As promised, Allie Larkin stopped by for a quick little interview with me, hurrah! Her first book, "Stay" comes out TODAY!! Be sure to check it out; I loved it!
Sara: I have to admit - I'm thorougly intrigued by the whole process behind getting a book written and then published. I know zero about it. Can you give me a quick, rough run-down and timeline of how that works? Like, how long did you have the idea in your head before you committed it to paper?
Allie: I started STAY in 2002 as a writing exercise, and then a short story in a college class. After I graduated, I put the story aside, and didn’t revisit it until I was asked to join a writing group years later and needed something to work on for the group. Being in a writing group gave me little deadlines, and kept me from putting it aside for too long when I got stuck on something or felt like the rest of life was too busy. I think little deadlines are so important! I wrote the first few drafts of STAY at a rate of 8 pages a week for my group meetings.
I read your book in two sittings - Friday night and Saturday morning. And I forced myself to spread it out like that because I felt bad that I was burning through all your hard work so quickly. (I suppose the same can be said for the things I bake - they're eaten up in a zillionth of the time it took to make them.) But, how does it make you feel when you hear that all of us are just plowing through your book? Do you wish we'd slow down and maybe savor it a bit more?
I am so honored that you read STAY so quickly. I love the feeling of being so absorbed in a book that I can’t put it down. The idea that my work can provide that experience for someone else is really amazing!
I've heard that actors sometimes change up their personal lives to really get "into" a character. Did you do anything like that in order to write from Van's perspective? Is she much like you in real life?
I made an iTunes playlist for Van, and would use that to get me into her mindset when I sat down to write. And sometimes, while going about my day, running errands, etc. I would think about how Van would react to those situations. But I didn’t make any changes to my life to relate to Van. Van and I have some strong similarities (and our dogs are even more similar). But she’s not me. I do love Boston, ice cream, coffee, and German Shepherds. And, after writing those scenes with the grape Kool-Aid, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to consume grape flavored anything ever again. I’m sure she wouldn’t be able to either.
Have you started your next book yet? (Yes, I'm impatient for another one!) If so, what would it take to bribe some hints out of you about its topic?
You’ll have to start making a line of gluten-free cake pops to bribe the hints out of me. But yes, I am working on something new. And I also have some more ideas for Van and the gang that I’d love the chance to write about someday.
(Sara's note: I have made GF Cake Pops and am secretly planning super special treats if Allie's Book Tour ever makes it this far South....)
Is Stella demanding some cover photo love for your next book? :)
Argo gets all the fame! So unfair, I know! Can we give Stella some blog photo love? This is my favorite picture of Stella.