Okay really, what's not to love about this picture? This is the amazing Brian Farrey, whose book With or Without You I've been shamelessly promoting these last few weeks. Oh, what's that you say? I'm doing it again? Too bad! It's amazing!
Anyway Brian is here today to share an interview with you (which made me giggle) and I'm also giving away a copy. Aren't you just lucky ducks?
1. Welcome to the blog! Let's start out with a challenge! If you had to choose a color to describe yourself, what would it be and why?
OK, first I have to tell you why I find this question funny. In earlier drafts of WITH OR WITHOUT YOU, Evan, the main character, is obsessed with color. Obsessed with creating new colors. There are still bits of that to his character in the book but it was much more prevalent in earlier drafts before I learned how to focus the story. So as soon as I start thinking about describing myself as a color, I wonder what Evan would say about that.
The color that best describes me is periwinkle. You know, it’s not quite blue, not quite gray, might be slightly purple. It could be several things and appears to be that all at once. And I guess that’s how I see myself: at any time, I can be any number of things but I’m often at my best when I’m everything at once.
These answers don’t have to make sense, right?
- What would you say was the most difficult part about turning CHASERS into your upcoming novel, WITH OR WITHOUT YOU?
Everybody has their own writing process. I have a friend who will write and rewrite and rewrite a single page before moving on to the next. It’s what works best for her. That would drive me crazy. I’m kind of a regurgitating writer. When I do a first draft, I write everything I can possibly think of. Even as little voices in my head say, “You know, these last four pages of backstory you just wrote? You really don’t need them….” I keep plunging on because I know that when it comes time to revise, I’ll have to cut. Quinn Malott, a writer I really admire, once told me that the art of writing is in revision and I firmly believe that.
But it’s difficult. It’s a bit like the topiaries that Edward Scissorhands creates. The first draft is a big unruly bush and I’ve got to go in with my sheers and make a ballerina. The very first draft of CHASERS was HUGE. Positively monstrous. Subplots and extraneous characters that were interesting, related to the central themes…but ultimately slowed the story down.
My editor, Annette Pollert, was so good about helping me keep things focused. She wasn’t afraid to call foul when something that I loved was slowing things down. I would argue and pout but, in most cases, I listened to her and cut it. I’m all about killing the darlings…but it’s not easy.
- Is there a character that you most identify with in your story?
It’s hard to say because while I set out to consciously write about people who were nothing like me, someone will inevitably point out some part of me that they see in the characters. I do identify heavily with Evan, my main character, in that even though he’s out and proud, he’s still insecure when it comes to relationships. He knows he’s been making things up as he’s gone along and he’s reached a point where that’s not necessarily serving him well. I know what that’s like and I may not have realized that until I had to get Evan out of a few scrapes. I mentioned on another part of the blog tour that, in many ways, I think Evan is more mature at eighteen than I was. So that might be where the identification stops.
- Challenge #2. I read that you are quite the DOCTOR WHO fan, are you not? In a tweet (just 140 characters) share with us why we simply must watch that show!
- Where is your favorite place to find inspiration while writing?
I don’t know that I have a favorite place to find inspiration. I do some of my best writing when I’m out on my bike. There’s a particular bike trail here in the Twin Cities that I like take when I want to think about the project I’m working on. Give me a hot summer day, that bike path, and a Camelbak full of water and I’m ready.
- Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers before they dive in to WITH OR WITHOUT YOU?
- Finally (and thanks for being so much fun) if you could only save three things in a mad rush to get out of your house (think zombie apocalypse) what items would you take?
I’m terrible at these kind of questions because I end up asking counter questions and I try to bargain. How severe is the zombie apocalypse? Is it a mild outbreak or are we talking I’m one of only a handful of survivors who will spend the rest of my days killing the undead? These are all important factors! (I mean, if I’m one survivor, my laptop will be useless but if we’re at the start of the outbreak, it might come in handy.) I am truly overthinking this, right? OK, fine. I’m going to assume that when the zombies started laying waste to our neighbors, my husband got out and took our cat with him. So, my three items would be my laptop (even if I never write on it again, I can swing it at zombies), my laptop charger (doubles as a lasso and noose for zombie killing), and running shoes. Not incredibly imaginative but, hey, you didn’t set precise enough parameters for your imagined apocalypse. How’s a paranoid guy supposed to get by?
Thanks so much Brian!
No, thank you! This was a lot of fun!
Brian Farrey’s debut YA novel, WITH OR WITHOUT YOU, will be published May 24 by Simon Pulse. He tweets @BrianFarrey and he blogs at www.brianfarreybooks.com/wordpress.
Isn't he amazing? I think so! And now...it's giveaway time!
Up for grabs is one copy of With or Without You by Brian Farrey. I had originally opened this to just subscribers of my newsletter (who are still entered by the way!) but I thought it needed more love, so I'm opening it up to you as well.
Giveaway is U.S. only, and ends June 20, 2011.
Also don't forget to leave a comment for Brian! Reassure him about the zombie thing, I think I may have worried him a bit too much. *giggles*