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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Author Interview: JOELLE ANTHONY!

I have the superbly talented author Joelle Anthony with me today! Her book Restoring Harmony released this May 13th and it is already such a big big hit!! I am so glad Joelle could fit in the interview in her busy schedule. She is extremely sweet(as is evident from all her answers) and she loves to sleep!!
Thank you so much Joelle! This interview was so much fun!

The cliché – How did you land upon the plot of Restoring Harmony?
After reading part of James Kuntsler’s book THE LONG EMERGENCY, I had the end of oil on my mind. He believes there will be a transition period where humanity figures out how to live without it and essentially pulls themselves up by their bootstraps. He also thinks this transition period will be a time of turmoil. That interested me as a setting for a book and after a few months, I came up with my “what if” question.

What if a girl has to travel from her self-sustainable island farm in B.C. out into the real world during this transition period?

That eventually led to more questions, and then the novel.

Since Restoring Harmony is dystopic, how do you see the world 50 years from now?
I really have no idea. Part of me thinks it’s very possible that it will be a world like in Restoring Harmony, but it’s hard to say. I actually try to live my life each day and not worry about it.

Music plays such an important part in Restoring Harmony. We know your husband plays the guitar. Do you play any instrument?

I do not play an instrument. I’ve tried, but when it comes to music, I’m a better listener than player! It kind of works out well for us though because my husband can spend all day learning a new tune (which involves playing it over and over) and because of my distinct lack of musical ability to remember tunes, I don’t even notice. It’s great for him because he doesn’t have to feel like he’s driving me crazy. We’re well-matched that way. And also he’s taught me a ton about music, and can act as my expert when I’m writing and as the entertainment at my bookstore events!

Do you need a particular atmosphere for writing?
I really only need three things. Quiet. The ability to talk to myself aloud without being overheard. And a computer. I have terrible handwriting so writing longhand just doesn’t appeal to me. I have a great office with a treadmill desk (yes, a shelf built across my treadmill) and I walk and write at the same time. It’s great!

Since cooking is a passion, tell us one dish you love making and excel at. What is your favorite food?
This is a hard question because I generally just look in the fridge and throw together something out of whatever we’ve got. We don’t really buy processed food, just lots of ingredients and our pantry is full of grains and pasta and items to cook with. Then we either buy lots of veggies or if it’s in season, we eat what my husband has grown for us.

I kind of drive my husband crazy because I will make a delicious meal, then he’ll insist on writing it down, and I’ll stick it in my recipe book and never make it again. I rarely make the same dish exactly the same way twice.

As far as my favourite food goes, I love to snack. I’ve recently given up dairy because I’m lactose intolerant, so coming up with cracker spreads to replace my cheese fetish is my new passion. My favourite one so far is a handful of marinated artichoke hearts, some sundried tomatoes (in oil), fresh flat-leaf parsley, and a dollop of mayo blended in the food processor. Yum!

Other than writing, reading and cooking, what do you like to do?
I’m way into knitting and I love listening to baseball on the internet radio. I also just got a new bike (a book birthday pressie from my husband), which is so much fun to ride. And I love, love, love to sleep.

What are the best and toughest parts of being a published author?
Well, the best part is when you write, you know someone will get to read it eventually (knock on wood!). The hardest part is exactly the same thing that unpublished writers go through…the waiting. That doesn’t ever change.

What next can we expect from you?

I’m about to start editing my next book, THE RIGHT AND THE REAL, out sometime in 2012. It’s about a girl whose father gets mixed up in a cult and when she won’t join too, he kicks her out onto the street. Sounds grim, but in a way, it’s a lot like Restoring Harmony in that it’s a family story, a bit of an adventure, and I think, full of hope. It’s set in the present though, in Portland, Oregon – my hometown.

Thanks for having me!

Joëlle Anthony's young adult novel, Restoring Harmony, is a riveting tale of how a resourceful teen survives, and even finds romance, in a future world where no one is as they seem. Putnam Books for Young Readers, May 2010

Armed with only a fiddle and a keen sense of the land, Molly is the best kind of heroine–smart, feisty and courageous. Anthony writes with tenderness and imbues her story with hope. - Suzanne Selfors, author of SAVING JULIET and COFFEHOUSE ANGEL

Watch for her second novel, The Right & the Real - forthcoming, also from Putnam

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