Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Interview + Giveaway with Carol Lynch Williams, author of Waiting

I'm honoured to be joined today by the fabulous and extremely talented Carol Lynch Williams, author of the heart-breaking, harrowing and absolutely captivating YA contemporary novel, Waiting.
If you missed my review of Waiting click here, or simply scroll down a bit (it's the post below this one).

1. Welcome to Bookish, Carol! Thank you! Thank you so much for being one of the guests during the Contemporary Fiction Month feature! Could you start by telling us a little bit about yourself? 

Here is a short list a bout me. :) 

I am the mom to 5 daughters. 

We live in Utah. 

I’ve lived in Utah all of my adult life but I was raised in Florida. 

My first book came out about 100 years ago in 1993. 

I run a giant conference for writers and illustrators. You can read more about that conference at WWW.WIFYR.COM

I am a creative writing teacher at BYU. 

I love Ryan Reynolds. 

I love to dance. 

I love to sing. 

I love to read and I love to write. 

But the very very very best part of my life are all of my girls. 

2. Who or what inspired you to write Waiting? 

A few years back I was working in my office when I got a MSG from a friend who translates my books into Dutch. She told me her little girl had just died. I was just heart-broken. Not a month after that I found out an uncle of mine passed away from brain cancer. Then my most favorite aunty died--there didn’t seem to be a reason for it. Not long after that, one of my daughter’s first boyfriends was killed in a car accident and the day he died another friend passed away. Less than a week later one of my daughter’s friends was killed skateboarding. 

It seemed like the whole world was crumbling and I was so sad. I’d wake up crying, I was so sad. I had had an idea about two years before about a boy who had died and the idea sat in my brain for a long time. When all this sad stuff started happening, it felt to me I finally had a story to tell: The story of losing someone you love and your world never being the same. 

3. What was the most difficult part of the novel for you to write? 

The book actually came pretty easily. I think the hardest part was that I was just so sad. Writing the story actually kind of helped me feel a little bit better 

4. What would you say is the most important quality your characters possess? 

Well, I hope that my characters feel real. I want people to relate to the main character--to be able to maybe see themselves, or someone they love, in what they’re reading. 

5. Have you always wanted to be a writer? At what point in your life did you decide that writing is something you want to do? 

I have ALWAYS wanted to be a writer. As soon as I could form words I was writing stories. I remember some of my stories from when I was 5 or 6. I wrote plays and short short stories. And after reading like crazy all my life I began writing novels. I love my job. 

6. Do you ever experience writer's block? If so, how do you deal with it? 

I’ve never had writer’s block--knock on wood-- where I just can’t write . . . but that doesn’t mean I haven’t struggled with my writing. Every novel has it’s own problems that I have to figure out. 

7. How do you approach writing a new novel? Are you a plotter or a pantser? 

I always get with a character and follow her around. I sometimes have an idea of where she is headed. Like in WAITING I knew that London’s brother was gone. But I didn’t know about the mother, the father, or that they had been a missionary family. I kind of knew there was going to be a love triangle. I wanted there to be! But mostly these were just thoughts, ideas I knew could change. Writing a novel like this is sort of like getting in the car and just driving for the pleasure of it. Not knowing exactly what’s going to happen. Being willing to take a risk of where you might end up . . . 

8. What's next in line for you? Are you working on a new book now? 

I just finished a dystopian novel that went to my editor and I just rewrote a middle grade novel thank goodness I have a funny ghost story in mind! And then another not-so-funny story. We’ll see which of those two comes first. 

9. Which three of your favourite contemporary books would you recommend everybody to read? 

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, Everything Is Fine by Andy Ellis and The Anatomy of Wings by Karen Foxlee--oh and I loved Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott. That is a hard, dark novel that is terrific. Oh, and I love Rita Williams-Garcia stuff. Okay, I can’t seem to stop! 

10. Could you share with us your favourite quote from Waiting? 

Mine is “I still believe in God. But does he believe in me?” 

My daughters’ is “She has four brothers. Count them. One, two, three, four. 

And my one is none” 

11. If your book had a soundtrack to accompany it, what songs would be on it? 

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger, Kelly Clarkson. 

Mercy’s Street, Peter Gabriel (that song I would actually put to my other novel, GLIMPSE, as well) 

I Miss You by Blink 182, 

Hallelujah (from Shrek) but when my girls and I sing together around the piano. 

Levon by Elton John. 

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, Robert Robinson 

I will Always Love You, Dolly Parton. 

Apologize, One Republic

Is that good enough?

Carol, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to join us here today! I cried while and after reading Waiting and will definitely be reading more of your wonderful books! I love all your song choices, too! Especially I Miss You by Blink 182 - I think it's a perfect song for this book! 

About the author:

Carol Lynch Williams is the author of more than 20 books for middle grade and young adult readers. She has written non-fiction, historical fiction and contemporary novels that have received many awards including ALA Quick Pick, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, PEN Award Nominee, Children’s Literature Choice List, “HM” for Newton Books Best Books of the Year, IRA Teacher’s Choice book, Selected Book for the Social Studies, Top Ten Romance Book for Booklist, Top Ten Barnes and Noble Book, Book for the Teen-Age List New York Public Library List, PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship, Scholastic Book Pick for Humor, and Audie Winner. She has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College, shares a blog with the amazing Ann Dee Ellis (www.throwingupwords.wordpress.com) and teaches creative writing. Carol is most proud of her five daughters Elise, Laura, Kyra, Caitlynne and Carolina.
!!! ~Giveaway~!!!

Simon & Schuster Canada has generously offered to give away one hardcover copy of Waiting

OPEN TO: Canada only
Ends: July 12th

To enter: 
Be a follower of this blog
Enter via rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This Interview + Giveaway was posted as part of the Contemporary Fiction Month feature. Click on the picture for full schedule.


Patrice said...

I understand what you mean about the world crumbing around you.It seems like there is a run of people dying and I still remember how it felt to lose my best in 6th grade and how it changed me. Some people are in your life for a short time but leave some part of themselves with you when they leave you.

Molli @ Once Upon a Prologue said...

This book is definitely on my TBR if it wasn't already, after reading this interview. I think it was fascinating, seeing the author talk about how she gets to know her characters!

Jessie Marie said...

Wow, that interview was something else. All that heart ache in Carol's personal life... I can only imagine that being the catalyst to writing a thought-provoking and deeply emotional novel. Just... wow.

I love those sorts of contemporaries and cannot wait to read Waiting! : )

Kathryn Packer Roberts said...

I met Carol a couple of summers ago and have really wanted to read something by her since. I would love to win this book! She is such an awesome person, putting on a Utah's writers conference every year! I loved attending and hope I can again.

Anonymous said...

This book looks wonderful and what a great interview! Loved the quotes from the book, especially the "I still believe in God; but does he believe in me?"

Thanks for the giveaway!

Tiffany Mahaffy said...

5 girls?! You brave woman :) I have one and some days she is a hand full lol I felt sad just reading about all of the loss that you and your family went through in such a short period of time. It's heart breaking just thinking about it. I look forward to picking this one up! Thank you for the chance to win a copy!

Book Blogger Mom said...

Such a great interview.

My blog - http://bookbloggermom.blogspot.com

franchie15 said...

Mehe. I love Ryan Reynolds too! Wow. You're such a great woman! 5 girls! And oohh, I was just singing What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger! So cool!

Kelly said...

Wow, that's a lot of loss all at one time. I am glad you could harness that into a book. Me,I would just wither away! Well, actually I had a lot of loss at one time too but now as close as yours were. It's hard, I know. I look forward to your book!

roro said...

awesome interview
i can't wait 2 read my copy when it arrives
good luck all

Na said...

Reading what inspired your writing career really tugs at my heart. The circumstances are so sad but I am so glad you found a way to deal with it. For you it was writing and I know when I'm sad or down (or happy!) I turn to books.

The Story Queen said...

Oh my goodness. The situation surrounding the inspiration for this book just sounds completely heart-breaking - I'm so sorry you had to go through that! That you were able to channel that into this book makes me a lot more confident that the emotions and characters will feel real :)

Ahh, I haven't read ANY of those books you recommended! Better get on that.

Thanks for the giveaway! <3


Forever Lost in Books said...

I think the quote she chose is really cool! Can't wait to see more about this novel!


Kelly said...

FIVE daughters?! I have 2 sisters, I can't imagine having 2 more! lol

Thanks for the Canadian giveaway :D

.papergirl said...

lol Ryan Reynolds! cute. I loved the interview. Real.
Thank you for the entries!
Happy Canada Day!

Natalie said...

Lol! I think everyone loves Ryan Reynolds! Love the quote from the book!

Kristie Matheson said...

Who doesn't love Ryan Reynolds?!
Looks like another awesome read. Can't wait to get my hands on it.

Lena Reve said...

Seems like an interesting book.I like her recommendations.

Hayley said...

I hadn't heard of this book before, but it sounds like a good one! :) I love the cover as well!

Thanks for the giveaway :D

Emilie said...

I always love hearing where authors get their inspiration from for their books so it was interesting to learn that the book came out of such a dark and sad time.

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