Please give a warm welcome to Leah Conen, author of The Last Time We Were Us! She’s stopping by A Book and a Latte today for an interview as part of her blog tour. Check out my Q & A with Leah below, and be sure to enter the giveaway!
Q & A with Leah Konen
What is the most embarrassing thing you’ve looked up in the name of research – or what do you think the government has flagged you for?
Here are just a few:
“How quickly does a dead body go cold?”
“How hot does a fire have to be to burn skin?”ßthat one directly related to THE LAST TIME WE WERE US
“Most common ways to die”
Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?
Yes! “Neighborhoods #1” by Arcade Fire. Specifically this amazing line: “And if my parents are crying, then I’ll dig a tunnel, from my window to yours.” I just loved the idea of two kids relying on each other when times get tough—and turning to each other for help with things that are beyond their control. The Arcade Fire song is about death and grief, and Lizzie and Jason are dealing with different sorts of struggles, but the idea remains the same. And since the two are neighbors, it feels like a perfect fit.
What’s your favorite quote?
“Our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do what we can.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson
I love the idea of surrounding yourself with people who really push you to be your best self (and I’ve been lucky to find a lot of them—thanks, guys!). I also love that he uses the word “can” instead of “want.” It’s about what we are capable of, not even necessarily what we want.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
There was definitely a time where I wanted to be—and believed sincerely that I would be—the first female president.
What’s the best writing advice you’ve received?
I went to a free writing class when I first moved to New York City. The teacher suggested we begin calling ourselves writers, regardless of whether we were published or not. I took it to heart, and I began to tell people that I was working on a novel, that I was a writer, even though it would be years before my first book came out. It created a huge amount of accountability. If I was telling people I met that I was writing, come nights and weekends and early mornings, I had to do it to make it true.
What are your favorites? Book, movie, music/band, candy, food, vacation spot?
Book—Pride and Prejudice (everyone says this, I know)
Movie—Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Music/band—just about impossible to say, but I’m obsessing over Beyonce’s Lemonade right now
Candy—I am allergic to chocolate (*weeps*), so candy isn’t really my thing
Food—I would eat Mexican every day if I could, but I think my body might rebel
Who or what inspired you to become an author?
Probably my parents—thanks mom and dad! They always told me I could do whatever I wanted, and they actually meant it. When I told them I was moving to New York with little money and no job, they were like, what can we do to help?
What do you listen to while you write? Or do you prefer silence?
The Twin Peaks soundtrack is the best writing music of all time. End of story.
Do you have any pets?
His name is Farley, and he’s 11 pounds of awesome. He enjoys chewing on sticks, hanging out with his friends at the dog park, eating constantly, snuggling, and running in circles on the bed when he gets too excited. I got him from an awesome no-kill shelter in my neighborhood in Brooklyn just over a year ago. He also serves as my primary coworker—he sits on the couch in my office every day while I write.
Were you a reader as a child? Did you have a favorite book?
Yes, I read all the time. The first chapter book I finished was the original Boxcar Children, and I loved it. I also read most of the Nancy Drew series, The Babysitter’s Club, and Fear Street when I was a little older (I loved my mysteries!). To this day, my favorite books are British Lit, and my love started early—I read Jane Eyre in fourth grade (and probably understood very little of it, though I enjoyed it!).
About Leah Konen
Many thanks to Leah for answering my questions! Readers, follow the tour (schedule below) for more chances to win, and be sure to enter the giveaway!
3 Finished Copies of THE LAST TIME WE WERE US (US Only)
a Rafflecopter giveaway