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Monday, April 26, 2010

Author Interview: Lesley Kagen and Book Giveaway!

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Thursday I will be reviewing Tomorrow River (Release date April 29) by Lesley Kagen but I am posting the wonderful interview with her and the book giveaway now.  "Set during the summer of '69 in rural Virginia chronicles the dramatic changes in the lives of 11-year-old Shenny Carmody and her twin sister, Woody, nearly a year after their mother's disappearance. Woody hasn't spoken since, and their father, a renowned judge, spends most of his nights in a drunken stupor.  Shenny, adventurous and bright, takes it upon herself to locate their beloved Mama and discover why she left them."  Publisher's Weekly.  Ms. Kagen became a first time novelist at 57 - never too late!

- Do you start your next book with the problem, the main character or a plot idea?

I start with the main character, the voice of the novel.

- Do you outline the plot or some variation of that (a little/a lot of detail, a strict 3 act structure etc) before sitting down and writing?

Nope. I just sit down and let 'er rip. I'm surprised every day!

- What is your process for developing a character? Do you use pictures, a worksheet or just let the character(s) tell you about him/herself as you write?

I let the characters lead the way. They're my boss.

- How do you find time for writing, what works for you - and do you have anything special you do before writing, particular music or a special room/location that helps you get in the zone and write?

I write at the same time every single day, no days off. I get up usually around 6AM, let my dogs out, feed them, and make myself a gigantic cup of tea. I write in the same spot. In front of a window in my living room. I think it's important to keep to a routine. I've recently started experimenting with listening to white noise while I write and I'm liking it.

- What is your work schedule like when you're writing and how long does it take you to write a book?

I write an average of five hours every day, sometimes more if I'm feeling particularly in the groove. My preferred time to finish a book is about a year and a half.

- How much research goes into your work and do you complete that up front or "just enough" as you go?

Don't really research too much. If I have a question about a date or song or old TV show, I just Google it.

- Setting seems as important as the characters in your novel, any tips on conveying a sense of place well?

Yes, setting is important to me, it grounds me in the story. I think it's important to have experienced where you're writing about. I know a lot of writers can do that. Write about a place they've never been, but I can't. I need to have spent some time there. Preferably a lot of time.

- Can you recommend a fiction book that provides a great example of the writing craft to dissect and learn from?

Gosh, there are so many books I admire. For some reason, Ivan Doig comes to mind. His stories just flow.

- What are you currently reading?

I just finished Joe Hill's HORNS. I don't usually read horror, but I loved it. Very dark, yet hopeful. Interestingly constructed. Excellent characterizations as well. Layered.

- What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Hmmm...I guess that I love to write from the perspective of a child. And that I have to wear my jammies and a fuzzy white jacket when doing so.

- How did you get your first break towards getting published? Was it sending in a query or meeting an agent at a writing conference etc?

I sent over 135 queries to agents before I found one that agreed to represent me!

- Do you participate in a critique group (or have you in the past?) What are the pros and cons of critique groups?

I don't participate in a critique group and never have so I have no real insights to offer. I have a writing friend who does, though, and she loves the feedback! I think writers have to experiment to find what works best for them.

Great questions! Thanks for having me!
Warmest regards,

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Thank You Lesley for a great interview ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Now on to the next Book Giveaway. The publisher has graciously provided 2 copies of Tomorrow River by Lesley Kagen for promotional giveaway. Review coming Thursday.

Please read the directions carefully as I have changed one or two things.

How to Enter:

*** First, you must be a member (follower) of this blog.***

All entries are to be in the comments for this post (or possibly in an email.)

I will stop taking entries for this giveaway Friday April 30 at midnight and will announce the winner Monday the May 3rd.

For each point you earn you will have one entry in the random drawing. There is a chance for 9 points total for each contestant and thus 9 entries each.

+1 for leaving a comment with your correct email information. If you don’t feel comfortable leaving your email in a comment, please email me your information at: mysterysuspense1 at gmail dot com.

+2 for posting on your blog about this giveaway with a link back, please supply link to your blog post in the comments

+2 for each new member you bring to this blog (you must identify the new member you brought) limit of 2 new per contest

+1 for having this blog's button in a side bar of your blog with a link back, please supply link in comments

+1 for tweeting about this contest, please post link in comments

Comment/email example:

+1 here is my email address so you can notify me I won _ _ _ _ _ @ _ _ _ .com

+2 here is the link to the post I did on my blog for this giveaway ( giveaway hurry)

+2 for new google member Sadie197 I brought to your blog

+1 for adding your blog button to my blog sidebar (

+1 here is the link to the tweet I did on this giveaway (

Thank you for participating and good luck!

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Unknown said...

Great interview and thanks for the chance to win Tomorrow River.

+1 my e-mail is: stella.exlibris (at) gmail DOT com

+1 and I also tweeted here:

Giada M. said...

Thank you for the interesting interview and for this giveaway! This book sounds intriguing.

+1 here is my email address so you can notify me I won fabgiada @

+1 here is the link to the tweet I did on this giveaway

Thank you for this chance!

Giada M.

Marjorie/cenya2 said...

This book sounds so good that I would like to win and read it.

I follow by google reader.

cenya2 at hotmail dot com

Carol M said...

I love mysteries and this book sounds really good! Please enter me! Thank you!

+1 here is my email address so you can notify me I won
mittens0831 at aol dot com

+1 here is the link to the tweet I did on this giveaway

I follow your blog.

Spav said...

Nice interview. The book sounds really interesting.

+1 here is my email address so you can notify me I won spav05(at)gmail(dot)com
+1 for tweeting about this contest:

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