In this hectic time, I'm here to help you out with yet another book suggestion, courtesy of the GCC: Melissa Clark's Swimming Upstream, Slowly.
Melissa is the creator and executive producer of the award-winning television series, 'Braceface', and has written for shows on the Disney Channel, Cartoon Network and Fox. She received a master's degree from the writing program at U.C. Davis, and currently lives in Los Angeles. This is her first novel. Let's hear from her 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?
Swimming Upstream, Slowly was born because I was having lunch with a friend and overate. I lifted my shirt to expose my bloated belly and the friend said, half joking, "Are you sure you're not pregnant?" and I said, "Yeah, right, from a lazy sperm." I went home that night and started outlining it for a movie. I decided, eventually, to write it as a novel instead. I am usually driven by character, but this book was very plot-y, so I was driven by both in this one.
2.) Who's your favorite character in this book and why?
The Jordan character was initially just a throw-away character, but as I kept writing he became more integral to the plot. It was fun to write those scenes with Sasha and see where they headed.
3.) What's your writing process/writing environment like?
For Swimming... I quit my TV writing job to write the novel. I had the luxury of time and money to do so. I joined a workshop at UCLA and used it as a motivator. I finished the book in a year and three months.
I just finished a draft of a new novel and spent most of my writing time at the Santa Monica Public Library. I teach now, so my writing time is more precious.
4.) What's your favorite part of writing?
Coming up with ideas, finessing scenes, watching two characters meet.
5.) What's the best piece of advice you've ever gotten about writing?
"The best part of being a writer is getting to spend time with other writers" --Myra Freid, writer.
I love, love, love That last quote. It's absolutely true!