Monday, December 1, 2014

Interview with TBF Author: A.S. King

Hello readers,

I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving and read a ton over the break! I have an interview to brighten your day. I had the pleasure of interviewing TBF author, A.S. King!

Miranda Reads: This year will be your fifth time coming to TBF. What brings you back to TBF? We love when you come!

A.S. King: I love TBF. From the minute I arrived the first year I attended, I knew I wanted to be a part of the festival as often as I could. Why? Because Rochester Teen Book Festival is the best teen book festival in the country. The team of volunteers is AMAZING and the attendees are the most enthusiastic readers I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Now that I've been there a few times, I've developed close friendships with other regular author attendees and with many local librarians and teachers and I find myself missing them throughout the year. Being an author is weird. I am usually sitting in a room by myself writing books. Human interaction can often be awkward with people who don't understand reading or writing--so coming to Rochester TBF is a little like visiting family or something. You all are my Rochester family.

MR: Have you ever considered writing outside of the contemporary genre? Maybe write a fantasy, dystopian or sci-fi novel?

ASK: That's a tricky question. A lot of people think I already do write fantasy, sci-fi or dystopian novels. I've been nominated for awards in fantasy and sci-fi. And a lot of people have called GLORY both sci-fi and dystopian. It all depends on who you ask. That said, I consider my novels mostly based in contemporary reality, and I don't think I can escape that. For me, there is magic in everyday life. There is dystopia in everyday life. I think I really love drawing those comparisons in my work, which is why I tend to chew some fantasy or sci-fi into my realistic gum. Next year's book is a surrealist novel. Some people call what I write magic realism. I'm not sure what to call it. I just hope the stories keep coming out of my head and onto the paper. So far, that's still happening. In the future, look for another historical novel from me, and maybe a graphic novel or memoir as well. I've got them all in my head, but finding the time to write them is the issue at the moment.

MR: What is your most memorable experience relating to your books?

ASK: Wow. That's a really hard question. I've been writing books for 20 years and have a lot of memories relating to books or writing. But I guess if I were to pick one memory, it would be the day I was called by the Printz committee about Please Ignore Vera Dietz. I was taking a break from writing in my basement office. I miss my kids a lot when I work even though we're all in the same house. So I came upstairs and we were all cuddled up on the couch watching the Candice Bergen episode of The Muppet Show and the phone rang. It was Sunday. It was a number I didn't recognize, so I thought about ignoring it. I then picked it up and a woman introduced herself and said something about Printz and let me explain...I knew what the Printz was, but I never thought I would ever be considered for it. I got up from the couch. My husband had a worried look on his face because I rushed to a quieter place to talk. I sat in the stairwell of the old log cabin where we used to live and asked the caller to start over. She explained why she was calling. I listened. I reacted and said thank you. I cracked a joke or two. I hung up and then I cried for a minute. See, at that point in my career, I thought my career was close to over before it started. My publisher hadn't wanted my next book, I had to move to a new place, I wasn't sure of Vera Dietz because since I'd left, the book had fallen into that quiet book abyss, you know? It never made it into Barnes & Noble. I thought everything I'd worked for for nearly 20 years was kinda almost dead. Winning that Printz Honor was a moment of true joy because it meant that maybe I could have a chance at writing more books, which is all I ever wanted to do. Anyway, I came back to the living room where my husband still had that worried look, I paused The Muppet Show and I told my family what the call was about and we all hugged and jumped up and down like we'd just won Family Feud. Then we took a walk in the snow. My memories of that day are many, but the feeling of pride was the biggest thing I remember. I felt like I'd done something good.

(Readers, check out blogger, Victoria's book review of PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ)

MR: Let's pretend you're performing in your high school talent show. What's your talent?

ASK: I have talent show talents, but I'm too shy to perform at my high school talent show. I'd be stage crew. I'd be the one who puts on the music for the lip synch contest or something. But I wouldn't dare stand up there and sing even though I could sing back then. Too shy. Hard for people who know me to believe, but I'm way too shy.

MR: Which author are you most looking forward to meeting at the 10th Annual Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival?

ASK: I'm looking forward to seeing EVERYONE at the 10th annual TBF. Old friends, new friends, everyone. As an author, it's really cool to meet people I've never met before who do the same thing I do. Again, being an author is weird sometimes. Meeting other authors is a relief because we all know what it's like to do what we do. So, I hate to be so all-inclusive, but it's my way. I can't wait to meet everyone.    
Thank you so much A.S. King! We can't wait to see you in May!

To learn more about A.S. King's books, be sure to check out her website and follow her on Twitter and like her Facebook page!

That's it for today. Come back to blog for more book reviews, interviews and more!

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