Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Interview: Kimberly Pauley

Kimberly Pauley
Interview by: Lauren

1. What led you to the idea of making a vampire story that was funny?

Well, probably the biggest thing is that I tend to write "funny" vs. "serious" in anything novel length (though my short stories all seem to wind up crime fiction or science fiction, oddly enough). But I was also just brainstorming one night and thought it would be fun to turn a normal vampire story on it's head. Most vampire stories take themselves very, very seriously.

2. How long did it take you to write the novel? Was it longer or shorter then you expected it to be?

Probably about six months. I wasn't really keeping track exactly and various things interrupted it. Some days I can write quite a bit, others I get maybe 200 words out. For me, it is a good day if I get 1,000 or more words onto paper. Well, onto the screen, I guess, since I type everything. It took about as long as I thought it would based on my normal writing output (I'd be a lot more prolific if I didn't have so many hobbies or, now, without a baby to slow we down).

3. What has the advance feedback been like thus far?
Really great! I'm very excited. I've already gotten a couple of really cute emails and letters from kids and teens (the youngest so far was 10, which is a little younger than I thought the book would appeal to, but hey, everyone reads at different levels). It is so cool to hear form people what they think about the book. I don't think I'll ever get tired of that. And the book was also nominated for the ALA 2009 YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers list, which is very, very cool. I'll find out later this year whether or not it makes it onto the list.

4. Did you get any advice on being a debut author from anybody? If so, what did the say?

Hmmm, not specifically for my situation. I've actually asked pretty much every author I've ever interviewed what their advice is for new writers (see the Interviews section on YABC). Their advice is pretty much what I'd say myself: read a lot. write a lot. be open to constructive criticism.

5. You run YA (and Kids) Book Central. How has helping other authors promote their work contributed to being an author yourself, if at all?

Well, I guess you could say I have an appreciation for how difficult it is to get the word out about a book and how much promotional work it can take. There are hundreds upon hundreds of new books out there and there has to be a reason for someone to pick your book up -- whether it is because they saw it reviewed somewhere or they just liked the cover or a friend recommended it. And if your book doesn't sell, then you have an even harder time selling the next one (and it's hard enough selling the first one!). Writing is a hard business and it isn't for the faint of heart. And it takes a lot of patience. Sucks to Be Me was written in 2005 and here it is, finally coming out in 2008.

So get out there and support your favorite authors -- buy a book or tell a friend!

6. If you had to describe Sucks to Be Me in three words, what would they be?

My husband calls it a "vampire bat mitzvah" story. Which I suppose it kind of is. :-)

7. What is something about the novel that might surprise people?

Oh, this is a hard question! I've read it over and over so many times during re-writes that it is hard to think of anything The only surprising thing I can think of I don't want to mention, since it would give something big away. How about just that vampires are people too, and can be just as boring or silly as the rest of us.

8. Do you listen to music at all when you write? If so, what did you listen too?

Sometimes. If I mention some music in the book, like during the scene where George and Nathan are jamming on guitars, I listen to that kind of music. Otherwise, I either listen to something kind of ambient (like Portishead, Morcheeba, Leonard Cohen, Amy Winehouse, or K. T. Tunstall) or nothing at all. I like pretty much every kind of music, except whiny country stuff (no offense to people who like country...I just had to live in Mississippi for a while when I was in high school and I seriously OD'd on it because it was all anyone listened to there at the time.).

9. Have you tried making a playlist for Sucks to Be Me yet? What songs do you believe would fit the book?

No, I haven't, but I totally should. The only song that comes to me off the top of my head is "In These Shoes" by Kirsty MacColl, mostly because it is one of my favorite songs and always makes me laugh. I think Mina would appreciate it, even if it is just a tad risque. I'll have to keep thinking on this and maybe get back to you later.

Remember to comment on here as well as the review on the Genre of the Month blog to be entered to win your own ARC of Sucks to Be Me! Contest ends Saturday, so hurry and enter!


Anilee said...

First, I love the new layout. (I'm subscribed through Google Reader, so I didn't see it before this.)

Second, great interview!

Anonymous said...

I like the comment you made about how vampires can be human too. And it really does remind you that vampires did begin as humans, and not just purely monsters. There's a sense of humanity too, I guess. Well, can't wait to read your book. Please enter me in the giveaway. Thank you. =)

Carmen T
carmenalexistsang [at] gmail [dot] com

Bunny B said...

I hope to win this book! It sounds like a whole lotta fun! :)
bunnybox9 at gmail . com

softindierocker said...

"Vampire Bat Mitzvah" that's such a cool 3-word summary! I love the premise, and how you came up with it. Thanks for the interview! =)

~Lucy D =)

Breanna said...

Great interview! I can't wait to read Kimberly's new book!


Shooting Stars Mag said...

Anilee: Thanks! I'm glad you liked the layout.

everyone else: good luck in the contest and i'm glad you liked the interview. :) definitely read the book...even if you don't win. it's a fun read.


Liviania said...

I think the new layout is cute too!

Good interview! I always love learning about the authors.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Livinia: Thanks! Glad you like the layout and the interview. I love learning about the authors as well.


bishiesruleme said...

I'm crossing my fingers for the book to come out. This is the first time I'm excited for a release!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

bishiesruleme: Good luck in the contest and it's worth getting when it does come out, definitely.


The Readers' Sanctuary said...

Sounds really good! I want to read this. :)


Shooting Stars Mag said...

Amanda: Definitely! You'll have to read it for sure even if you don't win. :)


books-a-lishious said...

this book looks amazing! thanks for leaving it open longer!


Shooting Stars Mag said...

avni: glad you think so, and no problem!! :)


ambeen said...

I'd like to be entered too! I'm glad you left it open longer otherwise I might have missed it!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Ambeen: Well, that's good then! And no problem...I figured since the computer isn't working, it was best to just allow the contest to continue to run.


the Dizzy said...

I hope I'm not too late.. I got kinda lost fining the post... I'm a dunce, what can I say...?

Vampires are neat, they're so complex I think that's why I like reading them the most... because they have human emotions... and then, they don't.


Book Spot said...

Well the last post I saw said I could still enter this...which is fantastic because I love the sound of the book and just found your site :)

Shooting Stars Mag said...

the dizzy and book spot: yep, you are entered. winners should be announced tomorrow.

Yay for finding the site book spot.
and the dizzy: I love reading about vampires for some of those reasons as well. they are very complex individuals, i suppose you could say.


danetteb said...

Hi Kimberly,

Fun interview, I think I might share your book with my eldest. She is 9 and likes paranormal reads.

Hugs, Danette