Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Interview with Pieces of Us author Margie Gelbwasser!

Did you enter my Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway yet?

I'm delighted to welcome Margie Gelbwasser back to my blog! Pieces of Us is Margie's sophomore novel, and this is her sophomore interview at my blog! You can read my review of her debut novel, Inconvenient, here, and click here to read Margie's first interview. My review of Pieces of Us can be found here.

Can you describe The Pieces of Us in just a sentence or two?

Told in four points of view, Pieces of Us, is an emotional story that tackles cyberbullying, abuse, and dating violence, and how one character's secret impacts the lives of the other three.

What was your inspiration for this story?

When I was in high school and college, some guys spread rumors about me. They were hurtful to me even though they weren't true. The difference between then and now (this was the 1990s) is that I had the safety zone of my house. These days, teens don't have that kind of escape. Bullies post photos (often doctored) on FaceBook. They tweet abuse. They text. They use videos as leverage to keep their victims silent. The heights bullying has reached these days is disturbing and scary, and I wanted to show that, and, hopefully, give victims of bullying and abuse a voice and encourage them to break the silence.

While both Inconvenient and The Pieces of Us deal with dark topics (alcoholism, domestic violence at the teen level), The Pieces of Usdefinitely has a darker feel to us. Did you know it was going to be a darker novel when you started writing it? Do you favor writing one style over the other?

You know, I didn't know it right away, but as the voices came to me and I wrote the scenes, I could see that that's what was happening. I am very proud of both books, but I do like the style of POU more. As a writer, I feel it pushed me to the next level.

How was the experience of writing and publishing your sophomore novel different from your debut? Were there any similarities?

POU took me much faster to right--first draft was done in 3 months and then fully edited about 3 or 4 months after that. The interesting thing was that because I wrote INCONVENIENT so long ago, I had forgotten how I did it. So writing POU was difficult at first. I couldn't remember how to write a book. LOL Then, I started remembering techniques I did with INC (didn't write it straight through but worked on scenes here and there and then pieced together) and that jumpstarted POU. As for publishing, this was easier with POU as well since Flux gave me a two book deal (sight unseen on the second book) with INC. So it was very comforting to know that this book already had a buyer (assuming my editor didn't hate it, which, thankfully, he didn't). :-)

And as always--what are you working on now (and when can we expect it? LOL)

I am currently working on a YA told in 2 points of view. One story deals with a boy who is abused by his girlfriend; the other is about a girl with her own secrets. Their stories intersect in the middle. I'm only 10K words in, so that's about all I can say about it. As for when you can expect it, let's just hope sooner rather than later. :-p

(oh, that's cruel.) Would you like to share a current favorite read?

A few weeks ago, I finished two books that I loved. The first was Sarah Mlynowski's Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have) and the second was Carolyn Mackler's The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things. I ADORED both books. Not to sound cliched, but they made me laugh and cry. They were the perfect, cozy novels and reminded me so much of Judy Blume novels I loved as a teen. The voice in both was phenomenal, as were the story lines. Next on my list are David Levithan's Every You, Every Me and Carolyn Mackler's and Jay Asher's The Future of Us.

I loved ALL of those books! You're in for a treat with Every You, Every Me, let me tell you.

Thank you, Margie, for stopping by! Pieces of Us is out now, be sure to pick it up (especially if, like me, you prefer your fiction a little darker!). Margie will be signing at the Paramus Barnes & Noble this Thursday at 7:30pm--if you're in the area, you should definitely stop by! I will be hosting my Hunger Games Release Party at the library, so unfortunately I won't be able to attend, but am looking forward to seeing Margie at the epic Teen Author Carnival book signing at Books of Wonder on April 1!

Enjoy your reading!

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