After an eight month long hiatus, I am back. And I could not be more excited about it.
***My comments are located at the top of my posts***
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Aimee Friedman is the author of the recent release of Sea Change which is on sale now.
Romantic Scholar To start, would you mind giving a brief summary of Sea Change?
Aimee Friedman Miranda Merchant, sixteen and levelheaded, is spending the summer on a small, mist-shrouded island off the coast of Georgia. The island's history is full of legend and lore, particularly regarding people who come from the sea and live on land as humans. Miranda dismisses these legends as the stuff of fairy-tales...until she meets Leo. A green-eyed, handsome, mysterious local boy, Leo challenges everything Miranda thinks she knows about boys, love, friendship...and reality.
RS What inspired you to write such a different genre from your other books?
AF I'd had the idea for Sea Change for a long time. I love The Little Mermaid story, and I love the movie "Splash," and I'd always wanted to write a story where the roles were reversed: it's the boy who comes from the sea and the girl who is the human in love with him. So this idea was percolating while I wrote some of my other books, and then, when all the YA supernatural romance novels started to explode, my editor felt it was the right time for me to publish my "merman" story. It was fun and challenging and exciting to depart a little bit from the very realistic YA fiction I'd been writing.
RS Miranda is such an independent and unique character. Is she based off of you or someone you know?
AF In many ways, Miranda is like me, but also a much more rational, logical, calm version of me! Like Miranda, I went to the Bronx High School of Science, but I was never that great at science--I always preferred English, writing, history, languages. And unlike Miranda, I tended--and still tend--to be a little on the dramatic side. I gave Miranda all the "steady" qualities I often wish I had...but then of course all those qualities get turned upside down when she falls in love.
RS Do you find it easy to come up with your characters and storylines?
AF I almost always have lots of different, half-formed, little snippets and seeds of ideas brewing in my head, and it's just a matter of sitting down and tethering those ideas to a real narrative. Sometimes it's just a line or a phrase that I'd like to follow into a larger story, sometimes it's a "what-if?" scenario, sometimes it's a character. Often my characters are inspired by someone I've known or met at some point in my life, but the character I write is never quite like that real-life person. Like the little seedling ideas, the character inspirations are just jumping-off points. The process can be rich and rewarding, but it's certainly never easy.
RS Do you have any favorite characters?
AF In SEA CHANGE, I'd have to say my favorite character (aside from Miranda and Leo, of course) is Isadora. Though we never meet her, she's such a strong presence in the story that she's almost like a ghost. And of course there's her own romantic history, her fabulous clothes, her fierce spirit. I'd love to write a story just about Isadora herself..
RS Can we look forward to seeing a sequel to this story?
AF I do have a sequel in mind, but I'm working on something new right now, so I haven't had a chance to work on it. But stay tuned!
RS What inspired you to write?
AF I've written every since I can remember--probably ever since I COULD write. It's simply my favorite thing to do, the one thing in life I can't imagine NOT doing. I think I'm a born daydreamer, so writing, in many ways, is like daydreaming on paper. Only a little bit harder.
RS Do you have any favorite authors?
AF So many! My tastes are very varied, too. I love Charlotte Bronte, Meg Cabot, Michael Chabon, Emily Giffin, Tracy Chevalier...and on and on.
RS Are you looking forward to any upcoming releases?
AF SEA CHANGE will be out in paperback in June 2010--be on the look-out!
RS Are you working on anything new right now?
AF Yes, I'm working on something for younger readers, which has been a refreshing change of direction for me. I love to mix up the kind of writing I do to keep myself creatively energized!
RS Where is your favorite place to write?
AF A small cafe right near my house that has the best vanilla iced lattes, muffins, comfy seats, and--most importantly--lots of people around me, also working on their laptops. I pretty much need to be around other people who are being productive in order to be productive myself.
RS Do you like to listen to music while you write? If so, what do you like to listen to?
AF I pretty much HAVE to listen to music while I write. It just keeps me going, and very often I give my books playlists, matching the tone of the music to the tone of the book, and vice-versa. For example, you can check out my SEA CHANGE playlist here: http://www.musical-menagerie.com/2009/09/author-playlist-sea-change-by-aimee.html
RS What are some of your favorite snacks or drinks that you like to have while writing?
AF I usually need a big iced latte by my side to kick-start me, but I feel more virtuous if I replace that latte with some fresh O.J. or just water. In terms of snacks, I crave sweets and chocolate and all kinds of "bad-for-you" food like crazy when I write, and I'll usually allow myself to indulge in M&Ms and pizza "for the sake of the book." It's truly a great excuse.
RS Is there something that you've always wanted someone to ask you in an interview?
AF The snack question is a great one! My friend recently asked me what the very first thing I ever wrote was called, and I thought this would be a good interview question! My very first "novel," that I wrote when I must have been about eight years old, was called "Spaghetti and Meatballs" and it was about two best friends who had a terrible fight. But no worries, it ended happily, of course.
RS Any last comments?
AF Please visit me at my website at www.aimeefriedmanbooks.com. Feel free to send me a message--I love to hear from my readers! And keep reading, writing, and daydreaming...
Thank you so much for being with us Aimee. It was such a pleasure to interview you, and meet you at the Decatur Book Festival.
Check out my review on Sea Change here.