Author Interview with Swati Avasthi, Author of "Split"
Created By: BookBundlz
1. If you could have coffee with any 3 authors, living or dead, who would they be?
Shakespeare for prolificacy; Toni Morrisson for craft and point of view in community novels; and Suzanne Collins for fun.
2. If you could only take one book, food item and drink with you to a deserted island what would they be?
To Kill a Mockingbird, pizza, and root beer floats.
3. What are your secret indulgences?
Oh... I thought I just revealed those. More? Project Runway and Pat Benatar.
4. What about you would surprise your readers?
Because I'm fairly personable and usually willing to engage people in conversations, it surprises most people I know that I have terrible stage fright.
5. What is your perfect day as an author?
On a perfect day, I would read my first draft of a novel and it would be brilliant.
6. If you could be any fictional character who would it be?
Maryanne in Sense and Sensibility.
7. What are the book(s) you are reading now?
Sweethearts by Sara Zarr; and The Translation of Dr. Appelles by David Treuer.
8. What was your favorite book as a teenager, and why?
To Kill a Mockingbird. I haven't changed that much, I guess.
9. (Aside from your own) What book(s) have you read that you think are perfect for book clubs?
Black Box by Julie Schumacher, Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, Becoming Chloe by Catherine Ryan Hyde
About Your Book:
10. Where did the inspiration for your book come from?
I coordinated a domestic violence legal clinic for three years. I listened to thousands of stories of abuse. It was so inspiring -- to see the bravery of the women and men who came to us seeking orders of protection and a way out. They had the courage to face the devil they didn't know and were taking that first step from victim to survivor.
11. They say every book written is the author telling a personal philosophy. What personal philosophy are you trying to get across?
Political philosophy: we need to reframe domestic violence as a men's issue and not as a women's issue. Since most of the abusers are men, it is vital we start to place responsibility with those who can stop the cycle -- the abusers themselves. We need to stop asking, "Why does she stay?" and start asking "Why is he resorting to violence?"
Personal philosophy: Violence is a choice.
12. Writers are often surprised by something that happens in their book. Perhaps a character says or does something you did not think they would, or something you thought would only be a couple of paragraphs turns into 10 pages. What surprised you about your book?
**SPOILER ALERT** After Christian kicked Jace out of the house, I was surprised that Jace was so furious at Christian. That is pretty far into the book, so I just went with it. That was what led to the climax and of course, the resolution. It's particularly funny because my writer's group asked me, when they read Chapter 2, how mad Jace was at Christian and I didn't really understand what they meant; I was so attached to Jace through the first draft, that if he was stuffing down his anger, then I was, too.
About Your Writing Process:
13. What is your writing process like?
It is more sporadic and slower than I'd like, but in general, I sit with an idea for a while and then I write a lot. Then I outline and move scenes around and cut and revise. I do that many, many times, until the book has no more surprises for me. Then I know I am done.
14. What gets you in the mood to write?
Music. A good playlist is essential for me. It keeps my fingers tapping out sentences.
15. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Timidity has no place in writing. Write bravely. Write boldly. Write everyday that you can.