Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Girl Unmoored by Jennifer : Interview

Suitable for YA and Mature Readers

Girl Unmoored is the story of a 13 year-old girl who befriends two gay men in 1985; a time when homophobia is rampant. This is a story about friendship, the kind that keeps you anchored when everything else falls apart. The kind that can save you.

Design Elements by Word Art World. Rainbow by Mandy King.

At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I was seven years old, I was brushing my teeth one day, trying not to notice my freckles, when suddenly the girl in the mirror started talking. “Guess what? You’re going to be a writer.” This was not good news. Writers were not famous, not pretty, and they were old. “No way,” I said. But the girl in the mirror smirked. “And it’s not going to happen until you’re like, forty.” I was crestfallen. I had much bigger plans, like becoming a professional Avon Lady. I told that little girl she was wrong, but by fourth grade, I knew she was right. She’s been my inspiration ever since.

 How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?
With Girl Unmoored, Apron led the way. All I knew going into the story was that Apron’s mother had died and she was very distant from her already unemotional father. I also knew there was a mean female character lurking in there somewhere. I didn’t know Mike was going to show up, and that surprised me. (It surprises Apron, too.) Chad surprised both of us. Once each of these characters began speaking, in my head and on the paper, their motives unfolded, and when this happens they start leaving breadcrumbs.

Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?
Writers will always tell you to read as much as you can. And it’s true. But just as important, I think, is to listen. Real dialogue (inner and outer) is not spoken the way we tend to write it. It’s staccato, incorrect, and messy. Stepping back and really listening to what people around you are saying is paramount for creating a convincing character.
Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research. Where would you go?
Outer space. Right now I’m writing a fantasy fairy-ish tale. If there were any possible way I could catch a ride on a meteor or hang out on a piece of space junk, it would really help me along with my setting. Maybe I should ask Richard Branson for a ride.   
Ha! That would be super cool! Nobody has ever given that answer to this question. LOL! Is there one passage in your book that you feel gets to the heart of your book and would encourage people to read it?  If so, can you share it?
I looked back at all those people I didn’t know and thought about how small your heart is but how big of a space it takes up. And how, even though you can’t see it, that heart space grows so quietly across a room or up some stairs into someone else’s living room, that even if you never step foot in it again, the air in there is changed forever. (298)

Does your significant other read your stuff?
No! The first time my husband read Girl Unmoored was when I handed him a galley. He had read a very early manuscript of the book, but that was the last time I ever showed it to him. I figured out that just like most things after 11 pm, nothing good can happen by showing the person who loves you your manuscript.

ROTF!! That is too funny!! Thanks so much for coming by today. It’s been so much fun chatting!

Jennifer Gooch Hummer has worked as a script analyst for various talent agencies and major film studios. Her short stories have been published in Miranda Magazine, Our Stories, Glimmertrain and Fish. She has continued graduate studies in the Writer’s Program at UCLA, where she was awarded the Kirkwood Prize in fiction. Currently, Jennifer lives in Southern California and Maine with her husband and their three daughters.
There is a special contest going on right now on Jennifer's Website. It's easy entry for a chance to win a Kindle Fire, and all sorts of other awesome prizes! Check it out! Ends April 6th so HURRY!

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