Hello my little munchkins. How are you all doing? I am doing pretty well. It is the second week of break and let me tell you I am loving it besides the stress of homework being done once more. But hey, that’s life. Recently I have been looking at colleges and trying to determine what majors and jobs that I may want to do and wow is it a lot of work. However, that is all before trying to study for the SATs and ACTs.
Anyways, why don’t we get into this interview?
Oh and a little tad bit that I will mention once again at the end is that this book is being published by Charlesbridge Teen on June 25th so don’t forget to go check it out and hopefully buy it!
What made you want to write this book?
The short answer is—I didn’t want to write it! Back in the 90s a screenwriting mentor of mine suggested that I write about my experience of getting sick as a young teen. I bristled at the idea. Not only did I question whether audiences would be interested, but I also wasn’t crazy about the inspirational filter through which many stories about sick kids are told. It didn’t seem authentic to my own story—I wasn’t inspiring, I was pissed off! Eventually, I discovered the angry, snarky voice of my protagonist Ricky. She was my entry into the authentic story I ended up writing.
What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your character?
All names have been changed to protect the innocent! But seriously, because my book Cursed is drawn from personal experience, there are many parallels to my own life and my family. Early on, I worried that the cantankerous relationship between my main character and her father might be rough on my own dad. Ricky’s assessment of both of her parents, who she refers to as The-Disaster-Formerly-Known-As-My-Parents, is pretty negative. But she’s the classic unreliable narrator and I think my parents (and hopefully readers) will understand that. Plus, an author friend advised me that, if I dedicated the book to my parents, all would be forgiven anyway!
What word would sum up your book?
Frank. Or maybe brutal. But also funny and real. Okay, that’s four words.
What is your favorite quote of your book?
Naturally, it’s tough to deem one quote my “favorite.” But there’s a conversation between my main character Ricky and her friend Oliver (a cancer survivor) about the fundraising term dazzle factor. Oliver explains to Ricky that certain illnesses and medical conditions garner more charitable donations than others, based on their higher dazzle factor. This is news to Ricky. In response to this revelation she says, “That’s kind of interesting . . . in a sad, horrifying way. I mean, even diseases struggle to be popular.” Part of Ricky’s story is that the chronic illness she’s diagnosed with isn’t only horribly painful but also somewhat mundane and embarrassing, adding insult to injury. So I think this quote really speaks to the predicament in which Ricky finds herself.
When did you decide that you wanted to become a writer? / When did you first start writing?
My second grade teacher wrote of me in a school evaluation: “Karol’s adventures in the world of writing are a delight. She is a very creative and imaginative child.” Still, I wasn’t one of those people who “always knew she wanted to be a writer.” Looking back ay my childhood though, it’s clear that I’ve been a storyteller since a very young age. I remember creating ongoing soap-opera-like stories with my community of dolls and stuffed animals. They were divided into families and groups and would have romances, fights and reconciliations. I was interested in acting and circus arts as a kid and then film and television producing as a young adult. It took me a while to realize that writing was my greatest joy, first focusing on screenwriting and then beginning to write children’s books as well.
What is your writing kryptonite?
Do you google yourself?
Never. Really. I swear. Who does that? (Okay—yes, of course.)
What do you believe is the hardest part of writing?
Assuming the position. Seriously, once I finally—after endless procrastination—assume the position and put my fingers on the keyboard, generally the writing itself isn’t too difficult. Anticipatory dread is about 95% of my process.
How can your readers discover more about you and your work?
They can follow me on Twitter—@KRSilverstein and check out my website: http://www.karolruthsilverstein.com
That’s the end of the interview. I will be coming out with a little more information about this book and the author soon. Did you all like this post? Are you excited to here more about the book?
P.S. Karol’s debut YA novel, CURSED, comes out June 25 from Charlesbridge Teen So don’t forget to go check it out and either pre-order or get it once it comes out! It will be a good read!!!