Author Interview with Ellie Lieberman

author-pic  Societys Foundlings_ Ellie   Lieberman.jpg
1.      What type of author are? Eg.Indie
I am an indie YA author.
2.      What are you currently reading?
I tend to write like I read, so currently I am enjoying about three books. Currently, I am reading Barbara Lieberman’s The Unchained Spirit. I am also rereading Conor Walsh’s Little Glass Men. And, I am also enjoying The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
 
3.      What was your last read was it good or bad?
My last read was an ARC of Evangeline Duran Fuentes’ upcoming Finding Erin. It was brilliant. So well-written and such an amazing story line. I really appreciated the complexity of the characters’ relationships as well, the reality in the work of fiction, and learning more about the medical field and a condition I did not know a lot about.
4.      How do you think your book will solve certain social issue?
I’m not entirely sure Society’s Foundlings will solve social issues.
The readers will most likely still be facing the same struggles as the characters, whether it’s dealing with money, the complicated relationships between friends and family, or even the complicated relationships one has with society. Hopefully, though, the reader will come away feeling a little less alone and a little more hopeful.
That being said, I’ve had grown men ask how I could capture teenage boyhood so well as a young woman. I’ve had them tell me they felt that same way as the characters growing up. I’ve also had grown women say they could identify with the characters just as much. The reason is these feelings are universal and I’d like to think that’s something readers will be able to take away. Issues faced by the characters aren’t strictly male vs, female, but human issues. In this way, I’d like to think of it as an argument against the idea that boys can’t read books about female characters or vice versa, as has been suggested of late within the YA community at large.
I’d also like to think that if someone from a different background than the characters were to read the book, it might make them consider certain things in their reality and world, such as someone from a different socioeconomic status or the idea that we don’t know what someone else is necessarily going through.
5.      What is the message in your book?
The main message in Society’s Foundlings is that of hope. Despite some of the darker themes and hardships the characters face, sprinkled throughout are elements of redemption, belonging, connection, and seeing the light in the darkness.
6.      How did you get the idea to write Society’s Foundlings?
I wrote Society’s Foundlings initially because I got really angry. I was eighteen and not in a very good place at the time. On top of this, the message I kept receiving and seeing was that this was the high point in my life. This was not what I needed while I was struggling, because, if that’s the best it was ever going to be, why would I want to see what was to come?
Added to this was my love of what I view as the golden age of YA. I loved books that defined the genre such as The Chocolate War, Catcher in the Rye, and The Outsiders. These books weren’t filled with romance and love triangles, but struggles I could identify with. I get frustrated sometimes when browsing Barnes and Noble shelves or other bookstores because I was never into those types of issues. They dealt with relationships with authority, the universal feeling of isolation, finding one’s place while in this weird limbo between childhood and adulthood. It dealt with just trying to get by with the day by day and moral issues that were bigger than high school gossip.
The Outsiders was especially striking for me, because it was one of the first times I read a book about a character that was growing up in a lower socioeconomic status in more modern times, but who was also so aware of the division between those who had a lot and those who were scraping by. It was the first time a book talked about being poor and the frustrations of that aspect in growing up.
This all came together in writing Society’s Foundlings.
 
7.      How long did it take for you to write this book?
Society’s Foundlings took less than a year to write, I think. I tend to write in spurts. It’s kind of like weaving together a quilt normally. Society’s Foundlings was a little different. A well was tapped and it just kind of flowed. There was still some weaving, but mostly it was straight through and quicker than usual for me.
8.      Why did you decide to be an author?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I became a writer at my mother’s keyboard. She would write because of being unable to fall asleep. She’d read me what she wrote at night, even letting me stay up past my bedtime. It inspired me to write, too. According to my mom, I was always a storyteller, though. I told stories from the moment I could talk. She says I learned to write just so I could put the stories down on paper.
9.      What inspired your book cover?
My book cover is by artist Jessie J Inspirations. She drew from many elements within the story. Everything from the shoes on the porch right down to the dandelion are essential and come into play within the story itself.
 
10.   Who would read your book if it was an audiobook?
If Society’s Foundlings was an audiobook, I feel as though it would either need four separate people reading it or one person who could do four separate personalities. I’m leaning toward Andrew Garfield, though.
11.   What tips do you have for writers like me?
The best tips I have are quotes I found from other authors.
The first is “Just write” by Barbara Lieberman. There was an entire blog she wrote about it and she made a poster and journal based on that blog and the entire poem is one of my favorites.
The second is by Jack Keroac. “Someday I will find the words and they will be simple.” This has helped in my own writing and even my writing style. Sometimes the most touching and poetic of lines are the simplest.
Third, Mark Twain said about Huck Finn “I shall like it even if no one else does.” Love what you write because the only person whose opinion matters about your own work is you. What does it matter that something is a five-starred best seller if it’s not something you would want on your own shelf?
And last but not least, “Not being heard is no reason for silence,” Victor Hugo and, “You don’t tell the quality of a master by the size of his crowds,” Richard Bach. It can get discouraging when you feel you don’t have a lot of readers, when you are lucky to get cents as royalties each much, but never give up. Ray Bradbury said “You only fail if you stop writing.” There’s also a ripple effect. You don’t always see what your book is doing. To just one person, it could mean the world, could even save a life, could make them feel not so alone to read your book. As my character, Clem, put it, “It doesn’t matter if it’s fictional, because you whisper to the page words of mutual understanding.”
12.   What is your favourite genre to write and why?
I don’t have a favorite genre to write. I write and then have to fit that finished book into a genre. The only time I started writing with a genre in mind was my short story, A Dragon’s Treasure, in A Horde of Dragons Anthology. Other than when it’s a themed project like an anthology, genre is one of the last things that comes to mind.
13.   What is your favourite genre to read and why?
My favorite genre to read is probably Dystopian. I like to say banned books in general, but that isn’t really a genre. I enjoy the discussion of political and societal issues within a fictional world. There is normally an element of rebellion and a type of awakening for the characters, both inward and outward. I find it fascinating how a seemingly perfect society could truly be the opposite and the connections I make to history and current event within these stories. I appreciate that type of universality and despite that most do not succeed, the overall message.
14.   What inspired you to write you book Society’s Foundlings?
As I said before, it was getting angry. It was things in society and in friendships that I was dealing with or people I knew were dealing with. There was the influence of the type of YA books I enjoyed and aspects I felt other YA books were missing. I wanted to talk about more than just romance and discuss issues so many people I knew were dealing with and yet were ignored or treated as not real issues because of age.
15.   What authors inspire you today?
I am inspired by a great deal of authors. There are classics like Jane Austen, Kurt Vonnegut, Jack Kerouac, and Ray Bradbury and more modern writers like John Green and JK Rowling, but I am also so fortunate to be surrounded by such amazing authors within my own community. My biggest inspiration is Barbara Lieberman. Authors like Chip Davis, Evangeline Duran Fuentes, Robin Nieto, and Ellie Hart inspire me daily.
 
16.   What is your favourite book and why?
I could no sooner choose a favorite child (I say as though I have children). It’s easier to say which books I did not like. There are books that have stayed with me after a very long time and for a variety of reasons, but my favorite book probably varies as much as the weather. My Mama Had A Dancing Heart is high on the list. I also love books like The Chocolate War, Les Miserables, We by Yevgeny Zamayatin, Brave New World, Farenheit 451, Anne of Green Gables, The Treasure of Ravenwood, Feel the Sound by Evangeline Duran Fuentes, Trail of the Raven Haiti,  Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Smile Like A Plastic Daisy, The Perks of Being A Wallflower, On the Road, Madeline, Harold and the Purple Crayon, The BFG, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Velveteen Rabbit, etc.
Each has its own reasons. I think my favorites are always that ones that touch me in one way or another. They struck a chord or opened my eyes or opened my heart or made me feel. There’s something so timeless about these types of books. They are the ones most commonly referenced in my daily life and they stay with me.
17.   What character out of your book do you relate to?
I relate to most of the characters in Society’s Foundlings. Author Diana Gabbaldon has said she is all the characters, even the most awful villains she writes. Black Jack Randall is just as much her as Claire.
18.   If your book was a movie who would act in it and why?
The issue I have with casting Society’s Foundlings is there are no descriptions of the characters. I wanted them to be anybody. I wanted the reader to see themselves. To put an image to a character, I think, kind of takes that away.
19.   What is your favourite book to movie adaptions and why?
Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy or with Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet and Les Miserables, the newest musical one with Anne Hathaway.
Nobody plays the characters better than those actors. These are go to movies in my house and I feel they capture the overall story and character well. These adaptations do Jane Austen’s work justice.
I grew up watch Les Miserables. I was singing Do You hear The People Sing, making my couch into a barricade while watching the tenth anniversary dream cast of the Broadway musical when I was three. I didn’t read the book until I was thirteen. The newest version tied together all the elements I loved about the musical, while keeping true and even making the story closer to the book in some ways.
 
20.   Who would be in your bookish family?
I would want Marie McEwen from Message on the Wind or Ultima from Bless Me, Ultima as my grandmother. I would want Jack from Trail of the Raven, Haiti or Gavroche from Les Miserables to be my brother. Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice or Clarisse McClellan from Fahrenheit 451 as my sister. There is no character in the history of literature that matches up to my own mom, so as far as bookish family moms go, I’ll just have to write her into a character of mine and call that good. Mathew Cuthbert from Anne of Green Gables would be my father. Grey Feather from To Reap A Whirlwind would be my grandfather.
 
21.   How did you come across my blog?
I found your blog on a website called The Book Blogger List when searching Google for YA book blogs that would review self-published authors and authors from small presses.
 
22.   How would you improve my blog?
I appreciated how easy it was to contact you and how fast you replied. It is a pleasure to work with you and I cannot thank you enough!
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