Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Writers in their own words-GCC
I don't know about you, but I've occasionally wondered about heaven. I had a few years when, thanks to the boffo movie Field of Dreams, I figured that if heaven was in Iowa, at least Kevin Costner would be there. But, then, at least in my opinion, he got a little weird, so I had to reconsider my options. Well, luckily for all of us, Karen Neches has her own ideas, which she's only to happy to share with us in her new novel, Earthly Pleasures which has been named a Booksense Notable title for February.
It's been described as, "...Appealingly unorthodox... a heaven where angels lust, drink and follow terrestrial celebrity gossip… A tangled story of cold ambition and true love unspools. Neches’s funny and sweet novel shows that to err is human and angelic as well."
Here's what others are saying:
"Karen Neches’s novel is an intriguing love story with a rare combination of both wit and depth. In her fresh voice Neches gives us an innovative version of heaven where the one true thing still remains: love that transcends both time and space."
--Patti Callahan Henry, National bestselling novelist of Between the Tides
“Earthly Pleasures is more than just a novel. It's a dream, a calling, a divine trip from which you won't want to come home. I loved it!—Valerie Frankel, author of I Take This Man and Hex and the Single Girl.
Now, let's hear from Karen in her own words:
1.) How did you come up with the idea for this book? Are you more driven by plot or by character?
I was intrigued by the idea of an impossible love story. EARTHLY PLEASURES is about a greeter in Heaven named Skye Sebring who falls in love with a mortal on Earth. She follows him back to Earth—a strange world she knows nothing about—until she learns that all life’s lessons can be learned from the lyrics of five Beatle songs.
I also love world building. My Heaven is this terribly kitschy place, a lot like Disney World or Gatlinburg TN.
2.) Who's your favorite character in this book and why?
God is my favorite. She’s bawdy, irreverent—a lot like Bette Midler.
3.) What's your writing process/writing environment like?
Diet Coke in crushed ice, never cubed. EXTRA gum on hand, watermelon flavor only. I sit in a chair with my laptop (so there’s no internet to distract me.) I also like it quiet. I can’t even to instrumental music when I write. That said, if conditions weren’t ideal, I can still write I’ll just be bitter about it.
I try to get the book out in less than six months, writing 1,000 words a day and I don’t edit myself. The book is a horrible, unreadable mess which takes me at least another six months to sort out.
4.) What's your favorite part of writing?
The polishing. I know I’m done when I can read through it without wincing once.
5.) What's the best piece of advice you've ever gotten about writing?
To write through any blocks, just keep going even if you’re writing one-hundred percent dreck. It can always be fixed.
I have to say a heaven that includes Beatles' songs and a god who can be compared to Bette Midler sounds like a pretty good read. Check it out!