Wednesday, November 18, 2009
INTERVIEW WITH BOBBIE PYRON, AUTHOR OF THE RING
Welcome to my first author interview!
I read and reviewed THE RING by Bobbie Pyron recently and was pleased to see the author found the interview here on my blog, and she even stopped by to comment. She not only commented, but she also offered to let me interview her. So without further ado, here's the scoop on Bobbie Pyron and her new novel, THE RING.
Readingjunky: When did you first think about being a writer?
Bobbie Pyron: I wanted to be a writer from the time I was about nine years old. I just couldn't imagine anything more wonderful! I got a spiral notebook and wrote for days in a row—a badly plagiarized story about two orphan, runaway children and some wild horse.
I also wrote some rather bad poetry in high school. I started writing seriously about six years ago. I started with picture books and then crossed over to “the dark side” of novels.
RJ: What was your biggest inspiration for THE RING?
BP: My stepdaughter. When she was fourteen, she was going through a rather challenging time. After being grounded for the millionth time, she read an article in our local paper about a girls' boxing club. She handed me the paper, pointed to the article and said, "I want to do that." So her dad and I signed her up for classes. She went to training two nights a week. I took her one of the nights. I was intrigued with the girls who were taking the classes. And like most writers, I'm an incorrigible eavesdropper, so I listened to them talk about the stresses at school and at home. Over and over I heard them say how they could be themselves in the ring.
RJ: What drives your writing most? Characters, plot, personal experience ...
BP: I would say that, just like in my reading, my writing is very character driven. Sometimes the plot and the character come to me almost simultaneously. Actually, it usually does. But no matter how great an idea I have for a plot, I can't write a darn thing until the voice comes. Whether it's first person or third, the voice has to come to me and talk to me before I can write one word.
RJ: Do any of your characters resemble you in any way?
BP: Oh, the stepmother, Amy, is like me in some obvious ways: she's from the south, she's a librarian, she loves her dogs. But Amy is a much more patient stepmother that I was!
RJ: Does any particular type of music inspire your creativity?
BP: It really varies with what I'm working on. For THE RING, I listened to a lot of Ani DeFranco, The Fray, Coldplay, Avril Levine, and Frou Frou. For the middle-grade novel I have coming out in early 2011, I listened to lots and lots of bluegrass and country music because it's set in the Appalachian Mountains.
RJ: Can you describe a day in your writing schedule?
BP: I try to take care of email business while I'm still kind of groggy in the morning. Then I take the dogs for a short walk to wake up my brain. When I get back, I fix a cup of tea, fire up the computer, and try to write for about two hours. If I'm lucky and my schedule allows, I like to write for another hour or two in the afternoon after I've gotten the dogs out for a longer jaunt. I do work part time as a librarian, so some days I only get a short amount of time to write.
RJ: What is most rewarding about being a published author?
BP: I have to say, the first time I saw THE RING displayed face out in a bookstore, I almost wet my pants. It was such an amazing thing! But the real reward is hearing kids say how much they love the book and how Mardie is "just like them."
RJ: Who are some of your favorite authors?
BP: I read mostly young adult and juvenile fiction. For teen authors, my favorites are Chris Crutcher, Libba Bray, Sarah Dessen, Jerry Spinelli, Pete Hautman, Laurie Halse Anderson, and Sonja Hartnett. For middle-grade favorite authors, Cynthia Rylant, Kate DeCamillo, Patricia Reilly Giff, Susan Patron, Sharon Creech, and Ann M. Martin.
RJ: What suggestions do you have for aspiring writers?
BP: Funny you should ask: I just posted about this on my blog! My biggest piece of advice is to take yourself seriously as a writer. Because if you don't, nobody else will. And don't get in you own way of writing by coming up with excuses why you can't write on a given day. If John Grisham could write two novels in a tiny closet while he worked 50+ hours a week as an attorney, you and I can find the time and space, too! A great book to help you make the most of your limited time and the least of your excuses is PEN ON FIRE by Barbara DeMarco-Barrett.
RJ: Can you tell us anything about your current projects?
BP: I have a middle-grade novel being published by HarperCollins in early 2011. It's a dog story called A DOG'S WAY HOME. I'm very excited about it!
RJ: And finally, what is your favorite way to relax?
BP: Oh, I love to be outdoors! I love to hike, backpack, ski, and snowshoe with my dogs (I have three) and my husband. I like to get really tired and then come home and curl up with a good book.
I want to extend a big thank you to Bobbie for taking the time to answer all my questions. If you want to learn more about her or THE RING, just pop on over to her website at http://www.bobbiepyron.com/