Today I'm happy to share with you my interview with Ingrid Law, author of the fabulous novel Savvy. Be sure to visit her site and blog.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and your journey towards becoming a published author?
I have been writing off and on since I was in my early twenties, but even before that, I always had stories in my head. I never took my writing very seriously until a few years ago, when someone encouraged me to start submitting my work. The first manuscript I tried to find representation for was rejected by 45 agents, but several who read the whole thing like my writing, and that inspired me to keep trying. When I finished Savvy, things happened very, very quickly--so quickly, I still feel as though I'm trying to keep up! But I found a wonderful agent right away, and an editor who was tremendously excited and really wonderful to work with on the book.
Were there any surprises along the way?
Every single day... and still nearly every other. I continue to marvel at the reception the book has received. I am very grateful. The movie option was a huge surprise, as was the foreign language interest! Not to mention the Newbery Honor, of course. I would never have imagined when I was sitting and writing that someday my words would reach so many people. There have been other surprises as well. For instance, I never expected to become a regular public speaker... it's not something you think much about when you're sitting alone for hours making up stories! But it's been fun talking to kids about the book and hearing the great questions they come up with all the time.
What do you love about writing? What do you find the easiest? What do you find the hardest?
I love escaping into the worlds of my imagination. I love that story can give both writer and reader a safe way to explore all kinds of ideas. The easiest thing for me is character. I love creating my characters. The hardest is not spending all my time on character. Sometimes the internal worlds of my characters drive me more strongly than the external conflict. But both must exist to create a good story.
What inspired you to write Savvy?
I wanted to write a story about magical children without every using the word "magic." And I wanted to imagine what American "magic" might look like.
How do you find the time--do you find the time--to keep reading? Do you have any favorites of the year?
It can be difficult, especially while working hard to get my next book done. But I steal moments here and there... waiting for my daughter to get out of school, late at night when I'm too tired to write or answer email, at the airport or on airplanes. Sometimes I get audio books as well, so that I can listen while driving or doing the dishes. Right now, I am listening to The Green Glass Sea, by Ellen Klages, and really enjoying it. I also loved Red Glass, by Laura Resau, and A Crooked Kind of Perfect, by Linda Urban. I'm looking forward to reading the next Magic Thief book by Sarah Prineas as soon as it comes out.
If you had twenty-four hours, a time machine, and a limitless supply of money, what would you want to do?
Wow! So many possibilities. Maybe I'd pick an artist or composer who died in poverty and pick a day in his or her life to go back and create a trust for them... then come back and see if it changed anything about their paintings or their symphonies. Would there be more? Would there be fewer? Would that person have lived longer? Lived differently? The lives of artists and their relationship to their circumstances has always fascinated me. But what if I messed something up? What if? What if? That's what fiction is all about.
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Saturday Review of Books: December 3, 2016
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