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.
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