Saturday, September 24, 2011

Eileen Granfors interview

1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
I am definitely a morning person.  I get up and walk the dogs, thinking about a chapter or a scene.  I come home and write it.  That’s Monday-Friday.  I can’t go into my writing zone when my husband is home.  I need quiet!

2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?
I may take some research notes on note cards or conduct a warm-up on paper from a prompt, but my novels are written on the computer.

3: What do you draw inspiration from?
I have so many different genres that I have worked in. . . inspiration comes to me from snippets in the newspaper, thinking about people in my life, and the lives of minor characters in classic books. I started a book about bad girls that became a tribute to a high school Chicana friend, and very much about a good girl! (Some Rivers End on the Day of the Dead). My fans are restless for the sequel, but that’s down the queue a bit.

4: Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word count?
I don’t consider it a finished working day until I have 1500 words, one chapter. If I haven’t written by 9:45 a.m., I go to the gym because there’s no way I’m going to write that day. I grew up in a military family—I have to stay on schedule!

5: Are you a published or a self published author and how do you come up with your cover art?
My novels are self-published, although my new novel, Stairs of Sand, received some nibbles from agents. Some of my poetry and short stories have been published in anthologies and on web sites. My cover art is the product of Internet research and permissions from the artists, drawn directly from CreateSpace or purchased from Getty Images.

6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?
In my life, books have been very important sources of information and inspiration. I shared my excitement and love of literature in my teaching career. Once I was no longer teaching, I found that writing helped me to sort out my life, especially after my mom died.

7: Do you own an ebook reading device?
I received a Kindle last week for my birthday.  I love it immensely.

8: Who are some of your favorite authors?  What are you reading now?
I have a couple hundred favorite authors, but I would definitely list Emma Donoghue (Room and Slammerkin); Vanessa Diffenbaugh (The Language of Flowers); Gwen Gross (The Orphan Sister); Carolyn Parkhurst (The Dogs of Babel) and any book by Margaret Atwood. Right now I am reading The Concert Killer by RJ McDonnell—he writes rock ‘n roll mysteries with a sardonic private investigator, who narrates.

9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?
I love making book trailers. I am not sure how much they help to sell the books. I have four on youtube. Search youtube for Eileen Granfors, and there they are!

10: How did you come up with the title of your latest book?
My latest book out, Stairs of Sand, is one of those titles with layers of meaning.  I always liked the image from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice (“cowards, with hearts as false as stairs of sand. . . “), and it fit well with my story of a girl moving to her grandfather’s beach town where she also finds that a lot of good intentions collapse like stairs of sand.

11: What are you working on now that you can talk about?
I am working on a prequel for the Dickens’ classic, A Tale of Two Cities. This is a book I was asked to write about thirty years ago by class after English class, kids who fell in love with the morose and yet heroic, Sydney Carton.  Right now the book is called Sydney’s Story. I’m imagining his youth and the influences that turned him into such a depressed alcoholic. It’s fun, but the research about 18th century London and Paris is slow going.  I’m about half-way through writing the book. And I need to get finished with the sequel I promised for Some Rivers End on the Day of the Dead—ya, multicultural—never a dull moment for this author.  (my reviews of others' books)

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