Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Author Interview + Contest: Helen Landalf
Of all the animals you could have used, why birds?
Actually, I didn’t choose birds; they chose me. Before I began the novel, I knew I wanted to write about Stevie and her mom and her aunt, but I also knew that something was missing. One day as I was walking down the street, brainstorming, I noticed a baby bird lying on the sidewalk. It must have fallen out of its nest. It looked so helpless, and my urge to rescue it was so strong, that I knew at that moment that working with injured and orphaned birds would be the perfect way for Stevie to learn about survival without a mother’s care, about the limitations of rescue, and about letting go.
Which character surprised you the most as you were writing this?
I would have to say The Professor, because he didn’t show up until my final revision with my agent, just before we began to shop the book. It was my agent’s idea to add a male character who would act as a decoy for Stevie’s relationship with Alan, but The Professor also ended up serving, along with Stevie’s friend Tonya, as a bridge between Stevie’s old life with Mom and her new life with her Aunt Mindy.
Wow, that’s a tough one! I think Stevie needs someone smart, but a little bit wild, who has an offbeat sense of humor, so I’m going to pair her with Holden Caulfield in J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye. Alan, on the other hand, needs someone strong, yet sensitive enough to see the vulnerability underneath his armor. I think Hermione from the Harry Potter series would be a great match for him (sorry, Ron!).
What god/goddess would be your nemesis?
My nemesis would probably be Hestia, the goddess of the hearth. Don’t get me wrong: I love my home and family. But I’ve always been a bit of a restless spirit, never content to stay in one place. I’m excited about so many things; I want to go out and conquer the world!
What kind of cookie would you describe yourself as?
I once tried this cookie that looked like a regular chocolate cookie, but when you bit into it, you tasted a dash of cayenne. It was sweet, but with a surprising kick. That would be me.
Thank you, Helen, and that is the first time I've heard that answer for my cookie question! Those do sound good though...
Anyhow. Now is your chance to win a copy of Flyaway!
To enter, just fill out THIS form.
This contest is US Only and ends December 27.
Posted by Kari Olson at 8:15 AM