Sunday, December 11, 2011

Author Interview

Check out our newest author to the blogger contest.
She's just joined the contest and agreed to an interview with me.
I'll be updating her book info pretty soon.

Hi Aida, where were you born and where do you call home?
I'm an east coast girl, all the way -- I was born in New Jersey but live in a suburb of Philadelphia not far from Media, Pennsylvania, where Between Seasons, my first novel, is set. I'm a firm believer in writing what you know, so all my writing involves settings I'm familiar with.

If you gave some of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?

They probably tell me to let them sleep (I have a tendency to write constantly until I finish things)! Patrick, the main character in Between Seasons, would likely yell at me for killing him off in the opening paragraph of the novel. Granted, I think it worked out okay for him in the end. :maniacal laughter:

Do you have plans for a new book?   Is this book part of a series?
Between Seasons is the first novel in a two-book series, although I had a dream the other night that I changed the ending of the second novel and made it a trilogy. I suppose I could do that if it feels right by the time I finish North of Frost, which is the title of the second book. Right now, North of Frost is about 20% finished, so I have some time yet!

Would you like to giveaway a copy of your book on this blog?
Absolutely! I'm happy to offer up an electronic copy of Between Seasons (Kindle, Nook, or PDF format).

How did you come up with the title and cover design?
The title came when I was about halfway finished with the novel. I tend to be really bad at naming things -- in fact, I make one of my critique partners name just about everything I write. However, with Between Seasons, the name of the novel was part of the dialogue in the book, and it fit the mood and theme pretty well, so I opted to use it as the title. As for the cover design, I toy with graphic design a bit, and I prefer simplicity when it comes to book covers. I chose the fonts before anything else because I think fonts really say a lot. The photo was one I found when I was haunting stock photo sites. Just like the title, it really fits the mood to me.

Have you based any of your characters on someone you know, or real events in your own life?
Oh yes. Jules, Sara Oswald's sister, is based on someone in my life . . . but I doubt she'd recognize herself, though, because people like are rarely that self-aware. And, of course, Patrick himself is based on the ghost who lives in my house -- not the plot, mind you, but just what I've imagined what he might have been like in life.

Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?
I have an iPad and read books on it when I travel, but as a rule I'm a firm lover of physical books. Whether it's paperback or hardcover, I don't care. I like the smell and heft of a book, and I appreciate the craft of a well-made book. I have two prized possessions: my signed copy of Mary Roach's Stiff and a miniature book from artist Mark Ryden's BLOOD exhibit. I get that digital books are easy to get your hands on and they take up less space, but I guess I'm just old school.

Where do you prefer to buy your books?
When I'm feeling lazy, I buy from Amazon, but when I'm able I like to support small, local bookstores. There's a great shop in Chestnut Hill (a neighborhood in Philly) called Big Blue Marble that's really great. I'd love to have a book signing there one day.

Have you ever read a book more than once?

Absolutely! I have read A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving so many times I can probably recite the entire novel to you. I've also read most of Kurt Vonnegut's and James Morrow's books at least three times each as well.

Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version?
Jaws. Oh, and Salem's Lot. The book of Salem's Lot was scary, but the movie scared the crap out of me when I was a kid.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (ebook/paperback/hardcover)?
I'm in the middle of reading Sleight by Kirsten Kaschock (a novel from Coffeehouse Press), and it's in paperback.

What book do you know that you will never read?
I have tried to read The Elegence of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery at least five times and have never been able to make it past chapter one. I gave up.

Are there any new Authors that have grasped your interest and why?
Hmm. I'm not sure if they're really new, but they're new to me: Ilsa J. Bick, Melina Marchetta, and Monica Drake are all really great, and I had no idea who they were before this year. Marchetta has written one of the best YA novels I've read in years (Jellicoe Road) -- the plot was incredibly well-done. I read Bick's book, Draw the Dark, when I was contemplating trying my hand at YA horror, and I love that she's not afraid of an unusual ending. Monica Drake is an amazing writer. I loved her novel Clown Girl -- it worked on so many levels, and it was so emotionally satisfying.

Is there anything you would change in your last book and why?
No. I'm pretty happy with it, and I'm really enjoying telling more of Patrick and Sara's story. The second novel gives a bit more of the how and why of what happens in Between Seasons, so it's always fun to be the god of my own world.

Who designed the cover of your book?
I did. I'd hire a designer if I wanted something more complicated, but Between Seasons and its sequel require simple and clean -- and that's something I can do.

Do you have a book trailer?
I don't. I've been thinking of teaching myself to make one, but it might be too complicated for my meager skills. I'm not 100% sold on their usefulness, though. They're nice and all, but do they really help sell novels? I don't know.

What are your thoughts on book trailers?
Hah! Well, aside from generally wondering if they're useful, a well-done trailer is pretty to look at.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep writing!! Writing is one of those things where you're convinced that everything you write is horrible most of the time, and it's easy to give up. But giving up means you'll never improve. Write, write, and write some more!

What is the best advice that you have ever been given when it comes to writing?
Rejection by an agent or a publisher is not a measure of quality, nor is it a statement about the marketability of your work. Novelists like Kurt Vonnegut and Tom Robbins would likely never have gotten picked up by agents in today's market because their plots are really unique, and there's a real fear of straying too far left or right of the center. 

Do you ever write in your PJ’s?
All the time. Writing is my career (I'm a freelance writer), so nearly every day involves me writing in my pajamas.

Cats or dogs?
Both! I have both.

Coffee or tea?
Both! I drink both equally . . . maybe that's weird, but I'm an equal opportunity beverage girl!

Favorite food?
At the moment, I would say bread -- my favorite bakery has these killer loaves of rustic bread studded with kalamata olives. Served up with really good olive oil and a bit of balsamic vinegar? And now I'm hungry . . .

Vanilla or chocolate ice cream?
Chocolate. Preferably from Cold Stone Creamery and mixed with cherry pie filling and brownies.

What do you normally eat for breakfast?
It depends on what I have in my house. My two favorite breakfasts are cranberry scones with clotted cream or poached eggs and toast.

What are 4 things you never leave home without?
My driver's license, my Blackberry, my keys, and a bottle of water.

Laptop or desktop for writing?
Laptop. I like to be mobile.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
Most of the time I write on my couch, but I also have a favorite coffee shop that I work at a lot. They have amazing soup and coffee! Since I'm a freelancer, I write whenever I have time, which can range in time throughout the day.

One of your favorite quotes -
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." -- Albert Einstein

What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?

I'm kind of digging Grimm, but I will admit to being a huge nerd for The X-Files. I still watch old episodes at least once or twice a week.

Where can your readers stalk you?
Feel free to stalk me on Twitter at @aidabrassington, at my website (, or on Goodreads (

Is your book in Print, ebook or both?
Both. I'm also looking into releasing it as an audiobook.

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview with me and allowing us a glimpse into your writing word.  Tima
No, no -- thank YOU!

1 comment:

Aida Brassington said...

Thanks so much for interviewing me, Tima! I enjoyed it!