Interviews, interviews, interviews! They just keep coming! Sorry I haven’t been great about posting book reviews lately. I’m going crazy studying for finals and it’s much easier to put together an interview than it is to write a book review while trying to memorize the relationship between frequency, amplitude, and period. (A word of advice to any future speech scientists out there: pay attention in high school physics class. It will pay off.)
Anyway, I’m pretty sure that this interview with A.S. King will make up for the recent lack of reviews!
C: I’ve heard that you didn’t originally write “The Dust of 100 Dogs” as a young adult book … were you surprised when your agent realized it as such? I know that you just recently sold a second book – did you set out writing this book with teens in mind?
ASK: By the time The Dust of 100 Dogs sold, I'd written seven novels which I thought were for adults. Looking back, about five of those seven were technically young adult books. I just didn't know that. It happens. :) I wasn't surprised as much as I was relieved to finally figure out where I fit in a bookstore. It had been a while, so I wanted to find my place and get on with it! I actually just sold a third book. But yes, both PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ, which comes from Knopf/Random House this fall, and EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS, which will come in 2011 from Little, Brown were written with teens in the forefront of my mind. However, I can't say it changed much about how I write or the types of things I write about. I was always a YA writer. I was just too out-of-touch to know this.
C: I haven’t finished “The Dust of 100 Dogs” yet, but I love that a good part of it takes place in Ireland. I know that you lived in Ireland for several years – is this what inspired you to set “Dust” in this locale?
ASK: Yes, I lived in Ireland for about twelve years and I wrote The Dust of 100 Dogs about ten years ago while I was still living in Tipperary. It was inspired by my discovery that Oliver Cromwell's army used the road I lived on road during their 1650 invasion. Every time I walked down the road (usually with my dogs) after learning this, I thought of what it must have been like to live during that time.
C: Did you always know that you wanted to be an author? What has your journey to published author been like? What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
ASK: I think I always knew I wanted to do something creative. I remember saying I wanted to be an author in the 8th grade. But when I told an adult in my life, they insisted that meant I had to work for the newspaper. Which was not what I had in mind at all. So that was that. I went to college and earned a degree in photography and then when I moved to Ireland when I was 24, I had an opportunity to start over and do what I really wanted to do...and I ended up writing novels. My journey was long, but worth it. By the time D100D landed on a bookstore shelf, I was writing for 15 years and had written eight novels, a few collections of poetry, and a ton of stories. I wouldn't trade a minute of it. I work with a lot of aspiring authors. I think the best advice to give is to keep writing, and do it for the love of writing.
C: What was your favorite book as a teenager?
ASK: Anything by Paul Zindel. Also, "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding.
C: What author are you most looking forward to meeting and/or seeing at the Fifth Annual TBF?
ASK: This is an impossible question to answer because I'm really looking forward to meeting everyone! But okay. I'll try to answer. I'm stoked to get to see my friends Robin Brande and Lisa McMann again and I'm most looking forward to meeting Ellen Hopkins in person. I really love her work and I am a total fangirl. (Ooo! And Barry Lyga. And Laurie Halse Anderson. And....)
Thanks for the great answers, Amy! I can’t believe that there are only two weeks left until we get to meet you in person at TBF 2010!