Sunday, November 22, 2009

Newsletter 9 Part 2

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Sarah Dessen wins best teen romance books!

Blogging Tips:

~ Make friends with other bloggers. We really are one big support group.
~ Review honestly but do not be nasty. If you don’t like a book just say so. There is no need for degrading comments.

Here is what Vivian Marie Aubin du Paris had to say. Thanks J.F. for the awesome interview.

1. When did you start writing? Did you start with a book or a short story?

I actually started telling stories before I could write. I "borrowed" my sister's tape recorder, and when I would get stuck in my room to clean it, I would walk around cleaning with the record button pressed on my bed so that I could tell it stories. (Probably thankfully, those tapes are long lost!) The first story I actually wrote, though, was about a paragraph long, I must have been in kindergarten or so from the handwriting, and it was about two kids going roller skating. My stories got progressively longer from there, but it was hard... I had to keep setting new goals for myself. "This one will be ten pages." Then, "This one will be thirty." Until I finally got to a point where I was writing full-length novels.

2. Were you good at english in school? Was that your favorite subject?

I probably shouldn't admit this... I was terrible in school! English was really the only subject that I was good at, because I always loved reading the assigned books. I think I was the only one in class that did. I loved reading these books that I wouldn't have thought to pick up on my own, and then hearing different interpretations of them. It was by far my favorite subject.

3. One of the main things you tell people is never give up on their dreams. You made two of yours come true. What would you tell the people that can't make their dreams work?

This is such a hard question to answer... I think if someone told me that they couldn't make their dream come true, I would ask why. I don't think of myself as a huge problem-solver, but I guess in a way I am. Now, if someone said they wanted to have super powers or something, I wouldn't suggest that they go roll around in toxic waste or anything, but I would try to come up with something that would meet their need... Maybe reading about super heroes? Telling stories about them? Other than something we're physically incapable of doing, I think people really can do anything. If you had asked me five years ago if I would ever be published, I would have told you there was no way. Ever. It was just a dream. But here I am. And I'm the laziest person alive, so if I can do it, anyone can. So if you really think you can't do something, ask someone for some advice or their opinion on the matter. Keep asking until someone gives you something you can work with. Different people with different ideas will eventually lead you to an answer.

4. In your book 'The Quest Of Dai: The Eroe' the character, Westly, really stands out in both attitude and looks. Is he modeled after anyone you know?

Not at all, actually... Westly is a character type that fascinates me... The stereotypical cold-but-secretly-loves-the-girl guy. I read a lot, so I think he kind of developed from a bunch of different characters... Different parts of their personalities that I liked. His eyes were based on someone I knew at the time, though. He had these blue-green contacts that he wore, and every time he looked at you, it was shocking. I didn't actually make that part up, surprisingly enough. I will say that I'm a big fan of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and the actor, Thomas Dekker, looks almost exactly like I pictured Westly. So that was pretty cool to see!

5. Are any of your characters modeled after people you know?

Not really! I know they say, "Write what you know," but I actually find that's the hardest thing to write about. I like to dream when I write, so I write about things I don't know--people I don't know. Dai was loosely based on a friend of mine from high school... She was the sweetest, most caring person. Super innocent, in a lovely clueless kind of way. You couldn't help but love and adore her. She was a great, great friend. But for the most part, the characters really took on a life of their own.

6. What advice would you give to teens that are starting to write they're own books?

Write what you like. It's good to push yourself into trying to write a genre that you don't read or don't have an interest in, but you won't be as in to it and therefore you'll be less likely to finish. Figure out your strengths in writing, play to those, and learn how to fix your weaknesses. Learn how to use criticism to your advantage! I refused to listen to criticism about my writing for most of my life, and it really suffered because of it. I'm still trying to get to a good point where I'm taking criticism about my writing and trying to figure out how to fix it. But also remember that you can't please everybody... Be sure that you stay true to yourself and that you write what you like. Set goals for yourself... Ten pages a day or whatever until you finish the manuscript. Don't go back and read from the beginning while a work is in-progress... If you're anything like me, if you do, you'll completely ruin your rhythm and you'll never finish the book. If you continually get writer's block or you find yourself making excuses to not write (and I'm as guilty of this as they come) every time you walk away from your work, make sure that you leave it in the middle of an exciting scene. You'll always want to come back and finish, and you'll still be on a roll.

Wow, I talk a lot...

Thanks so much for the interview! I really enjoyed your questions. :)

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