Thursday, May 21, 2009

Author Interview, Ransom Noble

Ransom Noble, a person I actually knew in my high school days, recently had her first book come out from 4VR Publishing called The Art of Science. This is the second stop on her blog tour, the rest of which are

May 20 – Vivian Zabel at Brain Cells and Bubble Wrap

May 21 – Jamie Eyberg at A Continuity of Parks

May 22 – Shanachie at Ramblings of a Confusted Writer’s Mind and Quill, Parchment, and Ink – Writings and Ramblings

May 23 – Karen at Sharing with Writers and Readers

May 24 – Nancy Famolari at Nancy Famolari’s Place

May 25 – Crystalee Calderwood at Crystalee Calderwood, Writer and Poet

Ransom will be giving away one copy to a lucky winner drawn randomly from comments, so be sure to leave an email address for contact information.

I have decided to ask her some questions about the process she went through in writing this delightful book about a girl struggling to do what she loves and what is expected from her mother and her peers.

J: First off, congratulations on your first book. You don't have an agent, how did you get this publishing contract?

R: Thanks! I am active in a writing community, and the publisher is also a member. She mentioned running a contest for children's books. I'd written this book and not done anything with it
, so she encouraged me to send it in. Eventually I did. I heard back about a month later that I'd won- not just with the editors but also the reader's test. I was amazed, but extremely happy.

J: A lot of writers dive right into a story, others make careful notes on every detail on their characters and the plot. What kind of writer are you?

R: I've done both. This one was plotted, but I've also done it on the fly. I think I do better on a middle of the road approach. The last story I tried to write with careful notes on every detail took a sharp turn away from my plan in the middle and became a better story because of it. I try to stay open to those things as I write.

J: I get confused with the classifications of YA books, middle grade and young adult. After I read the book I thought it might be classified either way. Would you consider this to be a middle grade book or young adult book and do you plan on writing others for this market or do you plan on branching into different reading groups? I only ask this because your other published story, 'Qui's Contract' in the Ruins Metropolis Anthology (published by Hadley Rille books) was more adult fare.

R: I think the lines can sometimes be blurred between middle grade and young adult. I am sure there are guidelines out there, but it might come down to the heaviness of the topics involved in the book, the age of the characters, and the narrator's voice. You might be right on this one; it could fall in the gray area between the two classifications. I do plan to write more young adult, but I also enjoy
writing for older audiences. I don't like saying I'm only going to write one thing - either in classification or genre. Might be harder for marketing, but we all have to follow our muses, right?

J: How much has your background in engineering helped you in your writing? Conversely, how much has your writing helped you with your engineering endeavors?

R: My writing has always kept me in touch with my imagination. Using that in engineering made my designs and ideas on how to fix or improve existing products and processes unique. It often required lengthy explanations or leading questions to get people to see what I had in mind. On the other hand, engineering can be both a help and hindrance to writing. Science fiction is one of my favorites, but now and again what's actually possible stops me from finding a fictional solution. It also helps by making me get the details of the story correct - I can be very analytical in the editing process.

J: How has your writing changed since you signed that publishing contract?

R: If you mean, has the publishing contract changed my writing, I don't think so? I think life changes writing. All of us write what we know, and every day we learn something new that we can bring to our stories.
Tomorrow will bring something else, and I look forward to it.

Ransom, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions and good luck with your next book.


Stephen Macquignon said...

Nice interview
I was wondering Ransom.
Do you see you’re self in the charecter you created for this book?
You both use the left & right side of the brain equally well.

Carrie Harris said...

Thanks to both of you for an awesome interview! I'll have to check that one out.

Jamie Eyberg said...

I am betting our English teacher from high school, Mrs. Malcom, is very excited for her.

Ransom Noble said...

Hi, Stephen! No, I don't see myself as the main character, though we do have a few things in common.

I hope you do, Carrie.

And thanks, Jamie, for that interview. Mrs. Malcolm was excited when I told her.

Unknown said...

Great interview! It's always interesting to see what an author thinks of the publishing process.

Aaron Polson said...

Thanks for the interview. It's always nice to see "inside" the process.

Cate Gardner said...

Congratulations, Ransom. Fabulous interview.

Unknown said...

Nice interview you two!

Ransom Noble said...

There were so many things I didn't know about publishing before I started this process. Crystalee would probably agree with me. It's all about learning!

Jamie Eyberg said...

So, should I post the yearbook pictures I have of her in the seventh grade?

Ransom Noble said...

Old yearbook pictures? Oh no!

Vivian Zabel said...

Yearbook pictures? Oh, what fun. Please?

I'm delighted with the finished product. The Art of Science is indeed a combination of middle grade and young adult, I guess a "teen" book.

Dawn Embers said...

This was a good interview. I remember when the contest was going on and that you won. That was so awesome.

K.C. Shaw said...

Great interview! The book sounds interesting too; I'll have to grab a copy. :)

elysabeth said...

I love finding out more and more about Viv's authors. It's fun when you are touring with folks who know you from prior to your published days. Always great to see little secrets be revealed. Congrats, Ransom. I know you will do well.

Beth Fehlbaum, Author said...

Very cool interview. Thanks for posting it!

Beth Fehlbaum, author
Courage in Patience, a story of HOPE..
Ch. 1 is online!