So ... can you hear my excitement over this? Ive mentioned before my love for this book so... Yeah,.. You SHOULD be able to hear my excitement xD
So thank you to author Elizabeth Fama of doing me the honor of an interview :D
About the Author
I'm married to John H. Cochrane, a talented economist whose equation-filled finance textbook sells better than all my novels combined. We have four grown children, each pursuing a creative field, and when we're together we have boisterous family dinners with lots of vegetables and swearing.
-What's the funnest part and also the most challenging part about being an author?
The most fun is when I'm "on a roll" and the world of my book is more engaging to me than the real world. During those times I literally ache for the manuscript when I'm not with it, like when you fall hopelessly in love. I think those jolts of oxytocin are what keep authors writing. The most challenging part is when I'm afraid to put words on the page, and I go to bed not having written a word.
-You have a PhD in Economics (Can I call you Dr. Fama from now on? xD) When was it that you realized
you wanted to be an author instead?
Hmm, maybe I should just enter rooms from now on and announce, "I'm The Doctor." :)
I knew I wanted to be an author while I was finishing my dissertation. I had a babysitter for half the day, and I found that I was sneaking work on children's books rather than doing my research. I had to force myself to put the children's books away for six months in order to finish my degree, but by then I knew I'd never use the PhD.
-Is there a particular author that has really inspired you?
I adore Megan Whalen Turner. She knows that her readers are smart, and she doesn't "explicate" a thing. She trusts that if she shows you something once, you'll pick it up. It's especially salient in the way she depicts relationships. The characters convey their feelings for each other in subtle ways, and Megan knows that if you're watching carefully, you'll understand.
-Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Aside from continuing to write novels, I have this weird dream lately of bringing together...er, mature authors, perhaps by organizing writing retreats, perhaps in my new house in California (which will have a big bunk room that sleeps up to eight people). There are many of us authors--Megan Whalen Turner included--who are over forty, and I think we have a wisdom that's somewhat undervalued in this business. It might be nice if we supported each other more consciously.
-Are you working on anything new?
I've just finished producing the audiobook of PLUS ONE, with Julia Whelan as the narrator. Julia sings as Poppu, is passionate when she's Sol, and can voice quite a hot D'Arcy. Plus, there's a bonus original song called "One Whole Half" that incredibly catchy. We'll be releasing it within days or weeks!
As far as my writing goes, I'm working on two books at once, which has been difficult. I'm usually monomaniacal, and it's hard for me to divide my time (see "falling in love" in question #1 above). One novel is a contemporary road trip, and the other is historical fiction. The research for the historical novel is kicking my butt, but I'm surprised to find that it's the project my mind drifts to when I'm falling asleep. In the next few weeks I'm going to consider focusing solely on that one.
-If you got to cast the actors for D’Arcy and Sol for a movie, what actors do you picture as the
D'Arcy has always been a young Adrien Brody for me. Sol is harder. I've never found an actress that reminds me of her, but I think this model (whose name I don't know) is pretty close!
-Where are Sol and D’Arcy?
I should probably just write the answer to this question as a sequel, because I have so much more of the story brewing in my head.
-What do you hope readers can relate to or learn from Plus One? Besides learning to accept differences?
For me, PLUS ONE has always been about civil liberties--about how easy it is for the government's "protection" of us to grow into loss of freedom; and about how hard it is to change laws and governmental structures once they're in place, so we have to remain vigilant about our rights. Sol observes, "We didn't live in revolutionary times," because most people--other than Grady Hastings and his young followers--have become resigned to the Day/Night divide.
-Plus One has one of my favorite covers: How was it chosen/created/inspired?
I'm so glad you like it! The designers at Macmillan/FSG found the original photographic artwork by Jakub Wojewoda on DeviantArt, and altered the faces to look like night and day. It's an arresting image, but it markets the book more toward the love story than toward the political subject matter of the book (which is why so many people aren't aware that it's also political).
-Is there any sort of research that you did to build the world in Plus One?
I love doing research. I read a lot about the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918, and about Woodrow Wilson's policies surrounding the illness and the war. I researched mayors in a couple of cities, most notably St. Louis, who were so restrictive about movement of citizens during the pandemic that they managed to dramatically lower the incidence of disease in their towns. I also traveled to Maquoketa Caves State Park to research Sol and D'Arcy's trip there.
-At any point in the story, did the story take a different direction than you originally expected?
I didn't expect there to be so much French in it! I needed Sol to overhear valuable information, and on on a whim I decided that D'Arcy's family would be from France and Sol understood the language. Poppu became Belgian as a result, and then I realized that this plot point had actually become thematically important: it's another cultural thing that Sol and D'Arcy share deeply--despite the fact that they begin their relationship with a prejudice that they have nothing in common.
-Ebook or physical?
-What is your opinion on the color blue? Why?
Blue is prettiest when it's dusty, and veering toward purple.
-If you could travel to a different time, what time would that be? Why?
Oh, if only! I'd choose Florence in the 1500's, so that I could experience firsthand the world of my current historical novel.
-What is the weirdest dream you’ve ever had?
After our beloved dog died a couple of years ago I dreamed that she was with me in the house again. She was able to speak, and she was very level-headed about being dead. It was comforting.
Thank you so much for featuring me on your blog, Valeria!
My pleasure n.n
It takes guts to deliberately mutilate your hand while operating a blister-pack sealing machine, but all I had going for me was guts.
Sol Le Coeur is a Smudge—a night dweller in an America rigidly divided between people who wake, live, and work during the hours of darkness and those known as Rays who live and work during daylight. Impulsive, passionate, and brave, Sol deliberately injures herself in order to gain admission to a hospital, where she plans to kidnap her newborn niece—a Ray—in order to bring the baby to visit her dying grandfather. By violating the day-night curfew, Sol is committing a serious crime, and when the kidnap attempt goes awry it starts a chain of events that will put Sol in mortal danger, uncover a government conspiracy to manipulate the Smudge population, and throw her together with D'Arcy Benoît, the Ray medical apprentice who first treats her, then helps her outrun the authorities—and with whom she is fated to fall impossibly and irrevocably in love.
Set in a vivid alternate reality and peopled with complex, deeply human characters on both sides of the day-night divide, Plus One is a brilliantly imagined drama of individual liberty and civil rights—and a compelling, rapid-fire romantic adventure story.
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