Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Author Interview- Julie Halpern

1) How did you get the idea for The F--- It List?

I have a friend who had cancer, and I only found out by doing an internet search on her. We were semi-estranged at the time. It was weird how the cancer brought us back together, and how we both changed as people, in a good way, over time. That was the original premise of the book, but then my publisher suggested a bucket list book. I read a beautiful and tragic bucket list book about a teen with cancer called “Before I Die” by Jenny Downham, so I didn’t want to do the same thing. But I thought if I combined the ideas- a best friend who has cancer and her bucket list- that could actually be different. And funny. I’m always looking for funny.

2) What are you working on now? Can you tell us anything about it?

Is it bad to say I’m not working on anything? I have a five month-old and five year old [as of the date the book comes out] at home, so I can barely piece together a coherent sentence! When it’s time to write another book, I will be more than ready. Hopefully once my daughter goes to kindergarten next year, and my baby starts napping regularly I’ll have a chunk of time everyday to write again.

3) What's your favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor(s)? Or, if you don't like those, a favorite snack to have while writing or as a reward for writing?

I love Jelly Bellys! There’s a Jelly Belly warehouse that gives tours only fifteen minutes from my house, and I go there about once a month. They sell the best socks. I like a lot of the flavors, but I particularly like their ice cream blend. However, I don’t usually eat while I write. I chew 700 pieces of gum instead.

4) You're married to an illustrator, who you've written a book with (Toby and the Snowflakes). What was that process like, and is it easier to be in a relationship with someone who understands more personally the publishing world?

It’s been so long since we worked on anything together! He’s so busy with putting out a million books a year, and I work solo on my novels. I would love one day to have another book together. The best part about it is that we get to do book events together. And many of our vacations are tax write-offs!

5) You love to travel. Where has been your favorite place to visit, and what place are you still dying to go to?

I lived in Australia and traveled around most of the Eastern half of the continent. I would love to go back and move my family there for a while. That’s one of my “if I become a rich author” dreams. With having two young kids and having quit my job as a librarian, I’m really just dying to travel anywhere. I miss having a steady paycheck and traveling every summer!

6) What book(s) are you reading now, or are about to start?

I’ve been on a non-fiction kick. I loved “You Couldn’t Ignore Me If You Tried: The Brat Pack, John Hughes, and Their Impact on a Generation,” and “A Curious Man: The Strange and Brilliant Life of Robert ‘Believe It or Not!’ Ripley.” I have nothing lined up. I haven’t read fiction in a while because I’m so tired at night that I only manage to read one page at a time. By the time I get to the next page I can’t remember what I’ve read! Babies and no sleep will do that to a person.

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