Friday, May 6, 2011

Marvelous May Masterminds: Alyssa B. Sheinmel

Interview with Alyssa B. Sheinmel, author of The Lucky Kind

What part of your novel did you enjoy writing the most? The least?

I loved writing the dialogue between Nick and his best friend Stevie, and between Nick and the girl of his dreams, Eden. When I’d go back and reread what I’d written months earlier, the things Stevie said and did made me laugh (and I am totally ashamed to admit that about something I wrote). I can’t think of what I liked the least; it was hard, sometimes, writing when Nick behaved badly – but it was also a thrill, so I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy it, too.

Share about your writing process! How long did it take to write your book? Did you plan the outcome of The Lucky Kind or did it change while writing the story?

I’m not a very fast writer, because I tend to write in fits in spurts. I don’t outline, but I make a lot of notes, and usually have a pretty good sense of where my story is going to go, and how it’s going to get there (though stories have been known to throw me a curveball along the way). I did, at one point, put The Lucky Kind aside to try to write something else; but I kept coming back to it. It was a story I couldn’t imagine not seeing through to its end.

What kind of person did you want Nick's character to be? Was it difficult finding his voice or writing from a male perspective?

I didn’t really get to choose Nick’s character; as the idea for The Lucky Kind took shape in my imagination, Nick’s voice – and through it, his character – came right along with it. It was always Nick’s story. And, I loved writing as a boy. I have to admit, I was nervous about it: Would his voice sound genuine? Would I be able to maintain his voice throughout the novel? Readers, of course, will be the ones to decide whether or not his voice sounds genuine; as for maintaining it, Nick’s voice stayed with me while I wrote the book – in fact, I couldn’t get him out of my head sometimes!

If you could visit any fictional world from a book/series what would it be and why?

Hmmm…Middle Earth. The Lord of the Rings are among my favorite books, and I’d love to see that world from the inside. Though, at the risk of sounding like a fantasy geek, I have to say that I think the movies were such pitch-perfect adaptations that I kind of feel like I’ve seen exactly what it all looked like. But, still, I think I would like to visit a world that sprung entirely out of someone’s imagination.

What's your favorite quote?

That’s a tough one, because I have a lot – and a lot of them are Ernest Hemingway
quotes. So far, actually, each of my novels has ended with an Ernest Hemingway quote. But there are two non-Hemingway quotes that I really love right now (and coincidentally, both from women writers he knew – though he never would have called Zelda Fitzgerald a writer – but that’s a topic for a whole other interview…):

“I am I because my little dog knows me.” – Gertrude Stein
“Nobody has ever measured, even the poets, how much a heart can hold.” – Zelda

The television show and/or movie you can't live without?

That question is actually easy for me to answer: The West Wing. It’s my favorite show of all time. I learned more about writing dialogue from watching that show – or any Aaron Sorkin show – than quite possibly from any book I’ve ever read. I can watch the first few seasons (before Sorkin stopped writing it) over and over, and never tire of it. The writing is always surprising and witty, bright and inspiring.

Have an interesting fact about yourself that not too many people know?

Honestly, I can’t think of any! Truth be told, I can be pretty private, so if there’s anything that not too many people know, it’s probably going to stay that way.

Thank you so much for the interview, Alyssa! :)


1 comment:

  1. Great interview! I enjoyed learning all about what makes Alyssa tick! Interesting interview questions.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net


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