Monday, October 1, 2012

Velveteen Blog Tour: Author Interview

Thank you for checking out the next tour stop for Velveteen, hosted by Teen Book scene. To follow the rest of the tour you can check it out here. And today we are joined by Daniel Marks, the author of Velveteen, who answered some questions for us.
1. Who are some of your favorite author's right now?  

I absolutely love Jess Walter (BEAUTIFUL RUINS, THE FINANCIAL LIVES OF POETS, THE ZERO). His prose is gorgeous and the way he weaves a tale is reminiscent of another of my favorites, Jennifer Egan (LOOK AT ME, THE KEEP, A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD). If you want to take a look at really great writing and storytelling, check both of them out. Soon. Amongst the YA folk, I love Andrew Smith (THE MARBURY LENS, PASSENGER), Libba Bray (BEAUTY QUEENS, THE DIVINERS) and A.S. King (ASK THE PASSENGERS, PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ).

2. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? 

 I’d love to live in Southeast Asia for a while. I’ve traveled to Thailand and the people are so nice, the culture is just so amazing, I’d like to give it a go. Plus, the idea of being an expatriot, living somewhere so foreign really does appeal to me. Writers should spend a fair amount of time outside their comfort zone. Kicks up the dust that gathers on the creativity.
3. Which do you think is scary: watching a modern day horror movie or reading a horror book?  

Both. I’m pretty jaded when it comes to the genre, so I have to really put myself in a “zone” to experience the fear. I’m open to being scared, which is becoming kind of a rare sentiment in a world that wants to shelter people from conflict. 
4. I love this genre, but I'm always interested in why others choose it. So, why did you choose to write young adult?

 I was a child and adolescent psychotherapist for twelve years before I started writing. Oddly enough, I started writing for adults first, and have a series under another name that I like to keep a bit secret, as it’s so different from what I’m doing now. I’d attempted a middle grade story that was just way too dark and needed some reworking and young adult is really what suited that story best. It became VELVETEEN. Back then it was called THE TROUBLE WITH THE LIVING and Luisa was the protagonist.
5. What is your writing process like, and have you had to change it up as you continue? 

I think more than I write. That’s the first part. I can bat around an idea inside my head for six months before I ever jot down a note about it. Which means, of course, I’m always juggling several novels in my head even as I’m focusing on a single one for publishing. I used to try to curb those tendencies, but I’ve given up. It’s just how I work. When I do decide on a thread, I start with a wishlist of scenes, set pieces that I feel like will lead me to character and I write those. It’s as I’m working through that stuff that the story starts to come together. Experimentation leads to plotting rather than plotting being the framework. It might be backward, but it’s the only way I know how. 

Thanks, Daniel! Be sure to check back here later for my review of Velveteen.

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