Thursday, April 7, 2011

An Interview With Kathleen Duey

Hey all, you know how I've posted about WIFYR, otherwise known as Writing and Illustrating For Young Readers? Well, it's getting closer, and I'm getting even more excited, today especially because I get to post a fabulous interview, compliments of WIFYR, with Kathleen Duey Author of Skin Hunger and Sacred Scars.

Don't they look scrumptious?

Kathleen also has a whole slew of other books, but if I put a pic of them all on here this post will get really long, so just drool on these two, wipe your keyboards off, dive into the interview, and then check out her links for the rest of her books.

Now on to the interview!

1. You've managed to do what every writer hopes to do: make a living from being an author. What are some of your marketing secrets?

I use whatever tools are available to increase awareness of my work—but I try not to get so involved with marketing that my writing is short-changed. There is nothing better than face to face interaction with people of all ages so I attend educators’ and librarians’ conferences, teach at writers’ conferences and fit in as many school visits, city book events,and signings as I can—including Skype visits which are wonderful in these tight-budget times.

The internet provides lots of ways to interact with readers, too. My current line-up:!/kdueykduey or twitter search @kdueykduey (an unfinished, in progress, twitter-format-experimental novel)

Bottom line? The best marketing tool is a really good book!

2. You've said that you tried to write "books that matter." How do you define "books that matter?"

I intend (and hope) to write books that readers of all ages experience as some kind of an awakening. I want the world to be a little bit better because I was here.

3. You lived off the grid in the Rocky Mountains for years. How has that life experience affected your writing?

I have mostly written historicals and fantasy books and I don’t think that’s an accident. I walk very comfortably through worlds lit only by fire and steeped in star-silence. The Resurrection of Magic trilogy was my very first novel idea twenty years ago when I was off-grid,but I had to set it aside when my puny skills couldn’t manage the sliding timelines and dual protagonists. After this trilogy, I have several ideas trying to shove their way to the front of the line. One of them is contemporary/very near future, one kind of Medieval, and one is another political fantasy, possibly set in Limori, the same city. We’ll see.

4. You're personable and seem to know, well, everyone, and you seem to be the opposite of the classic "recluse writer." How do you feel that has helped your career?

I laughed out loud reading this. Truth: I am a panic attack graduate and virtually a hermit at home, but somehow I like big book gatherings. I love writers and editors and readers—all manner of book people. I think getting to know folks who love what you love is almost always a good idea!

5. You have some of the most brilliant metaphors I've ever seen. Do they come naturally, or do you have methods for developing them?

I am not much aware of using metaphors in my work, so it is likely a sincere effort to describe something in a way that arrests the reader’s attention for that instant, just a tiny pause in the word flow to notice the odd word… and so slow down enough to feel what the character is feeling.

6. You've always wanted to be a writer, but you say it took a long time for you to make the attempt. What finally persuaded you to go for it?

I had daydreamed about it since third grade when I first understood that people wrote books. One day I met a woman who also had two very young children and was writing a novel.I left her house thinking, “Really? She’s writing a novel? And I am not. WHY??” And I just started making time. The first four years it was by candle light, on an open porch, manual typewriter (off-grid--no electricity!) from 9:00pm until about 1:00am, and napping with the kids midday to make up the sleep. And I just kept at it.

7. What is your favorite recent read in young adult literature?

There is a nearly endless wealth and variety of amazing YA authors now. Holly Black is one of my favorites: White Cat and Red Glove!! Holly writes very human stories dipped in unexpected magic and set in fascinating cultures. Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why really touched me (and a zillion other readers world wide, yes, the movie is coming). I finally read Octavian Nothing by M.T. Anderson this year and was just… swept away. Paolo Bacigalupi’s Windup Girl is my current read--astonishing!!

So there you have it folks. Isn't she awesome? I'd like to shout out another thanks to the crew at WIFYR for all their hard work and for the interview. If you'd like to go to Writing and Illustrating For Young Readers head over and sign up now. Kathleen still has one opening in her class. Grab it while you can. There are also a few openings with some other fabulous authors. I hope to see you there.

Leisha Maw


Cherie said...

The off grid lifestyle sounds really interesting.

LeishaMaw said...

Cherie, I thought you'd find that interesting. :)

Jonene Ficklin said...

Leisha, I can hardly wait for WIFYR! Thanks for the great interview!


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