Archives for September 2010

An Interview with Mindi Scott

FREEFALL is a book I’ve been dying to read for a very long time now, and IT COMES OUT TODAY, PEOPLE! I’m so excited!
I’ve been reading Mindi Scott’s blog for years, and have loved following her path to publication. I got to meet Mindi while I was in Seattle this summer. She’s as lovely and sweet and funny in person as she is on her blog. If you have the chance to go to one of her book events, do it! And if you don’t, you can still read FREEFALL, so do that, okay? :)

Mindi was so kind to answer some of my questions:
1. What inspired FREEFALL?

I started writing this book because I had an idea for a love story between a boy and a girl who had each faced tragedy. Everything just evolved from there, and the emotional journal of Seth (my narrator) became the real focus for me. I loved the challenge of showing how he could change in unexpected ways by letting other people in.

2. What kind of research did you have to do to write from the perspective of a teenage boy?

I read a lot of books written in that perspective just to get started. In fact, reading LOOKING FOR ALASKA by John Green was what inspired me to tell this story from the point of view of the boy instead of the girl. Also, I had my husband read all the scenes when I’d finish them. He isn’t a teenage boy, but he used to be one, so he was very helpful in letting me know when Seth wasn’t perhaps being boyish enough.

3. You publish diary entries from your diary as a teenager on your website. What made you decide to do this? Who is Carnation?

Ha! You know, I really don’t know what possessed me to do this. I was just trying to think of some content that I could add to my website regularly. For some reason, the journals popped into my head as something I could share.

Carnation is the name I gave the journal that I used when I was 14. Anne Frank wrote to “Kitty”, so that she would feel that there was a friend out there who was reading her words. I stole that idea. Except… Carnation wasn’t an imaginary human friend at all. Carnation was the actual book’s name. Like, sometimes I’d write things like, “Carnation, did you have a nice day today, waiting for me to come home and write in you?”

Um, weird.

4. I know you’re a huge music fan and your husband is in a band. How does music influence your writing?

Music is a big deal in FREEFALL. Seth is in a band and playing music is important to him, so it’s woven throughout the story. (Although, it isn’t the main story.) Other characters that I’ve written/am writing/will write don’t/won’t necessarily have anything to do with music. But I do choose to listen to whatever helps me find a character’s essence while I’m writing.

5. What’s your writing schedule like? Do you have a specific writing spot?

I have my work schedule and personal life arranged so that I can write on Wednesdays, Thursdays, every other Friday, and some weekend days. I write many of my first drafts longhand while riding the bus. All of my revised work is done at my desk in front of my computer.

6. What’s next for you?

I have more contemporary YA in the works. At this time, I don’t have a contract for a second book, so I’m not really sure which is going to be next. I have high hopes for a certain one that I’m working on, though. We’ll see! :-)

FREEFALL hits stores today! Congratulations, Mindi!

New Addition to the Prize Pack

Orvis sent me a press release about their 2011 Dog Photo Contest Calendar:

“Great news, dog lovers! The Orvis Company’s 2010 customer dog photo contest was so successful that they designed their new calendar around the best shots. Each month features full- color images of adorable, happy dogs swimming, lounging, and jumping together in the great outdoors. In January, one dog peeks out from behind a spray of winter flowers in a snowy field; in July, another leaps playfully off a wooden dock into a crystal-clear lake. Orvis has collaborated with the Morris Animal Foundation to help fight canine cancer; Dylan, the golden retriever on the front cover, is a cancer survivor himself, and an important inspiration to the Canine Cancer Campaign. The generous donations they’ve received have helped fund research and treatments aimed at curing canine cancer within the next 10 to 20 years.

Warm your heart all year long with this gorgeous hanging calendar, knowing that the proceeds are benefitting a company that is working hard to help the animals you love. To find out more about the campaign, donate, or enter your own doggy photo in the next contest, visit”

The calendar is adorable, and I love that the proceeds are going to help fight canine cancer, especially after what we went through with Argo a few years ago.

Orvis was kind enough to send along a calendar for me to give away, and I’m adding it to the STAY prize pack! The contest will close on October 31st, and I’ll be adding a new prize every Friday from now until then, so get your photos in soon!

The pants are the best part.

My head is swimming right now. New characters, and a fun side project with a friend, the last day of my virtual book tour, fall, laundry, bills, life, food (seriously, why can’t we just eat one huge meal once a month instead of all this three times a day every day crap?), and all sorts of other stuff. I’ve fallen into the trap of having too many random little things to blog about, so I haven’t been blogging at all. So here’s another list post.

  • Now that I’ve painted my office, the hallway is bugging me. And the basement. And the front step needs fixing, and the floor in the entry way needs tiling and maybe I can learn how to tile, and the laundry room could use new flooring and . . . There’s an episode of Northern Exposure where Maggie goes a little nuts nesting for the long up coming winter. I feel like that. I love fall, but winter in Rochester looms at the end of it making big mean snarly faces, and I’m not sure I’m ready for it.
  • Am I the kind of writer who can pull off a sentence like the last one? I think maybe not. Looms? That’s a little pompous. I’m not pompous. Goofy, yes. Pompous, no. I don’t have the energy for it.
  • I’ve been posting all my review/interview links on the Facebook page, so I don’t want to duplicate efforts here and have you be all, we know already for frack’s sake! So if you’re looking for links, that’s where they are!
  • I will add one duplicate link here though – I was on Reading With Robin last week, and in addition to my interview, she has a long list of author interview podcasts on her site. I’m in love with listening to them. Robin is so much fun to talk with and she asks great questions.
  • My book group read THE THINGS THEY CARRIED and we discussed it last night. There are several people in the group who were Vietnam vets or had family members who had been drafted. It was fascinating and so moving to hear their perspectives on the book, and what it felt like to get a draft letter. I love that group so much! I’m a bummed out because they’re reading THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU next month, but I won’t be able to make the meeting. I love that book!
  • I was asked to blurb a book and I am 1. so completely honored and 2. so engrossed in said book that it’s been torture to put it down and get anything else done. It’s just that good.
  • I just finished watching Roswell. I sobbed so hard through the last two episodes (and also the one with future Max in it – OH MY GOODNESS!). It took me about five episodes to get into the show, but I tweeted about it, and Aly said she really enjoyed it, so I kept watching. So glad I did. I completely fell in love with the characters.
  • I’m a little lost tv-series-wise now. I function better when I have a good, absorbing show I’m involved in. I bribe myself with a lunch hour episode and another one before I go to bed, and maybe even an afternoon break episode if I have a boring task that requires a good bribe. It pulls me through my day.
  • I’m back on an I hate running but I love Netflix workout videos kick again. Ellen Barrett is awesome, and I like to rotate through her Pilates workouts.
  • Which reminds me of a recent conversation I had with another writer last week.
Me: I didn’t have a lot of patience with buying clothes for my book tour. I mean, I usually wear yoga pants all day.
Him: Do you do a lot of yoga?
Me: No. I just like the pants.
I am the epitome of class, huh? But I’ve realized in the past few months that I really don’t enjoy doing yoga. I have so many friends who teach yoga and are very dedicated to their practice. I desperately want to love it, and I’ve spent years trying to convince myself that I do, but honestly, I’d rather listen to Wilford Brimley read the phone book with a fake British accident every day for ninety minutes (which you know would only be funny for the first minute or so) than do yoga. Pilates on the other hand. . . I am so all over that. I crave Pilates. I’m not sure what the distinction is. Do you know? How do you feel about yoga? Are the pants the best part for you, or do you think I’m missing something?