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Mitali Perkins

Author of:

Author Interview with Mitali Perkins, Author of "Bamboo People"
Created By: BookBundlz

About You:

1. If you could have coffee with any 3 authors, living or dead, who would they be?
C.S. Lewis, L.M. Montgomery, Maud Hart Lovelace.

2. If you could only take one book, food item and drink with you to a deserted island what would they be?
The Bible, any curry my Mom cooked, a sweet lassi.

3. What are your secret indulgences?
Atomic fireballs, kissing my fat black Labrador, HGTV, tweeting.

4. What about you would surprise your readers?
I’m very introverted even though I love, love, love social media. Anatomically, I have really, really long legs and a short, short waist. I have to sit on pillows to drive but when I stand up I’m tall.

5. What is your perfect day as an author?
Start the day with sunshine, breeze, good coffee, and prayer in my garden. Write for 3 hours. Lunch with a good book in my garden. Tweet/blog/facebook/schmooze virtually for an hour or two. Write for 2 more hours. Walk the fat black lab. Cook and eat dinner with the family. A good movie or something on HGTV. Kiss my husband. Read until I fall asleep. Wait — who did the laundry, shopped, ran errands, etc?

6. If you could be any fictional character who would it be?
Aravis from HORSE AND HIS BOY by C.S. Lewis.

7. What are the book(s) you are reading now?
LIFE OF PI by Yann Martel and LIPS TOUCH THREE TIMES by Laini Taylor.

8. What was your favorite book as a teenager, and why?
The LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy. Why? I was a nerd who crushed on Aragorn. Plus it's an epic hero's journey.

9. (Aside from your own) What book(s) have you read that you think are perfect for book clubs?
I’m all about books by dead people, especially lesser-known novels by authors of the classics, like Louisa May Alcott’s ROSE IN BLOOM, L.M. Montgomery’s JANE OF LANTERN HILL, and  EMILY OF DEEP VALLEY by Maud Hart Lovelace (full disclosure: I wrote the foreword for the re-issue of this one coming this October from Harper Perennial).

About Your Book:

10. Where did the inspiration for your book come from?
Three sources of inspiration: (1) Visiting the refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border while we lived in Thailand for three years. (2) Watching my sons play video games like Call of Duty and hoping to lure young men to read a page-turner about war and peace. (3) My grandfather’s bitterness over the loss of our ancestral jute farm and wondering what might have happened if he’d made the choice to forgive his enemies while still a young man.

11. They say every book written is the author telling a personal philosophy. What personal philosophy are you trying to get across?
Every choice leads to another, and the so-called “small” ones pave the way for big life-changers. So choose wisely.

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?
Everything. The story started as a picture book over a decade ago, morphed into a novel told by one character, and then became a novel with two protagonists. My computer is stuffed with revisions. Perhaps the most surprising thing is that the book got published after so many changes and rejections.

13. If you were crafting a discussion question for book clubs to discuss about your book, what question do you think would generate the most discussion?
Which “small” choice made by each main character would have most affected the outcome of the story? Which “big” choice?

About Your Writing Process:

14. What is your writing process like?
I set myself a word count limit of 1500 words and don’t get up until I get there. I give myself permission to write badly. The next day I start with revision of yesterday’s writing and up the word count by 1500 words. And so on.

15. What gets you in the mood to write?
Rain. Solitude. Good music. Coffeehouse buzz. Visiting an art gallery. Hiking the California hills.

16. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Here’s a short video answer to that question:

My answer in a nutshell? Take risks, be willing to revise everything, and be ready to push through rejections galore.

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