Saturday, June 5, 2010

author interview: allison winn scotch

So not only was Allison Winn Scotch awesome enough to answer my "where on earth is Westlake supposed to be" question regarding her latest book (The One That I Want), she also took to time to answer some questions to be shared right here on my blog!

One of your books, Time of My Life, is being turned into a film! What has that process been like for you?

So far, so good! I’ve been very fortunate in that the producers have taken the time to ask for my insights, as well as taken the time to really, I think, understand the nuance and meaning behind the book, so I really trust whatever it is that they do for it. I don’t think a lot of authors are afforded this consideration, so I feel grateful to have been. They’ve even gleaned some of my casting ideas, so now, my fingers are just crossed for the next step in the process: green lighting the film itself!

On your blog you give a lot of insight into the life of a writer along with some great advice. What piece of advice was most helpful to you and who gave it to you?

I was fortunate enough, back when I’d written a manuscript that got me representation but didn’t sell to a publisher, to have an old college friend who worked as an editor. She read said manuscript and told me that I could be a really excellent writer but I didn’t understand quite how to write a solid book just yet. She told me how I used too much exposition and how I needed to create more action, and though this wasn’t ADVICE, I’d say that the lessons she imparted: that you’re never as good as you think, and that there is always room for improvement, were and are the most valuable ones I’ve learned along the way. Constructive criticism, in this field, is a BLESSING, and aspiring writers should be wise to listen to it when offered.

What was your favorite book as a child?

I’m not sure as a child – I loved a lot of Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary – but as a teen, I was obsessed with Stephen King. I mean, couldn’t get enough of him. The Stand is probably my favorite of his, but I read them all from Cujo to Christine to Pet Sematary.

What book (your own or someone else's) has had the most impact on your life?

Oh gosh, what a big question! Well, this might sound strange, but along with her constructive advice, my editor friend whom I mentioned above, recommended that I read Good Grief by Lolly Winston. She said that she thought that was what I was capable of, but that I needed to read it to figure out how to build a book properly. I read it – and LOVED it – and it all sort of clicked into to, well, actually write a book, as opposed to how I thought you wrote a book. :) So I’d say Good Grief because I sincerely don’t know if I’d have written my debut without reading it and finally “getting” it.

What's up next for you?

I’m just wrapping up my draft of my 2011 book, The Memory of Us, which is about a woman who survives a plane crash but loses her memory in the process and has to piece her life back together with the stories told to her from folks around her. I’m really enjoying it and think it’s a nice companion piece to Time and The One. Sort of a middle ground, in terms of tone and feel.

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