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!
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.
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.
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!
a Rafflecopter giveaway