Earlier this month, I reviewed the book The Summer that Melted Everything (click here!!) by the amazing Tiffany McDaniel. I was lucky enough to secure an interview with the wonderful author and since I’ve seen a few of these around the book blog-o-sphere I took the interview in a different direction than I’ve seen.
Now, read my interview below and let me know what you think!!
1. I hear it took you a month to write this book? How did you manage to sit down and find the time?
It did take me a month. I have eight completed novels and on average they’ve taken me about a month to write. I don’t like for the story to sit for too long so I try to get it down as soon as I can. Time is definitely something that one never seems to have enough of. Sometimes I can get two or three chapters done a day. Other times it feels like I’m working for a week on one sentence. So the productivity comes as it will, but the best thing is to stay focused on that goal of getting the story down. Another thing is to not get distracted and try to get as much work done in the few hours available to me that I can.
2. At points, The Summer that Melted Everything became emotionally charged. Was this an emotionally difficult book to write?
I’ve always said I’m drawn to the crash not the landing. There’s something about those broken pieces and fragments that I want to capture, explore, understand, and show to the reader. My imagination has always been drawn toward these things so for me it’s not working in uncharted territory. It’s working with the stuff I’ve always thought about and wanted to write so I’m ready emotionally to write these very things. That being said I do fall in love with the characters and when something bad happens to them, I feel just as the readers do. No death is taken lightly with me, but as a writer you must be brave. And with that bravery you must be prepared to say goodbye to someone you do indeed love.
3. Are you a daytime or night time writer? Is there a particular time of day when or setting where you prefer to write?
I wrote my first novel during the night. But my other novels I’ve written during the day mostly, with some night-time writing. I don’t really have a preference. As long as the story is there and ready to come out, it doesn’t matter if the moon is in the sky or if the sun is. As far as setting, right now I work at a small desk in the corner of my bedroom. Like every author I dream of that beautiful writing space full of shelves of books around me and the sea raging just outside. Perhaps one day.
4. Did you always want to be a writer? Was there another career that you dreamed of?
I did always want to write. I wouldn’t realize writing was a career to have until I was in middle school and the guidance counselor came to our class to talk to us about what we wanted to do with our lives. My mom and dad had very hard jobs that made them tired and not a lot of money. I thought the work I did in my life would be at a hard job like theirs. Writing was just so wonderful that I didn’t associate it with work. When I realized writing was a career I could have I was taken to the stars by hope alone.
5. What type of research did you end up doing for The Summer that Melted Everything?
I don’t do a lot of research for my novels. If there’s a specific year or time-frame I’m writing about then I’ll look up the major events that happened that time. I like for a story to feel like it can take place in any decade, but still be somewhat defined by the time period it’s in. For TSTME I researched the clothing, the music, the culture that defined that generation. I also learned more about those early years of AIDS, which when you write about the 1980s you almost have to talk about AIDS because the decade and the disease define each other.
6. Any parting advice for aspiring authors out there?
I think the biggest advice to aspiring authors is to never give up. Writing is the easy part. Publishing is what’s hard. I wrote my first novel when I was eighteen. I wouldn’t get a publishing contract until I was twenty-nine for The Summer that Melted Everything, which is my first published novel but my fifth or sixth novel written. For me it was an eleven years of rejection and perseverance. During that long of time, it’s easy to lose the faith that you will be a published author. So I say to aspiring authors, never lose that faith. It may take a long time, but don’t let that defeat you. Write and fight for your dreams.
WOW!! Talk about awesome! She is a true inspiration and as an aspiring author myself, I love the advice she gives!
Here’s a quick summary of her debut novel, The Summer that Melted Everything.
Fielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984: the year a heat wave scorched Breathed, Ohio. The year he became friends with the devil.
Sal seems to appear out of nowhere – a bruised and tattered thirteen-year-old boy claiming to be the devil himself answering an invitation. Fielding Bliss, the son of a local prosecutor, brings him home where he’s welcomed into the Bliss family, assuming he’s a runaway from a nearby farm town.
When word spreads that the devil has come to Breathed, not everyone is happy to welcome this self-proclaimed fallen angel. Murmurs follow him and tensions rise, along with the temperatures as an unbearable heat wave rolls into town right along with him.
As strange accidents start to occur, riled by the feverish heat, some in the town start to believe that Sal is exactly who he claims to be.
While the Bliss family wrestles with their own personal demons, a fanatic drives the town to the brink of a catastrophe that will change this sleepy Ohio backwater forever.
What are you guys up to??