Please give a warm welcome to Jillian Cantor, the author of the highly anticipated novel, The September Sisters, which will be releases on February 24th, 2009 (eeeep! Sorry i bombarded you with questions Jillian!) Please click HERE to read the summary!
Here is the AMAZING conversation i had with her:
1) Your first book, The September Sisters, which will be released in February 2009, discusses the constant conflict and bantering of siblings. How did you accumulate the feelings, or tenor, of two sisters?
I actually do have a younger sister. (And I have some pictures of us on my website in the “story behind the story” here: http://www.jilliancantor.com/Story.htm ). But yeah, living it, growing up with a younger sister, really did give me the background I needed to write about sister relationships in the book. In the first chapter of the book, the two sisters are fighting in the pool over an inner tube – absolutely a real occurrence in my own childhood. My sister and I always fought over things in the pool!
2) What inspired you to write The September Sisters?
I’m not sure it was one thing. Once I got into my twenties, and my sister and I actually became friends, I started to think a lot about what our relationship was like growing up. (We hated each other when we were younger!) At the time I wrote the book, there were also a lot of stories in the news about missing children, and it occurred to me to think about what might happen to the sister of a child who disappeared. I also wondered, how would my own life have been different without my sister?
3)What is it you want the readers to be thinking and/or feeling when they are reading your book? What is it that you want your readers to get from it?
Well, first and foremost I want readers to enjoy the book! I love becoming absorbed in a book –so that I feel the characters as real people and become emotionally involved in their lives, and I hope when people read my book they have that sort of all-consuming experience.
4)I hear you love to read (we have that in common. dont we, guys?). What is your favorite classic (Mine is Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte)?
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – every time I reread it, I always fall in love with it all over again.
5)What are your five favorite books?
Wow! It’s tough to pick only 5, but here goes: Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen, A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb, and Birds of America by Lorrie Moore.
6) Random Question: What was running through your mind when you saw that i had sent you yet ANOTHER email, this one containing these questions?
I’m thrilled that you’re excited about the book.
7)What was the last book you read? What did you think about it? Why did you choose that book?
Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston. Lesley and I blog together at The Novel Girls – http://www.thenovelgirls.blogspot.com , and I was totally blown away by how smart and beautiful the book is. Right now I’m in the middle of reading All We Know of Heaven by Jacqueline Mitchard – it’s depressing but also captivating. I found this one at the library!
8)For me, music is a key point in writing. Are there any certain types of genres and/or bands/artists/songs you were drawn to while writing both the September Sisters and its sequel (which, to my knowledge, is being released in 2010)? Were any certain songs inspirational?
Just to clarify – my second book will be out from Harperteen in 2010, but it’s not a sequel to The September Sisters. It’s called The Life of Glass, and it’s about a 14-year-old girl who learns about life, love, and beauty in her freshman year of high school. But back to your question: I never listen to music when I write. I need total quiet to think and become absorbed in the story and the characters – music always takes me out of that. Although I do love music (I’m even married to a musician/songwriter!) – just not when I’m writing! I love strong female singers like Sarah McLachlan, Kelly Clarkson, Colbie Callet, and Sara Bareilles. I also really like John Mayer and Jason Mraz.
9) From what I got from reading your About Me on your website, http://www.blogger.com/, you had to definitely work hard to even get the September Sisters written, let alone PUBLUSHED. Do you think that persistence is the key to getting a book written/published? If so, why? If not, please explain.
Yes, I think that’s a big part of it. You can’t give up on yourself even when you get a lot of rejection, or even if the first thing you write doesn’t sell. But I think it’s a combination of other things, too, good writing and luck. You could be the best writer but not get published if what you wrote isn’t what agents or editors are looking for. You still have to be in the right place at the right time. And that’s where the persistence and the luck come in. Hanging in there until you find that right one person who loves your work, even if 100 other people don’t, and being lucky enough to connect with that person to begin with – both play a big role in getting published.
10)What is something you would tell a young writer (like a young adult/adolecent) unwilling to pursue their dream to become an author?
Being a writer (usually) isn’t an easy choice or an easy career path. But if it’s what you love and if writing makes you happy, then find a way to write. Focus on becoming a good writer and on making your craft really excellent. Most writers have “day” jobs, too, so be realistic about it – there’s a very good chance you won’t be able to support yourself as an author when you first start out, if ever. But don’t give up on a dream! I didn’t give up on mine.
11)We are all really looking forward to the September Sisters. What is something you feel we should know about the book?
The September Sisters is about what happens to a girl’s life after her sister disappears, but it’s also a love story, about falling in love for the first time, in particular. This is one of my personal favorite aspects of the book! The September Sisters comes out on February 24th, and you can pre-order it on Amazon now. Oh, and stop by my website www.jilliancantor.com .
Thanks a ton, Jillian!