Saturday, April 15, 2017

Author Chat: Laura Silverman, Author of Girl Out of Water

Laura Silverman is a writer, editor, and publishing consultant. She suffers from chronic pain and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Her first novel, Girl Out of Water, is coming out in May 2017 from Sourcebooks Fire. (taken from Huffington Post)  
Did you always know you wanted to publish a novel?
Yep! I’ve loved writing since I was a little kid, and I always had publishing dreams, but I definitely didn’t think it would happen this early in my life!

Besides writing or reading, what is your favorite hobby?

Before my chronic pain became really debilitating, I loved going to concerts. Live music is my everything, from the Atlanta Symphony to a jam band at giant outdoor stadium to a band I’ve never heard of playing a small bar. Since I’m stuck at home now almost 24/7 because of chronic pain, I’ve gotten really into sending letters. I love cute stationary and stickers, and people love getting snail mail. Sending and receiving letters also makes me feel more physically connected to the world; it helps a lot with how cut-off I feel because I can’t go out very much.

Are you more of a coffee or a tea person when writing?

Tea, tea, tea! Chai tea, peppermint tea, green tea, iced tea, all the tea!

How do you deal with critiques of your writing?

I’ve been taking creative writing classes since high school, so I really value critique and never take it personally at this point. People are critiquing my work, not me. I’m human, so of course it’s a little disheartening when I think I nailed something and obviously didn’t, but critique is awesome because I learn how to fix it and then write better in the future. Getting these early reviews of my first book has been a really interesting experience because there have been multiple times now where I’ve read a critique and thought, “Awesome point! Oh, wait – it’s a finished book – I can’t edit it any more.” But I’m taking those insightful critiques as good advice to use moving forward.

What did your daily writing process look like during the creation of Girl Out of Water?

I wrote the majority of the book while I was living in NYC and getting my MFA in Creative Writing. My chronic pain wasn’t close to as bad then, and since I was getting a degree in it, I had a lot of time to dedicate to writing. Sometimes I’d write for seven or eight hours in a single day. I made a writing chart with my classmate and roommate, and we set daily goals. The competition and we’re-in-this-together feeling was awesome motivation to keep at it whenever I started to slide into a writing slump. I definitely suggest writing charts, with friends if possible. You don’t have to write every day but a chart keeps you from suddenly realizing you didn’t write all month.

What is one underrated book you would recommend to everyone?

The most recent release that comes to mind is Under Rose-Tainted Skies. I don’t think it’s underrated exactly, but I wish everyone knew about it and would read it – it has the best mental illness / invisible disability representation I’ve ever seen, and the protagonist is so lovely and charming. Definitely pick up a copy!

About Laura's upcoming release, which will hit shelves on May 2:

Anise Sawyer plans to spend every minute of summer with her friends: surfing, chowing down on fish tacos drizzled with wasabi balsamic vinegar, and throwing bonfires that blaze until dawn. But when a serious car wreck leaves her aunt, a single mother of three, with two broken legs, it forces Anise to say goodbye for the first time to Santa Cruz, the waves, her friends, and even a kindling romance, and fly with her dad to Nebraska for the entire summer. Living in Nebraska isn’t easy. Anise spends her days caring for her three younger cousins in the childhood home of her runaway mom, a wild figure who’s been flickering in and out of her life since birth, appearing for weeks at a time and then disappearing again for months, or even years, without a word.

Complicating matters is Lincoln, a one-armed, charismatic skater who pushes Anise to trade her surfboard for a skateboard. As Anise draws closer to Lincoln and takes on the full burden and joy of her cousins, she loses touch with her friends back home – leading her to one terrifying question: will she turn out just like her mom and spend her life leaving behind the ones she loves (taken from