I have a special guest today! Please help me welcome Lara Zielin, the author of The Waiting Sky, published by Putnam Juvenile. I loved this book (read my review here), and I’m excited to have Lara here today. She’s also giving away a really cute set of notecards, so be sure to check them out below the interview and enter to win!

One summer chasing tornadoes could finally change Jane’s life for the better.

Seventeen-year-old Jane McAllister can’t quite admit her mother’s alcoholism is spiraling dangerously out of control until she drives drunk, nearly killing them and Jane’s best friend.

Jane has only one place to turn: her older brother Ethan, who left the problems at home years ago for college. A summer with him and his tornado-chasing buddies may just provide the time and space Jane needs to figure out her life and whether it still includes her mother. But she struggles with her anger at Ethan for leaving home and feels guilty–is she also abandoning her mom just when she needs Jane most? The carefree trip turned journey of self-discovery quickly becomes more than Jane bargained for, especially when the devilishly handsome Max steps into the picture. (Goodreads)

Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

I loved all the details about weather, supercells, and chasing tornados! Part of me has always wanted to be a chaser since seeing Twister as a kid. How much research did you have to do for this book?

In 2004, I booked a tornado tour, which is like whale watching, only instead you pay to see twisters up close. I stuffed myself into a van with a handful of strangers and a guide, and we criss-crossed the plains in search of really bad weather, which we totally found. I learned a lot about weather on that trip, and

I also took a “spotter” training course, where experts teach you how to identify bad weather. I was a pretty bad spotter, though, which actually inspired the character of Danny in the book! 🙂

I’ve considered going on a tornado chasing vacation many times! I have a friend that has been on a few, and I want to tag along sometime. I’m going to have to look into that spotter course, it just sounds fun (and useful)! What inspired you to write a story about tornados and alcoholism?

One of the most surprising things about the tornado chase I was on was that there was also lots of time on the road to just think, and more than the bad weather, that’s where a lot of where my inspiration for ‘TheWaiting Sky’ came from. Because here we were, expecting constant adrenaline rushes, and instead what we got was hours and hours trapped in a van with strangers, driving miles and miles. My main character, Jane, has a similar situation in the book. She leaves a chaotic situation at her home in Minnesota, and expects to find more chaos in Tornado Alley, but instead she just has tons and tons of time to think about how she might be able to change her life.

What is your writing process like? Which part do you enjoy the most? Which part is most challenging for you?

My writing process includes lots of chocolate and calls to my editor! Just kidding. Kind of. I try and write a lot on the weekends, because I have a day job that involves writing and editing. So when I get home, the last thing I want to do is write and edit. My biggest challenge is just finding the time (or making the time) to write more!

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go, and why?

Right now I’m sort of obsessed with this idea of Grand Canyon river rafting. There are trips that take you 90 miles down the Colorado (for seven days) and it’s super intense. There’s camping, hiking, rafting – it’s arduous but sounds completely amazing. I really want to do it!

I’ve always wanted to do that! It’d be such an adventure, and wow, the memories, stories, and pictures that would come from a trip like that would be awesome. I say go for it :).

What’s your favorite read of 2012 so far? 

Without a doubt, my favorite 2012 read is ‘The Scorpio Races’ by Maggie Stiefvater. I know it technically came out in 2011, but I read it in 2012, so it counts! I thought the story was so amazing and the writing was some of the best I’ve ever read. I was so inspired and in awe with this novel. If I could marry this book, I would.

It counts, and I absolutely loved The Scorpio Races too! I love Maggie Stiefvater’s writing. I just curl up into it and I always save hers for when I have time to just sit and read for hours. 

What would be your dream cast if THE WAITING SKY was made into a movie?

Ethan would have to be this really great looking guy who could kind of be a Boy Scout if needed. Like James McAvoy. *drools* ← Oops, did I type that? Hee.

Haha! 🙂

Jane would have to be tough but still real. I would say Jennifer Lawrence, because who couldn’t that actress play?

Ooh, great choice!

Victor would need to be played by someone who could definitely be a convincing jerk. Christian Bale?

The smart, sexy Max could be … well. There’s really only one actor worthy. Ryan Gosling of course! Haha!

Mmm… well, Ryan Gosling is a bit old for Max but yeah, he’d be awesome. 

About the author: Lara Zielin is the author of the young adult novels DONUT DAYS, THE IMPLOSION OF AGGIE WINCHESTER, and THE WAITING SKY, as well as INK STAINS, a nonfiction ebook for writers, and MAKE THINGS HAPPEN, a nonfiction networking guide for teens. By day she edits LSA Magazine, an alumni publication at the University of Michigan. By night, she writes, eats cheese, and bedazzles stuff that she probably shouldn’t. Learn more at www.larawrites.com.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Lara, thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions, and giving away a set of 5 super cute note cards based on this painting! Readers, enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win (open to US/CA only), and don’t forget to add The Waiting Sky to your to-be-read list!
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12 Responses to Interview: Lara Zielin, author of The Waiting Sky

  1. fakesteph
    Twitter: fakesteph

    Lara may have to fight me to marry The Scorpio Races.
    fakesteph recently posted..Tune In Tuesday… August 7My Profile

  2. What a great interview!! And such an amazing book! I loved Lara’s picks for the actors … Christian Bale would make an awesome Victor!

    And I think any kind of work requires all the chocolate. 🙂

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    Kristilyn (Reading in Winter) recently posted..Guest Post & Blog ChangesMy Profile

  3. kimbacaffeinate
    Twitter: kimbacaffeinate

    Great interview and I love storms too..all types I am fascinated by them
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted..Innocent Darkness by Suzanne LazearMy Profile

  4. Jessica S. says:

    I have always had a fascination with tornadoes. Every time there was bad weather, I would grab a whole bunch of things and wrap them in a blanket so I wouldn’t lose them in a tornado. When I got older I wanted to be a storm chaser. I don’t know how much I would want to be one now, but I still would like to see one once in my life, just to say I’ve seen one. Maybe I should book a tornado tour! Thanks for the notecard giveaway! I must order this book pronto. 😀
    Jessica S. recently posted..Review: For Darkness Shows The Stars by Diana PeterfreundMy Profile

  5. alicia marie says:

    Thanks for the great interview!! I think I’d probably like to chase a tornado sometime. It’s better to follow it than have it following me! I love storms, but tornadoes still scare me a bit. I think it would definitely be interesting to see though!

  6. VeganYANerds says:

    Love this interview! I would definitely be running away from tornadoes! I mean they’re amazing and I like watching those shows on tv where ppl chase them but I wouldn’t want to get too close!
    VeganYANerds recently posted..Once Was Lost by Sara ZarrMy Profile

    • VeganYANerds says:

      Sorry hun, I realised this isn’t a giveaway for the book itself so I deleted my tweet 😉
      VeganYANerds recently posted..Once Was Lost by Sara ZarrMy Profile

      • Jen
        Twitter: bookandlatte

        No problem! So that means you didn’t read the intro to the interview, or the closing, or the title of the giveaway on the Rafflecopter… I have to check all entries anyway, I can just remove yours, no biggie. These cards are really cute (I want them myself!), and I want them to go to someone who actually wants them! Thanks for letting me know :).
        Jen recently posted..I’ve joined the #ArmyOfTenMy Profile

  7. bn100 says:

    I’d rather run from tornadoes.

  8. Gaby says:

    I’d rather just always run away from them *nervous laugh*

  9. Jello says:

    Wow! I can’t wait to read the book and I love the interview…

  10. Hwa Sun says:

    I’d run away. NO WAY would I chase one.
    Hwa Sun recently posted..[REVIEW] Seraphina by Rachel HartmanMy Profile

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