Author Interview: Jayne Pupek (Tomato Girl)

Recently I heard about this great book called Tomato Girl. I read a few reviews and I was sold. In my opinion the book is fantastic. One of my favorite reads of 2008.

I contacted Jayne Pupek, the author. She was very gracious in her correspondence with me. She sent me the book Tomato Girl to read. I read it and loved it. (If you haven’t read it yet then I suggest you put it on your TBR list.)

Jayne also agreed to do an interview for my blog when I asked her. Thank you so very much Jayne. So grab a cup of coffee or something else to drink and enjoy my very first interview with author Jayne Pupek.

Cindy: Who and what influences your witting?

Jayne: Sometimes I think nearly every experience I have or witness influences my writing. I get ideas or form impressions from so many places–the news, my own life, the books I read, the people I’ve worked with in mental health settings, poems, art, photographs, the lives of friends and family, films, and so on. The world is a very interesting place and people are constantly doing unexpected things.

Cindy: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? Why?

Jayne: I’m in awe of J.M. Coetzee, so if I could choose a mentor, he would be it. His novel, Disgrace, is just as close to perfect as any novel I’ve read. I admire his insight and spare prose. He is absolutely brilliant and his work so potent—I’d have to live and write a couple hundred more years to get there.

Cindy: You are working on your second novel. Do you have any idea when it will be done?

Jayne: I expect to finish it this fall. Of course, it takes some time to go from manuscript to published book, so it won’t be available for a year or more.

Cindy: Book bloggers have been reading and reviewing your book and have been saying great things about Tomato Girl. How do you feel about book bloggers?

Jayne: I adore book bloggers because I believe they genuinely love books and take pleasure in sharing the news of good books with other people. They impress me as treasure hunters, always looking for the next really great book. All of the book bloggers I’ve gotten to know have been warm, bright, and enthusiastic.

Cindy: Do you think that word of mouth and bloggers reviews help in promoting a book?

Jayne: I absolutely do. Most readers understandably buy books from authors they already know and love. A new novelist like myself can only succeed with the help of readers who talk about our books and encourage others to read them.

Cindy: I just love the cover of Tomato girl, who designed the cover of Tomato Girl? Did you or do you have input on the cover(s)?

Jayne: Thank you. I have to give all credit for the cover to my publisher. I really had little input on it. I’d had a lot of input on the cover art for my poetry book, so it was hard for me to wait to see what the cover for Tomato Girl would look like. I love how it turned out. I think it is just perfect in terms of matching the story and also reflecting my taste.

Cindy: As a writer do you get much time to read? Who do you enjoy? What are you reading?

Jayne: I don’t read as much while writing a first draft because sometimes another voice can interfere with the voices in my own work. I read a lot of poetry, but in terms of fiction writers, my favorites are Kaye Gibbons, Alice Sebold, Lydia Millet, J.M. Coetzee, Patrick McGrath, Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Hoffman, Thomas Cook, Cormac McCarthy, Toni Morrison, Stephen King. I recently finished The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. Currently, I’m reading The Gargoyle.

Cindy: Do you remember how your interest in witting started?

Jayne: I’ve written since I was old enough to hold a pencil and scribble first words. I wrote my first poem when I was six and never stopped. My teacher, Dora, to whom Tomato Girl is dedicated, nurtured my love of books.

Cindy: What was your inspiration for Tomato Girl?

Jayne: The novel came from a narrative poem I had written earlier. When I decided to write a novel, I turned to my poetry for an idea. I was drawn to the characters in the poem, “Tomato Girl.” I saw the skeleton of a bigger story and believed it was a good place to begin. My many years spent working in mental health inspired me, too, as I care about the issues of mental health and child abuse.

Cindy: Finally do you have anything specific that you would want to say to your readers?

Jayne: I’m deeply grateful to anyone who reads my work, so most of all I would like to say a big Thank You to my readers There are so many wonderful books available that I can only feel honored when someone chooses Tomato Girl.

Thank you once again Jayne for doing this interview for me I truly appreciate.

In honor of my first interview with Jayne, I am hosting my very first book give away. Jayne has offered to one lucky winner a signed copy of Tomato Girl. If you would like to be the winner of this book, please leave a comment here and tell me about your favorite book that you always tell people they have to get and read. I am all about word of mouth advertising. Good luck everyone.

This contest will be open until 12:01AM Sunday. The winner will be announced on Monday September 29th. Don’t forget to put your email addy in the comment so that I can notify you if you win. Sorry this is only US and Canada mailing addresses only.

***Its Monday September 29th and I just used the Truly Random Number Generator and congrats to Avis. She won the book. I have contacted her to get her mailing address. Thank you all that took part. Please check back for more chances to win some great books and prizes.***

I was mentioned On this blog So excited.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

18 thoughts on “Author Interview: Jayne Pupek (Tomato Girl)

  1. bermudaonion says:

    Cindy – don’t enter me, since I already have the book. I just wanted to say great interview. I especially liked the questions about her thoughts on book bloggers. Jayne is so nice and Tomato Girl is fantastic.

  2. Cindy says:

    Thank you bermudaonion for your comments. I was so nervous thinking of questions for Jayne to answer. Jayne is the most gracious author I have met. Tomato Girl is a fantastic book. LOL you know I had to ask about book bloggers. LOL

  3. avisannschild says:

    Hi Cindy,

    Congrats on your first interview! I’ve been hearing all kinds of great things about this book, so please enter me in your giveaway. One of my favourite books that I’m always encouraging folks to read is The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (although there are many others!) Gotta say I don’t share Jayne’s taste in writers, at least not J.M. Coetzee. I read Disgrace because someone gave it to me for my birthday (it’s not the kind of book I’d normally pick up) and well, suffice it to say I won’t be picking up any of his other books…

  4. Sandra says:

    I’d like to read this since someone compared it to Ellen Foster which is one of my favourite books. The Village Of Stone by Xiaolu Guo is the one I recommend to anyone looking for a really good five star novel. Please enter me. Thank you.

  5. Luanne says:

    Hi Cindy – Congrats on doing an author interview! Something I haven’t done yet. It’s aways interesting to hear the inspiration behind their writing. And I’m glad you put the blogger questions in there1 Nice to know we’re appreciated!

    I am always recommending Rush Home Road by Lori Lansens. She is a Canadian author and this was her first novel. A powerful story of personal strenth.

    I have heard really good things bout Tomato Girl and would love an opportunity to win a copy.

    Thanks ( contact info on my blog )

  6. Sara says:

    Please enter me…I have an oldy but goody to recommend…if you haven’t read, Isabel Allende’s THE HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS–pick it up TODAY.
    Sararush at hotmail dot com

  7. Melissa says:

    I have heard great things about Tomato Girl and would love to read it. One of my favorites that I always recommend is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. It is one of the few books that I have read over and over.

  8. Irene Yeates says:

    I started reading a library copy and listed it, “as reading,” on Good Reads. Jayne Pupek sent me an e-mail thanking me for reading her book. Your interview sounds just like her e-mail to me. She really is a “gracious author.” Anyway, I have not finished the book because it was due back with other reserves on it. I thought of THE WELL AND THE MINE (by Gin Phillips), an excellent read. Please enter me; I would love to have my own copy. Thank you…

  9. MonieG says:

    Great interview! I always tell my friends to read the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich and Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen. rocko (at)elp.rr (dot)com.

  10. geebee says:

    I am dying to read TOMATO GIRL! Thanks for the chance to win a copy, and that was a great interview. The book I’ve talking up is TALLGRASS by Sandra Dallas – I’ll probably even have to read it again soon!
    geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

  11. The Tome Traveller says:

    I have heard such great things about Tomato Girl, I would love to win so I can read it! My favorite author, who I am constantly telling people about, is Sharon Kay Penman. I also love Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. Congratulations on your first interview, great job!

  12. Mary K. from L.A. says:

    I agree with Sara ~ “The House of the Spirits” by Allende is wonderful, and was one I was going to suggest! Since she suggested it first, though, I think I’ll suggest “The Sunne in Splendour” by Sharon Kay Penman. I’ve loaned my copy to about 3 people so far, and they all loved it! Can I also suggest another that I just read: “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society?” It too was wonderful.

    I’d love to read “Tomato Girl” after hearing all the good reviews about it. Thanks for the chance to get an autographed copy!

  13. Gayle says:

    Hi – great interview! I am posting about this book tomorrow at I’d love to be entered in the drawing!

    As for a book that I recommend… I am always leery of telling people “You have to read ____” because I take it so personally if they don’t like the book! But I do consistently recommend “Nickel and Dimed” by Barbara Ehrenreich, which really changed my outlook on life.

  14. Wendi B. - Wendi's Book Corner ~ Rainy Day Reading in Seattle says:

    Your interview was just wonderful! I have this book on my Wish List and would love to be entered.

    It was really hard to pick a book, so I will stick to 2008 reads, but I’ve got two that I talk about equally right now – the first (and shorter read) is Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn – love the story, it is rich with characters and story line. Keeps you interested! The second is one I just finished called Midwife of the Blue Ridge by Christine Blevins – I LOVED this story. Christine wrote her story (historical romance) and was able to include a lot of details from the mid 1700’s America. I was impressed that she included some of the harshness of the times along with her story – too many times I’ve read books that give characters only minor challenges, and this seemed more true to the times. I’ve got reviews of both on my blog if anyone is interested in them – if you’ve read them I’d love to hear your feedback on what you thought of them!

    🙂 Wendi
    wbarker (at)

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