Monday, October 6, 2008

Enchanting Interview: Linda Singleton

How long have you been writing?
I have stories that I wrote when I was 8. But if you mean professionally, I started when I was 27.

Why Young Adult?
I've done middle-grade and YA. I love them both but have had more success in selling YA paranormal suspense. I prefer to write for kids because inside I feel more like a wide-eyed kid than an adult. And juvenile fiction is so amazing--I can rattle of a list of books that steal my breath and heart with wisdom, humor and wonder. Juvenile books rock!

Best part of writing Y.A?
Creating characters that I love so much they feel like part of my family. I get high on taking blank paper and watching it transform into a story. Writing is magic in action.

What's your writing process like?
Like untying tight knots...slow but eventually the tangles of story smooth out into a finished book. I love finishing a book. The End are such amazing words because they mean a beginning to stories that will reach out and touch the world.

Do you have any writing rituals?
Nope. Just Butt-in-chair (almost) every morning.

What inspired this book?
DEAD GIRL WALKING used to be called TURN LEFT AT THE MILKY WAY when I came up with the idea 20 years ago. I loved the concept of a girl waking up in the wrong body then trying to figure out who she was meant to be. But I wasn't ready to write this book back then. I needed to grow as a writer. I hope readers enjoy my directionally-challenged heroine and her misadventures with high school and heaven.

Which character is most like you or most unlike you?
Amber is the ambitious, insecure, hopeful spirit inside of me. She's sassier and braver than I am, but overall she's more like me than my other heroines. Sabine, from THE SEER series, is the least like me, which I love because that means I succeeded in writing separate from myself.

Which character gave you the toughest time to write in the book?
In the 2nd DEAD GIRL book, DEAD GIRL DANCING (March 2009), there's a hot mysterious older guy with a very dark (but poetic) side. I did a lot of rewriting until he felt right -- and with one more round of rewrites still ahead, I'm sure I'll rewrite more to get him right.

Favorite scene in the book?
The scene where Amber's dead childhood dog, Cola, does his "otherside" job of comforting an old man who is dying. I got this idea from hearing of a cat that lived in a nursing home and showed up when people were dying, sitting beside them as if comforting them on this final journey. So I created Cola, who is a Comforter and can take any shape to guide someone over to the otherside.

Who would your ideal cast be if a movie was made?
Frankly, I don't care. They could cast my characters as cartoons if that's what it would take to sell to Hollywood. I'd just LOVE to have a movie/tv show because that would boost the sales of my books so I could easily find them in any bookstore.

What's next for you?
Good question (have a crystal ball?) I really don't know for sure. I'm finishing the 3rd book in the DEAD GIRL series. My agent is shopping around a YA urban science fiction (sort of Romeo & Juliet with aliens) and my SEER fans keep asking for another book. I'd love to work on either of these projects. When I find out, I'll post it on my blog.

Interview by Kim
September 2008

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