Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Writers in Their Own Words-GCC

This morning I am thrilled to be introducing you to my buddy Jenny Gardiner's memoir, WINGING IT! It's getting great press . . .

"Often comical and sometimes tragic but never dull, Gardiner's memoir proves that the hope of having a model pet (or child) is usually not realistic. It will speak to animal lovers and offer fair warning to anyone considering the 40-year-plus commitment of owning a parrot." --Library Journal

"As sweet as a song and sharp as a beak, Winging It really soars as a memoir about family--children and husbands, feathers and fur--and our capacity to keep loving though life may occasionally bite."
--Wade Rouse, bestselling author of At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream, and Confessions of a Prep School Mommy Handler

And, I know from personal experience and her debut novel, Sleeping With Ward Cleaver, that Jenny will absolutely make you laugh out loud. Now, let's hear from Jenny 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?

We've had this crazy parrot for almost 2 decades and people are always so entertained by her and stories about her, so I thought it would be fun to do a book. My sort of funny backstory is YEARS ago, I was sitting in a bat mitzvah, and I get really antsy when I'm a captive audience, especially when everything isn't in a language I can remotely understand. So when I was sitting there for like 3-1/2 arduous hours (it was a high holiday so they had a huge service with it), I pulled out a notebook and pen and HANDWROTE four chapters of what would eventually become this book...

2.) Who's your favorite character in this book and why?

Well, I know this is a question to be applied to a novel, but I'll bite anyhow ;-). Graycie, my parrot. Because she is a complex character with both internal and external conflicts, and her arriving at our doorstep with many imperfections and issues then led to both internal and external conflict with me and my family. hehe

3.) What's your writing process/writing environment like?

I write very catch as catch can. I have 3 teens and lots of pets and so much going on, I try to steal time whenever possible. I prefer to write in the morning. If I'm on deadline, I will escape to a coffee shop--I have a favorite where I can tuck into the back of the shop and tune everything out. But I can't do that often because I'd feel badly leaving my pets home unattended--they get very unhappy when they're left alone for long (and then they cause trouble!).

4.) What's your favorite part of writing?

I love to just concoct things out of nothing. And to take various bits of information and weave them together into a cohesive story. It's always a challenge and the process of it is so fun (especially if there aren't things getting in the way of your being able to focus on the writing).

5.) What's the best piece of advice you've ever gotten about writing?

Just go with your gut and write what's in you. I do believe that ultimately that's how the best book will be written.


Jenny Gardiner said...

thank you so much for having me as a guest! we'll miss you this weekend!!

Sharon Mayhew said...

Judy--Great interview! Not too long, not too short...Just right! I hope you are still okay with me interviewing you???

Daisy said...

Long ago, and not so far away, I worked in a tourist gift store. The owners had parrots, and I would often walk around with one on my shoulder. It got a little spooky when I started hearing my own voice coming out of the bird on my shoulder, welcoming customers and saying, "Let me know if I can help!"