hand. 

What is your favourite book and Why? Have you read it more than once? 

That changes every month, but today I'd say "It," by Stephen King. It's definitely the book I've read the most times in my life -- back in junior high I used to read it every few months, almost as a survival guide. Even now, I find comfort (strange as that sounds, since it's a book about a demonic clown) from occasionally dipping back into its pages, even if only for a few chapters. 

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst book to movie transfer?
 
I'm the kind of person that usually detests any movie made out of a book I love. I almost always, ALWAYS hate what gets left out and how the characters are cast and pretty much everything else about the movei version, from start to finish. The movie adaptations I love tend to be the ones where I saw the movie first -- Wonder Boys, The Princess Bride, and The Wizard of Oz are all glorious movies in themselves and I think the first two, at least, are beautiful interpretations of books that I later came to love almost as much. (The Wizard of Oz is an amazing movie, but it's not exactly faithful to the spirit of the book.) Though, of course, my all time favorite book to movie transfer is the Lifetime movie made from my Seven Deadly Sins series, which I could watch every day for the rest of my life and never get tired of. 

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback) 
I'm just finishing up a paperback of "Invisible Circus," by Jennifer Egan, which is technically an 'adult' book, but is actually a really great coming of age story about a girl backpacking through Europe in search of answers about her sister, who killed herself ten years before. 

Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish? 
I've been working on David Foster Wallace's "Infinite Jest" for about five years now, but I am determined to eventually finish it. Someday. I'm not sure there's a book I know now I'll never read, although from what I remember of it in high school, you'd have to pay me a lot of money to ever turn back to The Red Badge of Courage. *shudder* 

Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and Why should we watch out for them?
 
I'm incredibly excited for Maureen Johnson's Name of the Star to come out this fall (she's not exactly new, but it's definitely a new direction for her). 

Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be? 
If I started answering that, we'd be here all day. Trust me. 

What do you think about book trailers? 
I think they're usually pretty boring, but can sometimes be riveting...but even when they are, I'm not really sure whether they have much utility. Other than the two or three that are so unique and hilarious that they get spread everywhere, do trailers ever actually persuade people to buy a book? I don't know. I've watched my favorite trailer about thirty times (I'd post it here, but now I can't find it)...but it's never occurred to me I might actually want to read the book. 

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer? 
Write! And don't stop, no matter what. If you keep writing, and keep improving, and keep finding new things you want to say, then eventually, one way or another, you will find readers, and make a life of it. 

Do you or would you ever use a pen name? 

I have, more than once. I'd tell you what it was, but then I'd have to kill you. 

Where can readers follow you? 

Your blog details? http://robinwasserman.tumblr.com 
Your web site ? http://www.robinwasserman.com 
Your Goodreads author page? http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/219...
Your Twitter details? http://www.twitter.com/robinwasserman 




Thank you for taking the time from your writing schedule to do this interview for us readers, allowing us a sneak peek into your world of writing!

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