Friday, 23 March 2012

Interview with Abby Slovin, Author of Letters in cardboard boxes

Abby Slovin

Born: January 01, 1983 in Long Island, New York, The United States 
Gender: Female
Twitter username: abbydabby

About the author: Abby Slovin was born in the summer of 1983 and lived in the same house on Long Island until attending the University of Michigan. She has a deep love for New York City, Brooklyn especially, where much of her family has its roots. She loves to spend time outdoors, travel, research family genealogy, and relax at home in Jersey City with her husband, Dominick and dog, Grumpy.

1. What inspired you to write the novel 
Although the story is completely fictional, it was inspired by a personal moment in my own life. While I was cleaning out some of my grandmother’s possessions after she had died, I found letters she had exchanged with my grandfather during their courtship and was hit with a lot of emotion. In particular, guilt at not having known this part of her life, sadness for not being able to talk to her about it, but also a lot of happiness that these letters breathed life into someone I loved who was no longer around. I started imagining a story with this idea at its center — of finding remnants of a person’s life after they’ve passed — and organized a fictional story around it. I named the main characters after my grandparents simply because it felt good to hear their names spoken out loud again.

2.Did you base your characters of off anyone in your life
I try to keep my characters completely fictional simply because I love writing truly fictional characters, I love the challenge of creating a sense of a genuine person from a fictional place. The one exception to this is the character Phila who is very loosely based on a homeless man I met in college. Very groovy sort of guy with an interesting world view, so I found a place for him in the story.

3. Do you plan to extend the novel into a series of some sort
I had not planned on it, but I'm always open to suggestions. I could easily fall into the story again and continue, or delve deeper into some of the other characters (particularly Tanya and Jerry) and flesh out their own experience with loss. 
4.What was the hardest part for you about writing the book
Being patient with the process. Sometimes while you're writing, its hard not to want the novel to be finished yesterday. But I had to keep reminding myself to just take it one day at a time. To let everything flow naturally and not worry so much.   

5. Who was your hugest motivation when writing the novel
I don't know that one person could be singled out as my hugest motivation. Many people have contributed to this novel in one way or another -- either with creative advice, editing, web design, etc. I'm very fortunate to have such a capable and intelligent group of people supporting me through this, and I share the success of this with all of them. 

6. If you could redo anything in the book, would you, and if yes what would you redo.

That's a tough question, as I am very content with it, as is and I think part of the process is reaching a point where you let it go and allow the piece to take on a life of its own. I feel like I've created a safe distance with the novel since its been published and I'm letting it be what it is, with no regrets, no thoughts on how it could be better or worse or whatever. Its its own thing now, without me, and I kind of like that fact.

7. would you like to see the book made into the move, if so who would you want to see play your main characters.
I have discussed this recently with some other bloggers and there is somewhat of an agreement that Anna Paquin would make a good Parker. As for Dotty, I always imagined a kind of feisty-grandma type like Betty White or Cloris Leachman. Unfortunately, I don't know enough teen actors to make the case for who would play Tanya. 

I always love hearing reader's responses to this question because it tells a lot about how the characters appeared in their own minds and
I'd be curious to hear your opinion on this.

8. what advice would you give to anyone out there who wants to write their own novel.
I would say always be open to feedback and remain patient. It took me three years to write Letters. The journey is certainly not without frustration and heartache, but its worth it to be patient and resilient and not force the writing process. Let your novel develop organically and you won't be disappointed.

9. When you finished writing the novel, and saw it published, what was your reaction and feeling
It felt surreal. And then I took a deep breath

10. Whats your hopes and dreams for your future in both the publishing world and your world
I hope I can maintain a balance between the time I devote to writing and the time I spend on other things in my life. This balance is hard to maintain, and full of twists and turns because there's always something else you can rationalize doing. There's always something on that To Do list. So, I hope I can continue to have a good balance in my life.

As for my hopes in the publishing world, I would love to improve the perception that many have about self publishing. Letters is self published, it underwent a major editing process, and many good writers are self-publishing their work. I would like to see this process earn some respect and credit in the publishing world.

Thank you, Charlotte! 

Thank you so much Abby for taking time to answer my questions and allowing me to share them with all my fellow readers. I am extremely grateful to have the chance to read your book and work alongside you, and it has made me hopeful to find other authors, like yourself, out there in the writing world. its a wonderful book and I know I would recommend it to everyone that I know.

That being said, Abby and myself have agreed on an ebook giveaway of her novel. so too all those who would like to get a chance to read it themselves, keep an eye on this space, as you might just be the lucky one who wings.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...