Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Get to Know...Valerie Thomas

Photo by Julienne Schaer
(click on photo to go to the Karma Bites website)

Recently I reviewed Karma Bites, an adorable, fun, and soul-searching middle grade novel. Valerie Thomas, one of the authors, very graciously granted me an interview for my blog!!

1. I love the title Karma Bites because it not only speaks to all of the great little recipes that are mentioned then shown in the book, but also because it references how karma can come back around if someone is constantly awful. How did you come up with that specific title?

As is often the case, we had a hard time coming up with a title at first. We had a few that were quite long, too long, and some that were just bad. The phrase “Karma Bites” was in the book before we realized it would make a great, punchy title. And we love it because it really is what the book is about. The idea that your actions matter, and that they will come back to you, good or bad.

2. If you could ask for one recipe from the Karma box…what would you want it to do?

In all honesty I think I wouldn’t want one, because, as Franny finds out, once you begin to tinker with things like that, it’s a bit of a domino effect. But…if I had to choose one, I would say a recipe that keeps my whirling mind at peace a little more. Especially as a writer, I find that my constant stream of thoughts, good and bad, gets in the way of my work, and my life, so I’d love a recipe that could counter that.
*Ohhh! That's a good one...

3. How was the process of working with another author to create a novel? Different from working with other authors for TV/movies?

Stacy and I have a great working relationship which we’ve honed over the years. We used to write screenplays together, and though the formats are different, it’s the same basic process when you’re writing with a partner. We are very honest with one another, and we respect each other, so we are able to plough forward without getting our feelings hurt too much. We talk about plot and story a lot, and then one of us dives into a chapter, eventually passing it back to the other. This goes on and on and on, with constant rewrites and polishes, until there’s a draft.

4. Will you and Stacy Kramer be writing another book starring the same characters?

At the moment we are writing a YA novel which we just sold (partial manuscript) to Simon and Schuster!! *squee!!* So, we are very excited about that. It has nothing to do with Karma Bites, but we would be delighted to write a sequel to Karma Bites if that’s in the cards.

5. What was the last book that you read that you would recommend to other readers?

I read a lot, but the last YA book I read that really blew me away was BEFORE I FALL. I thought it was incredibly well crafted, and even though it’s kind of glossy on the surface, it’s very moving and meaningful.
*One of my top picks for this year, too. Excellent can see my review here.

6. Quick Picks: Favorite Vacation Destination? Favorite Childhood Book? Favorite Movie? Favorite Food? Favorite Clothing Item?

Hawaii. Island of the Blue Dolphins. Silence of the Lambs (partly because it was the first movie I worked on). My Mom’s Chinese noodles. Perfect tank top.

Thank you so much, Valerie, for answering my questions!
If you haven't already picked up Karma Bites, check it out!!

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