Author Interview (and Giveaway): Jody Gehrman

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Jody Gehrman

Jody Gehrman is the author of six novels and numerous plays. Babe in Boyland, Triple Shot Bettys in Love, and Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty are her Young Adult novels, all published by Penguin's Dial Books. Notes from the Backseat, Tart, and Summer in the Land of Skin are her adult novels. Tart was a Booksense notable in 2005 and won an RT Bookclub critics' award. Her plays have been produced in Ashland, New York, San Francisco and L.A. She is a professor of English at Mendocino College. --Goodreads
1. What were your influences to write this book?
Shakespeare definitely influenced me heavily. I love the girl-dresses-as-boy-to-get-what-she-wants trope, which Shakespeare did so well on several occasions, but one of my favorites is Portia in Merchant of Venice. My editor at Dial had worked on a nonfiction book called Self-Made Man by Norah Vincent about a journalist (Vincent) who lives as a man for a year; we agreed a similar tale could work really well for teens. So my editor's vision helped to prompt my own. Self Made Man was inspiring to me, as well as fun flicks like Tootsie and She's the Man.

2. Throughout Babe In Boyland, you kept mentioning Shakespeare and other classic writers. What is your favorite classic and why?
Oh, that's a hard question. I'm too indecisive to cite one classic that I love above all others, but Jane Eyre really made an impression on me. I just adore the whole mad-woman-in-the-attic thing; it's so spooky and atmospheric!

3. How long did it take for you to go through the writing process of your novel?
Hard to say, exactly. I think I went through at least ten radically different drafts over the course of two or three years, though occasionally I'd be waiting for feedback, during which time I'd work on something else.

4. When writing, what do you usually eat?
Great question! I love both tea and coffee, so those are generally on the menu. In the summer watermelon often makes an appearance. Year round you'll find me munching on chips and salsa, buttered toast, and leftovers of any variety. My husband does almost all the cooking, so we often have yummy remains from dinner the night before, and that's usually easiest. I'm a bit lazy and spoiled when it comes to food!

5. If you were to describe your novel in three words, what would they be?
Quirky, funny, effervescent.

6. Which character did you have the most fun to create and write about?
I really adored writing Emilio, the love interest in this book. I find him complicated and full of secrets, which always intrigues me in a character. Like Natalie, I had to coax him into revealing his true nature, because he's sort of shy and enigmatic.

7. What are you working on now? Can you tell us about it?
I'm a bit cagey about books before they're done, but I will say I'm dabbling in various areas that are new to me: historical fiction and paranormal fiction. It's exciting and scary taking on a whole new set of challenges!

8. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
I'd say write what you love--write what makes you gleeful. Don't listen to people who belittle your work, but treasure feedback that's on the mark and know it will help you grow. Concentrate on the pleasure of writing itself before you worry about finding an audience. It's great having readers, but the deepest joy of writing is sinking into a story and its characters, losing track of time.
Fun Stuff:

Favorite Movie: Amelie
Favorite Book: Lolita
Favorite Food: Gelato
Favorite TV Show: Mad Men
Favorite Musical Artist/Group: I can't choose! It's too hard. I do have a very soft spot in my heart for The Decemberists, Sheryl Crow, and Ani DiFranco.

I hope you loved the interview with Jody Gehrman.  Thanks, Jody, for joining us today!  Want more of her awesome-ness?  Check her website out HERE, learn more about her HERE, and check out all of her books HERE.  If you haven't read Babe in Boyland yet, check out my review and how much I loved it HERE because I know you'll love it too.

Giveaway Time!  

Simply can't wait to read Babe in Boyland, well enter for a chance to win a copy.  Jody Gehrman has kindly put a copy of her book up for grabs.  Remember to pay special attention to the Contest Policy and the rules below.
  • Contest is open to anyone with a US mailing address, due to shipping costs.
  • Contest ends on 9.3.11
  • Winner will be chosen by on 9.4.11
  • Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email or a new winner will be chosen.
  • Only one winner per household!
Now, on to the fun! All you have to do is fill out the form!

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  1. Thanks so much for the giveaway and Great interview!

    I just chcked out my life undecided from the library and it seems really funny. I hope you enjoy reading it XD

  2. This book is on my WL! I've been wanting it for ages. It was awesome getting to know the author a bit. I LOVE The Decemberists! I plan to Colin Meloy very soon!
    Thanks so much for the giveaway!