Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Live Chat with Deanna Fei Author of A Thread of Sky

    I just wanted to share my live chat experience from today with Deanna Fei author of A Thread of Sky. I haven't read her book yet but it is now on my reading list. If you want a full summary of the book (from good reads review) click here. I know my blog is for children's literacy mainly, but I liked what she shared with her audience today on the chat.  I added a few of her answers below that were related to writing in general. Before the chat on Booktrib.com's homepage today, we watched a short video about Deanna discussing her book A Thread of Sky - the link above.

The title of the live chat:
A THREAD OF SKY E-ventful Book Party
Tuesday, April 26 • 3:00pm - 4:00pm

Deanna Fei answered many questions about her book and shared general questions pertaining to writing, reading, etc.  Unfortunately, she wasn't able to answer all the questions due to the time constraints, but she did a fantastic with the entire interview anyway.

Q- Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Answer from DeannaFei: I know this sounds overly simplistic, but my best advice is this: Read and write. Read great books again and again, with an eye for what you can learn as opposed to what you like. And write every day, whether it's for an hour or 9, whether you produce 1 sentence or 10 pages. Make that time sacred... And try not to worry too much about publication, etc. The truth is, so much of it is a crap shoot!

Q- How did you get started writing books?

Answer from DeannaFei: As for how I got started writing, I really can’t remember a time when literature wasn’t what I loved above all else. When I first started preschool, I was so shy that my teachers thought I had a mental handicap. My mother had to tape me reading “The Cat in the Hat” aloud so that they wouldn’t kick me out of the program! Ever since then, I think I’ve had the idea that books can transform a life.

Q- What are a few of your favorite books?

Answer- DeannaFei: I have the full list on my Facebook page, but here are a few of my "great books": The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood; Emperor of the Air, Ethan Canin; The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler; Edinburgh, Alexander Chee; most stories of John Cheever and Anton Chekhov; Drown, Junot Diaz; Play It As It Lays, Joan Didion; The Virgin Suicides, Jeffrey Eugenides; Bad Behavior, Mary Gaitskill; The Comedians, Graham Greene.

Q- Do you have self doubt while writing?

Answer from DeannaFei: Ah, self-doubt: none of us writers escape it entirely! Maybe for a few days or hours at a time… I had my moments of wanting to throw in the towel like anyone else. It was really the characters who kept me going. I would’ve felt like I was abandoning them.

Q- I didn't catch the question here-
Answer- DeannaFei: Also, I love when readers articulate what the novel is about in a way I hadn't thought of before. Once, a reader in Seattle told me that the book spoke to her so deeply b/c it's about how us women get so used to fighting for everything that we don't know when to stop. And I thought, that's so true!

Q- What writers have influenced you?

Answer from DeannaFei: As for those who asked about writers who’ve influenced me: some of my favorites are Shirley Hazzard, Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, Edith Wharton, John Cheever, and Maxine Hong Kingston. The truth is, I get very anxious every time I answer this Q, but I’m omitting so many names! Still, that is a start.

Q- I have to share – I opened your book to begin reading while in the emergency room with my mother who had just broken her hip. I couldn’t believe your intro. Reading your book was meant to be.

Answer from DeannaFei: That is one of the most moving things I’ve heard in a long while. I’m so glad to hear it, and so grateful to know that my book was of some comfort. One of my favorite writing quotes is from Annie Dillard, and it goes something like: Write as if you were dying. Write as if for an audience of terminal patients. That is, after all, the case.

Check out the entire chat- Click here.
Deanna's sites

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