Newsday Tuesday (& An EXCITING Q&A)

Favorite Tweets:

This is sarcasm:

Favorite Search Terms:

  • what did people eat in uk circa 1800: Beans.
  • spanking themes in young adult literature: You got my blog?  That freaks me out a little, a lot.
  • farting competitions in bed: haha, welcome to my life.
  • virginia woolf car: She didn’t drive, she walked into the sea.
  • metaphors for instructor of yoga: the sun is like a window to heat.  my legs are like strong sticks; soft and golden as hay, crossed at the knee like two branches intersecting at a nest.  (BAD POETRY).

Book News:

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Loved by Kimberly Novosel

Earlier this week I had the loveliest chat with new author Kimberly Novosel.  I feel like her last name pretty much explains why she’s a novelist since it seems a distant twin to the word itself.  She’s the author of upcoming book, Loved and has created a Kickstarter campaign to get the book printed.  Normally, I’m a snob about self-publishing and prefer publishing houses and agents, but the theme of her novel, Loved, is dear to my heart.  You’ve all heard me rant about self-esteem, usually in the young adult genre, but Novosel has written a novel dedicated to struggling women in their twenties.

We did a quick Q&A from questions I pondered while reading her bio and learning about Loved through the Kickstarter campaign.  I feel like everyone at readings always asked, “What inspired you to write?” or “What do you recommend to young writers?” Instead of asking these questions, I asked questions about Novosel’s own upbringing and how it influenced her writing as well as how other authors have influenced her.  Read our Q&A below:

How has being a small town girl gone big city shaped your writing?  What did the small town give to you as gifts for writing, and what did the city give?  And with this what are your favorite writers from both places and landscapes?

Audrey Niffenegger, who wrote The Time Travelers Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry, is from South Haven, Michigan and has lived near Chicago most of her life.  A small town to a big city, like me.  I think in these cases the small town develops a unique kind of imagination, learning to fill the quiet with your own thoughts.  Living in a bigger city as an adult helps to surround you with more stimulation, more fodder for stories, new ideas and personalities and backdrops.  Nicole Krauss, who wrote The History of Love, was born in Manhattan and lives in Brooklyn, where I live now.  If you read The History of Love, her deeply rooted knowledge of the city and the people who come to live there is apparent.  I think both can develop strengths in a writer in their own way.  What matters most is that the best writers write what they know.

What were some of your favorite mystery books as a girl in Pittsburgh and did this shape Loved?

I read a lot of Nancy Drew books and ghost stories, though the names escape me now.  I loved that stuff!  The little girl who is haunted by the girl who lived in the old house before her.  One favorite from those days is Ouida Sebestyen’s The Girl in the Box, about a girl who is kidnapped and held underground in a dirt hole with nothing but a little bit of food, water, and a typewriter.  I’ve obviously never been afraid of darker material, even as a pre-teen.  I also liked some fantasy stuff like A Wrinkle in Time, The Phantom Tollbooth and The Giver, which I recommend even to adults.

Why did you decide to self-publish Loved rather than shop around for agents and publishing houses?

My goal is just to put the book out there into the hands of readers. I’d love to be published on a large scale, but that wasn’t my immediate goal.  First I want to see how it does, what kind of impact it has.  Maybe big publishing will happen with this book or maybe the next one, as I continue to grow as a writer.

How did you come to novel writing?  Have you tried poetry, short fiction and other genres before ultimately writing Loved?

My earliest memory of writing is changing the words from the willow tree poem in the movie “My Girl”, and then writing new lyrics to Mariah Carey melodies.  I was probably ten or twelve.  Then I started to write my own poetry.  That turned into writing lyrics with musician friends at Belmont University, and then I jumped right into the process of starting this book.  I’d love to do short stories eventually, for literary magazines or my own full collection.

How did you come to the title, “Loved?”

Coming up with a title was one of the most stressful parts of writing this book.  There was one title in the beginning, and as a different theme began to emerge I came to a second title and stuck with that one a good while.  In the end I felt there was a better fit, and in the absence of coming up with the perfect clever title, I landed on Loved.  I just kept coming back to that word.  It just felt right to me, summing up the theme and evoking the right emotion, so I had to go with succinct over poetic.

What is your favorite quote from Loved and from literature?

From literature…oh how to choose!  I love so much of the mother’s dialog in White Oleander.  She’s such a fascinating character to me.  She has this one rant in which she says, “If you expect to find people who will understand you, you will grow murderous with disappointment. The best you’ll ever do is to understand yourself, know what it is that you want, and not let the cattle stand in your way.”  She’s practically evil but sometimes what she says rings true. Fascinating!  I don’t know the exact quote for this, but in The Private Lives of Pippa Lee by Rebecca Miller, a young Pippa follows a man she’s attracted to down the street and into a café.  In such a short time, she imagines their future together, and when he leaves with out speaking to her, she’s heartbroken.  That is amazing writing.

This is one of my favorite quotes from Loved:

“The thing about secrets is that they can hurt you more than the person you’re keeping them from.  It’s like eating the last piece of caramel candy, a delicacy for you alone to experience.  You hold it on your tongue, savoring the layers of salty sweetness.  It makes you so happy while it rots your teeth.”

If you could tell women struggling with self-esteem or self-discovery, what would you say?  With this can you give book recommendations for girls or women dealing with these struggles.  

Forget what’s normal or what’s expected of you and decide for yourself.  Are you talking to yourself respectfully? Are you listening to yourself and what it is that you need?  For example, I need more alone time than most people do, and when I thought that was weird or that I was acting out of fear and not health by isolating myself, it actually caused me to be unhealthy.  Now I know it’s ok for me to take that time that I need, and it makes me better around people when I am social.  Write your own rules.

I suggest coming of age stories or stories of survival rather than the typical self-help books.  Study others’ stories of growing and overcoming and you’ll start to recognize your own.  Alice Sebold’s Lucky, Terri Jentz’s Strange Piece of Paradise, Jeanette Walls’ The Glass Castle, (all adult) Curtis Sittenfeld’s Prep (adult or young adult).

What is your six word memoir?

“Present or absent, love moves me.”

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Check out Novosel’s blog here.

Check out the Kickstarter Campaign here.

21 thoughts on “Newsday Tuesday (& An EXCITING Q&A)

      • Obscured Dreamer says:

        Thank you. It was a bit easier to come up with than I thought it would be. When limited by a number of words it is amazing what one can come up with to describe either themselves, place, time or object.

      • Cassie says:

        It is strange, isn’t it. You would think that would make things hard, but it’s a simple summing up of everything or finding words you love to fill the six. It may be easier even, dare I say it.

  1. Bea says:

    As always, love the Newsday Tuesday blog, and I especially enjoyed the Q&A. Your questions were insightful, and her answers were thought provoking. It sounds like she knows herself very well, and I enjoyed her choice of quotes. Pippa following a young man to a cafe, and imagining their life together in just a few minutes of a short walk, sounds like someone I know.
    Thanks for another great Newsday Tuesday!

    • Cassie says:

      Haha I do too – you should read the article because it has a lot of really interesting book mobiles. It’s not really an article – it’s more just pictures. Thanks for pinning!

  2. alenaslife says:

    Another great Newsday (sorry for the delay in getting to it). But I was busy nominating BooksandBowelMovements for a Kreativ Blogger Award. I think you’re awesome!

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