Hello Beautiful People!
Here’s our first interview Summer Author Interview Series…
She first captured our heart when we plucked Girls in Trouble off of our library shelf, and we’ve been hooked ever since. Her stories resonate with us, and stay with us, long after we finish the last page. She’s simply fantastic, a literary fairy godmother, and the first author to graciously take part in our Summer Author Interview Series!
TWT: What gives you your inspiration for your novels?
CL : I write about things that haunt and obsess me, things that I keep mulling over and that keep me awake at night. Every novel for me is a question that I personally want to answer, and I hope that by writing the novel, I’ll figure things out. How well do we know the ones we love? How do you forgive someone for something unforgivable? Is love ever dangerous?
TWT: Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
CL: I did. I’ve been writing since I was a little girl. I was a sickly, asthmatic little girl and I couldn’t go out on the playground so I read and read and read. But I didn’t want to just read stories, I wanted to write them. One day, my teacher insisted I read a story to my class. I was terrified because I was so bullied. I was sure they would throw things at me or mock me, and initially they did! But when I started reading, they quieted down, and at the end of the story, they actually clapped. I thought, “This is so terrific! This is what I want to do!” I had a lot of “no’s” in my path, but I just kept going.
TWT: Do you have a favorite genre?
CL: Nope. I try not to label anything. For me, a good read is a good re
TWT: Who was your greatest teacher?
CL: Oh I have lots of them. Other writers helped me so much. John Truby, who teaches story structure, saved my life, too.
TWT: What advice would you give to aspiring writers and journalists?
CL: NEVER EVER GIVE UP. I’m the poster child for that. When I started out writing, everyone told me no, don’t be a writer, be a teacher or a doctor. In college, my creative writing prof, who was friends with Norman Mailer, told me I’d never be a writer, that I didn’t have the talent. (When I sold my first novel and it got a rave in the NYT I sent it to him with the review and a note that said, “Hey, you were wrong!”) My 9th novel, PICTURES OF YOU was rejected (!!!) by my publisher as “not being special enough.” I thought my career was over because even though I had had great reviews, I had had no sales at all, and who would publish me? Algonquin came to my rescue and took that “not special book” and turned it into a NYT bestseller AND got it on the Best Books of 2011 lists from the SF Chronicle, the Providence Journal, Bookmarks Magazine and Kirkus Reviews. So NEVER listen to the no!
Here at The Write Teacher, we adore Caroline Leavitt – go get one of her novels today!