Monday, October 31, 2011

Author Interview/Giveaway, The Implosion of Aggie Winchester, Part 2!

Today’s guest post comes from Kristin Lenz, a social worker and writer from Detroit, MI.

Happy Halloween! I’m trick-or-treating around the blogosphere this week with an author interview and giveaway. I started out at YA Fusion interviewing Lara Zielin, author of Donut Days and The Implosion of Aggie Winchester. The interview with Lara continues here:

Tell us about your writing routine.
I have a full-time job so much of my writing is done on the weekends. I’m trying to be better about writing after I punch out, but it can be difficult since I write and edit during my day job. Sometimes the very last thing I want to do is get out my laptop at night! I’m fortunate, though, that I have a group of writers—most of whom I’ve met online—who are very encouraging. If I feel stuck, I can brainstorm with them and get through the tricky parts. Writing is a solitary activity, but I’m convinced every writer needs a writing group for support and cheerleading.

How did The Implosion of Aggie Winchester change or develop further through the editing process?
One of the characters that really came to life through the editing process was Fitz. In the beginning, he was a bit of a wallflower and then, draft by draft, he started to really shine. I love how, by the end, he was such a breath of fresh air for Aggie. He saw her for who she really was—past the makeup and the tough exterior and straight into her heart. He’s absolutely one of my favorite characters of all time.

I loved Fitz too! Aggie is an excellent fisherman – what a fresh idea for a female character. Are you into fishing, or where did this idea come from?
It’s funny, I don’t fish but I latched onto the idea of Aggie doing it because I kept asking myself, What could a Goth girl secretly like that would be so out of character for her? Bass fishing just kept coming to me. I knew zilch about the sport, so I had to attend some meetings of local fishing groups. I’ll admit, they kind of looked at me sideways.

Surprise us – hobbies, pets, sports, quirks, favorites, anything you’d like to share about yourself?
My next novel, The Waiting Sky, takes place in tornado alley, a place that I’ve actually been to on a tornado chase! I booked a “tornado tour” a few years back, and piled in a van with a bunch of other weather geeks. We criss-crossed Tornado Alley for a week chasing down storms and trying to get close to bad weather. We saw crazy storms and a bunch of funnel clouds, but not an actual twister. I have yet to see one of those. But certainly that trip was a huge inspiration for The Waiting Sky. I’m a weather junkie, and my favorite show is Storm Chasers on the Discovery Channel!

The Waiting Sky will be out in August 2012. Thanks for sharing, Lara!

Time to trick-or-treat!

I have a signed copy of The Implosion of Aggie Winchester for one random commenter. (Sorry, U.S. mailing addresses only - it's a hardcover!) Just leave a comment below by Saturday November 5th, and tell us your favorite Halloween treat or tradition.

My annual Halloween tradition: I make a big pot of butternut squash-black bean chili and invite friends and family over for dinner before trick-or-treating. Here’s a recipe similar to mine:

Want a second chance to win? Lara is generously giving away a signed copy of her book at YA Fusion. Check out the interview where Lara talks frankly about sex scenes in YA novels and shares her path to publication.

On Tuesday, I'm sharing a writing tip for the Tip Tuesday feature at Literary Rambles here.


  1. Thanks for the fun interview with Lara! I'm really looking forward to The Waiting Sky.

  2. Researching for books is so much fun. You must have enjoyed the tornado chase!

  3. My favorite treat is 3 Musketeers. I can't believe they actually have tornado tours - I have to admit a fascination with tornados myself - you must have had quite an adventure!

  4. I absolutely love dressing up (not as something scary) and I love Butterfingers.

  5. OMG, I love candy corn. I wait all year to see it in stores. Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. Thanks for stopping by! Two more days to enter the giveaway, then I'll randomly choose a winner.

  7. We go camping every Halloween and let the kids trick-or-treat around our circle of RVs. So much fun!

    (Kristin, don't include me in the giveaway, just wanted to "play" too)

  8. My favorite Halloween tradition is that we change the lights in the common areas to colored bulbs. Thus far, we've stuck to red and black, but maybe we can branch out to green or blue! (extemter at hotmail dto com)

  9. My favourite Halloween tradition is kind of no longer one, but when I was much, much younger, I used to go over to my friend's house (read: boyfriend of five-years-old) and we would dress up together and go trick-o-treating.