Friday, February 4, 2011

The Author Next Door

Hi Readers,

As you wait with bated breath to find out who the winner of the 100th Post Celebration Prize Pack is, enjoy this interview with Selene Castrovilla!

Carly Reads: Reading “The Girl Next Door” was so hard because I came to love and care about Jesse and Sam. Was it difficult to write “The Girl Next Door?” Did your feelings towards the characters make it hard to write and carry out their story?
Selene Castrovilla: It was very hard to write this book. I wouldn’t have chosen the subject, frankly. I dreamed the story, and it came pouring out of me (I wrote it in three months, concurrently with my first novel, “Saved By the Music.”) It was like the characters channeled through me. I have to say it was smooth writing technically – it just flowed out because Sam told me what to write. But it was gut wrenching. I still cry when I read it.

CR: What are your feelings on the power of books to help teenagers deal with illness and grief? I see “The Girl Next Door” as being a book with the potential to help a lot of teens.  Did you write it with that in mind?
SC: I think books are wonderful tools for dealing with pain and grief. They helped me through so much when I was a teen. A book can sympathize, empathize, express what we cannot and carry us even further than we thought possible. It can be taken at one’s own speed, and interpreted in one’s own way. I was aware of this as I wrote the book, but it wasn’t primary in my mind. I knew if I told Sam & Jess’s "truths," then they would find their way to where they were needed in the world.

CR: Are you working on any projects (new books!) that you can tell us about?
SC: I have two more completed novels, one of which will be out soon. It’s called “Melt.” It’s a love story told in dual first person. One of them has had a very bad childhood, and he has been damaged by that. I’m very proud of this book.

CR: What books are on your list of “Five Books I Couldn’t Live Without?”
SC: “Macbeth,” “The Catcher in the Rye,” “As I Lay Dying,” “Choke,” “Fight Club.”

CR: What author are you most looking forward to meeting and/or seeing at the Sixth Annual Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival?
SC: I love Ellen Hopkins’ gusto, and we are Facebook friends, so I really look forward to meeting her there!
P.S. I invite and encourage everyone to friend me on Facebook!!!

Selene, thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions for us.  We can’t wait to meet you in May!

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