Three exclamation points are definitely appropriate for this salutation because today I conducted my first author interview and I will be publishing it right here, right now. Robin Brande was kind enough to answer five questions for me. So here is goes … I present Robin’s interview!
Carly: Your main character from "Fat Cat," Catherine, loves science. Was science your favorite subject in school?
Robin: I’m going to have to confess that I HATED—capital H hated—science when I was in school. I thought it was so boring and hard. I just never got the spark from it that other people did. But then something happened to me in the past few years, and suddenly I am fully in love with science. I think it’s so fascinating, and I want to learn more, more, more! Yes, it’s very weird that that’s happened. I can’t explain it. All I can do is enjoy it.
C: Amanda, from "Fat Cat," is the ultimate best friend. Is she based on someone that you know?
R: Yes! She’s based on my own best friend, Carolyn. She and I have been BFFs since I was 15. What I love about her—and about the friendship between Cat and Amanda in the book—is that there’s no competition, no bitchiness, just constant, full support no matter what kind of changes we go through over the years. Don’t we all want a best friend whom we can fully trust with every one of our secrets and flaws? That’s the kind of friendship I wanted to write about.
C: Your novel "Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature" deals with very personal issues, religion and evolution. Are Mena’s ideas about these issues similar to yours? How do you reconcile your personal beliefs with the beliefs of your main characters?
R: I’ve had sort of vague thoughts over the years about how I really feel in my heart about God and evolution. I grew up in a church very much like Mena’s, so I had instilled in me from a very young age the notion that the Bible is the only explanation for how the universe was created and how it works. It was very hard for me to even look at science books that might try to teach me something different (and maybe that’s why I wasn’t a big science girl when I was younger—hmmm). Anyway, when I sat down to write "Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature," I had to confront my own feelings and thoughts about the subject, so that Mena could articulate them for me and for other people who might be struggling with the issue. Ultimately, after all my research and all my soul-searching, I ended up feeling the way Ms. Shepherd does about it.
C: What was the last book that you read for pleasure?
R: I just read it last night! It was Nora Roberts’ "Key of Knowledge." I’ve been doing so much research lately into quantum physics and advanced mathematics, I needed a break! Sometimes only a great Nora Roberts romance novel will do. I love her heroines—so smart and strong and independent. Really fun to read.
C: What author are you most looking forward to meeting and/or seeing at the Fifth Annual TBF?
R: Those would be my pals Lisa McMann and Amy (A.S.) King. We’re doing a panel together, talking about how all of our humiliations and disasters in high school led to us write YA novels for a living! You won’t believe what utter geeks we were in high school. Do we have some stories for you …
Here is a direct quote from Robin: “I’m so excited to come back to TBF Live!! Woot!!!” Robin, WE’RE so excited for you to come back!
Readers, if there’s anything that you want to know about any of the authors coming to TBF this year, leave me a comment and I’ll ask them when I interview them.