Monday, October 25, 2010

Author Chat: Cameron Stracher

We have with us today the author of The Water Wars, Cameron Stracher! 

-For starters, could you give us a brief bio?

I am both a writer and a lawyer.  I went to Harvard Law School and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.  Because of my interests in both fields, I was lucky enough to get a job at CBS representing journalists, and have since become a media lawyer who represents Star magazine, Al Roker Entertainment, the producers of Dog The Bounty Hunter, and other TV producers, magazines, newspapers, and websites.

-What was your inspiration for The Water Wars? It’s such a unique story.

I wanted to tell a gripping story for my son, who at the time was 12 and getting into dystopian fiction.  It’s also a genre I’ve liked a lot ever since I saw Blade Runner many years ago.  I started thinking about the problems that might face the world in the near future, and of course water was at the very top of the list.  I was probably influenced at the time by The Road, which I had just finished, and have always loved To Kill a Mockingbird, which is where the brother-sister-Kai triangle emerged from.

-What made you decide to write The Water Wars as a young adult novel instead of an adult novel? 
That’s a good question.  I guess I always started with the idea of writing a young adult novel because I wanted to write something that would appear to my son (and, later, my daughter).  Once I got going, I loved the form. 
-The story is told from a teenage girl’s point of view. Was it hard for you to relate to Vera? 
Hah!  No.  I think there is actually a teenage girl trapped inside me. 
- I absolutely love the cover of The Water Wars. Did you have any say in the creation?
Thank you.  I love it, too.  It’s actually the third cover.  I liked all the versions the publisher showed me, but this one was the best.  My role in its creation was to say, “I love it!”
-Do you have any interesting writing quirks or habits?
Because of my “day job,” I write a lot on trains and planes.  I actually find them great places to write because there are very little distractions, and you can’t really check your email or talk on the phone. 
-What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Read.  Read.  Read. 
-What are some of your favorite books or authors? Do you think they influence your writing style?
I love a wide range of writing, from science fiction (like The Golden Compass and works by William Gibson), to “serious literature” like William Faulkner, to more contemporary authors like Philip Roth, to post-modern writers like David Foster Wallace. 
-In your opinion, what are the most essential elements in any great story?
A fully realized character (or characters), a unique “voice” that takes care with language, and a gripping story with twists and turns. 
-Do you think you will continue to write young adult novels? 
Yes!  I hope to write a prequel and sequel to The Water Wars.  I also have the first few chapters of a YA novel I’m calling “91.”

-Anything else you’d like to add, Cameron?
Thank you for your smart questions.  
Thank you Cameron! I'll be posting my review of The Water Wars in December. Be sure to look into this imaginative, dystopic novel! 

1 comment:

Darlyn said...

I've seen the books on teen book blog i think and absolutely love the story. great interview!