Monday, March 16, 2009
Book Launch: Jane in Bloom
Another 2k9 book launch interview, this with author Deborah Lytton for her debut JANE IN BLOOM:
Congratulations on the publication of your novel, JANE IN BLOOM. It is a moving and lovely story. What inspired it?
JANE IN BLOOM was inspired by a piece I saw on television about forgotten siblings. They were the ones lost in a family which was centered on a problem child. These children felt like they were invisible. I found the piece so moving that I wanted to write a book about a girl who felt invisible because she was the forgotten sister.
You deal with several difficult issues (feel free to elaborate, if you like). Was it challenging for you to address these questions?
The difficult issues I deal with in the book are eating disorders, grief and family dysfunction. It was challenging and exhausting to write this book. I was on an emotional rollercoaster along with my main character, Jane, but it was the only way I knew to write her story. Doing the research on eating disorders was painful because the first-hand accounts are heart-wrenching. I think the hardest part of writing this story was in making it realistic but also appropriate for younger readers. I wanted parents to be comfortable with their children reading this book.
How long have you been writing for children/teens? Have you written other books or is this your first effort?
I have been writing for children/teens for about eight years, and JANE IN BLOOM is my sixth novel, although it’s my first published book.
Can you describe your path to the publication of JANE IN BLOOM?
JANE IN BLOOM was submitted as a completed manuscript by my agent, Stacey Glick of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. Julie Strauss-Gabel was interested in the manuscript, but wanted me to incorporate her notes in a revision. I revised the manuscript, and the next thing I knew, I had my first book deal with Dutton Children’s Books. After that, I began working on some additional revisions. Julie is an incredible editor because she supports the work and gives the writer so much freedom. The revision process was incredibly smooth. The hardest part has been waiting for the book to be released.
Do you have any advice for beginning writers?
Write something you love, because you may be working on it for a long time.
Try to listen to criticism and apply it if it makes sense to you, but don’t let it discourage you from writing. Write. Every day. And try not to self-edit as you go, but try to give yourself the freedom to create.
Read, all kinds of different books but especially read the kinds of books you want to write.
Can you tell us something about your personal life – inspirations, plans for the future, goals, etc.?
My biggest inspirations are my two daughters. It means so much to me to show them that dreams come true. After my release date, we’re going to the bookstore together so they can buy my book. I can’t wait.
Do you have any new writing ventures underway?
I have just completed a new YA manuscript which I am really excited about. And I have started writing my next middle grade novel. In it, the main character plays guitar, so I am learning to play the guitar.
Do you have a website where readers can learn more about JANE IN BLOOM?
My website is www.deborahlytton.com. I have a section for people to write to me. I would love to hear from readers!