Tag Archives: Q&A

Q&A with Joanne Levy

26 Jun

Happy book birthday to you, happy book birthday to you, happy book birthday dear Joanne, happy book birthday to youuuuuuuu!

How cute of a name is Small Medium at Large? So frigging CUTE. And today it’s officially out in the wild, so run to your nearest bookstore and grab a copy (I’m lacing my sneakers as I type).

Here’s a bit about the book:

After she’s hit by lightning at a wedding, twelve-year-old Lilah Bloom develops a new talent: she can hear dead people. Among them, there’s her over-opinionated Bubby Dora; a prissy fashion designer; and an approval-seeking clown who livens up a séance. With Bubby Dora leading the way, these and other sweetly imperfect ghosts haunt Lilah through seventh grade, and help her face her one big fear: talking to—and possibly going to the seventh-grade dance with—her crush, Andrew Finkel.

Joanne was nice enough to stop by and answer a few question.
Lavender Lines: First off, thanks so much for stopping by the blog, Joanne! And don’t worry, my questions aren’t very heavy hitting. :)
Joanne: Thanks so much, Colleen! I’m happy to be here—As you know, I’m Canadian, so I LOVE hanging out with my fellow Canucks!

LL: What was the inspiration for Small Medium at Large?
J: I actually woke up with the title in my head one morning. I know, not that exciting of a story. But I recognized that it was a pretty cool title, and about a year later (I was working on other projects when I came up with it) I figured it was time to write the book.

LL: Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what kind?
J: I don’t. I can have a bit of background noise—like my husband watching hockey in another room (as long as it’s not the playoffs, because then he yells a lot and it gets a bit distracting)—but I can’t have music on when I write. That said, I’ve been known to make playlists for books and use music to get in the mood for writing specific scenes.

LL: Tea or coffee?
J: Depends on the time of day. First thing, I NEED my coffee, but after that one big mug, I’m a jasmine tea drinker for the rest of the day.

LL: Yoga pants or jammie bottoms?
J: Jammies!

LL: If you could get every kid in the world to read one book, what would that book be (besides yours, of course!)?
J: Ha! That’s a hard one, because there are so many great books out there and every kid is different in what they will enjoy. But, that said, I’ve been thinking about my favourite books a lot lately and which ones I want my niece to read most, and keep coming back to ANNE OF GREEN GABLES (and someday I WILL get to PEI and when I do, let’s have lunch). I re-read it recently because of an essay I was writing, and was reminded how much I love it. It is a lovely, well-rounded book with amazing characters that has obviously stood the test of time and continues to delight new generations of kids. AND it stands up when read as an adult, too—there were several times when I laughed out loud and wanted to hug Anne. And the Matthew part, well, you can imagine what happened to me when I got to that. Yep, I do love that book so.

Thanks for taking the time to chat, Joanne!

If you’re looking for Joanne online you can find her at her website or Twitter.

Q&A with author Kathleen Peacock – Hemlock Blog Tour

2 Apr

I first “met” Kathleen about a year or so ago on Twitter. Besides being one of my favorite authors (yes, Kathleen, you have made it on my polite stalking list!) she’s one of my favorite all around people. So I’m tickled pink to have her on the blog today for a little Q&A. And make sure to pop back in tomorrow for what is sure to be an incohesive and babbling review of Kathleen’s debut novel, Hemlock. (So much LOVE for this book. SO. MUCH.)

Lavender Lines: Heya! Thanks so much for popping by the blog and chatting. I promise I won’t make the questions too intrusive. :)

Kathleen: No problem! I… hey… wait a sec… why do you want my social insurance number? Who told you I had mono when I was in college? WHERE DID QUESTION NUMBER SEVEN COME FROM?! Number ten is just… inappropriate. The truth? YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!

*ahem*

LL: How close did the finished version of Hemlock look to what you had envisioned when you set out to write it?

K: There were some fairly substantial changes. Hemlock was, quite literally, my first book, and there was a huge learning curve and more than one revision. Some plotlines, characters, and settings from my original draft were moved to book two and the characters were all aged down a year (the original story took place the summer/fall after graduation).

LL: Writing or editing: which do you find harder?

K: Option C: Plotting. Followed by Option D: Pacing (which probably comes under editing).

LL: Coffee or tea?

K: Neither. Roll up the Rim won’t ensnare me!

LL:  What books are currently on your nightstand?

K: Right now? I was trying to read Paradise Lost by John Milton (one of my New Year’s resolutions), but I got distracted by revisions. The last two books I read were The Guardians by Andrew Pyper (which was deliciously creepy) and Incarnate by Jodi Meadows (which was even more amazing than the pre-ARC/edited version I had read). Some books in my TBR pile/on my Kobo are: Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst, Slatwater Vampires by Kirsty Eagar, and Bossypants by Tina Fey. I’ve also got an audio book of The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How it Changed America by David Hajdu on my iPod.

LL: So, I found Hemlock totally, absolutely squee-worthy. What’s the last squee-worthy book you read?

K: Awww. *blush*

Since it was a re-read, it’s probably cheating for me to say Incarnate, right? Incarnate out of the equation, I’d say Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. I finally got around to reading it a few months ago, and it totally swept me off my feet and enchanted me.

LL: Merci Kathleen, for answering these hard-hitting questions. :)

K: Bienvenue!

Happy US launch of Spin Q & A

7 Feb

Yay!!! Today is the official US launch of Catherine McKenzie‘s Spin, one of my favorite books. I was part of the Canadian launch two years ago and I am so happy to be part of this launch, also. Tomorrow I’ll be re-reviewing Spin, but today I want to welcome Catherine to the blog again for another Q & A.

Lavender Lines: First, let me just say I am beyond excited to be taking part in this blog tour! Okay, now for the hard-hitting questions……..Can you tell us what you’re working on now?

Catherine: My next novel is called FORGOTTEN. It’s about a woman who inherits a trip to Africa when her mother dies. She’s supposed to be gone for a month, but gets stuck in a remote village when an earthquake hits the country. When she finally returns after six months, she discovers that everyone thinks that she has been dead, and her life is – obviously – a little chaotic. It’s coming out in May in Canada and August in the US.

Lavender Lines: Spin was released a couple of years ago in Canada to rave reviews (It was one of my fave books of 2010). Is this US release more nerve-wracking or are you an old pro at it now? :)

Catherine: Thank you again, for that! Made my week!

It’s funny, I have been thinking about this. In some ways I am an “old pro” in the sense that I’m used to the fact that not everyone is going to love my book and that’s life. On the other hand, the US is such a big market that it is pretty nerve-wracking to be honest. Harper US has put a lot of faith in me in deciding to publish all three of my books in one year and I hope that faith pays off!

Lavender Lines: Coffee or tea?

Catherine: Tea definitely. In fact, I don’t drink coffee! I know, weird right?

Lavender Lines: How much research went into Spin?

Catherine: There was definitely some, but I didn’t attend rehab or anything to do it. Mostly I researched rehab programs to find a structure that would work. I did research into AA to figure out what the steps we always hear about are supposed to mean. I had read some memoirs from people who had been to rehab before I wrote the book. I abstained while writing it, but then read a few more afterwards as a sort of “feel” check. I also discussed certain things about therapy with psychologists I know. Essentially, what I was going for was that it would be realistic enough to be a background for the story, but not the main focus of the story.

Lavender Lines: Where did the idea to write Spin come from?

Catherine: Years ago – and of course this is still going on – there were a lot of celebrities going in and out of rehab. The Paparazzi and regular press were going nuts, and stories were coming out about behaviour in rehab from fellow patients. I believe I was watching some news show – TMZ probably – and it was a scene of just all these journalists with their lenses trained on a rehab facility trying to get a shot. I remember being a little disgusted that it was going on & asking myself sarcastically “I wonder why they don’t just follow a celebrity into rehab?” My next thought was: What a great idea for a book! And so it goes :)

Lavender Lines: Thanks so much for stopping by and answering a few questions Catherine. Always appreciated.

Catherine: Thank you, Colleen! You’ve been such a super supporter over the years, and I really appreciate you having me back for my US launch.

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