Today I have an interview with the lovely Margie Gelbwasser, author of the recently released Inconvenient.
Here's the description of the book, straight from goodreads, in case you need it:
Welcome to Glenfair, New Jersey’s Little Moscow, where fifteen-year-old Alyssa Bondar lives with her Russian-born, Jewish parents. In their culture, drinking is as traditional as blinchiki and piroshkis. So when her mom starts having bad days, it seems like Alyssa’s the only one who notices-or cares.It's a great book-- check back for my review tomorrow-- and to give you a little background, here's my interview with the author:
Alyssa would love to focus on regular stuff like her first kiss with Keith, her cute track team partner-or simply come home without dread of what she might find. But someone has to clean up her mom’s mess. Her dad is steeped in work, the evening news, and denial. Her best friend Lana is busy-shamelessly vying for a place with the popular crowd who ridicule their Russian heritage.
It’s up to Alyssa to save her mom-and her family. But who will be there to catch Alyssa when her mom’s next fall off the wagon drags her down, too?
1) Did you consciously decide to write about a Russian-Jewish family and include a lot of culture in the book, or did it just kind of happen that way?
That was a conscious decision. I'm Russian-Jewish and as I've gotten older (not that I'm old!!!), I've come to accept both parts of me and how they shaped who I am. As a teen, I didn't really like the Russian part because it made me feel different from everyone else. So when I started writing the story, I had some of that idea in my head, but the extent to which the culture is depicted kind of happened as I wrote. My original version had only a little bit in it, and then my writing teacher said that that was the part that really spoke to her so I revamped and focused on the culture, how it impacts the alcoholism, how it makes the MC Alyssa and her friend Lana different from others, etc.
I loved that the book included so much culture! I'm glad you listened to your teacher.
2) Ok, let's play a game! Fill in the blanks: Fans of ____ will enjoy Inconvenient because ____
Fans of Sarah Dessen will enjoy Inconvenient because it has a similar writing style as some of her books and deals with real issues as well as romance.
I like your choice!
3) What's the most exciting thing about being a debut author?
Um, being a debut author is just exciting in itself!! I always wanted to have a book published and it's actually happening and that's just amazing!
(photo via author website, taken by Sam Peltz)
4) At the moment, I'm kind of obsessed with quotes. Do you have a favorite quote or a quote that you think particularly relates to Inconvenient? It can be from anywhere. :D
Oooh...I like this question. But I can't think of quotes. However, there are a few songs that automatically make me think of Inconvenient when I hear them. Is it ok to go the song route?
1. Rockstar by Nickelback: There's a scene in the book where Alyssa and her best friend Lana play around pretending to be models and whenever I hear this song, that scene comes to mind
2. All In by Lifehouse: I just LOVE this song. I can see it representing Keith and Alyssa's relationship and more.
3. Because of You by Kelly Clarkson: Makes me think of the relationship between Alyssa and her mom.
4. Stay You by Wood: See that as Alyssa's theme song or even something that could apply to Lana
5. Songs by The Cure, especially Friday I'm in Love (makes me think of Lana), Mint Car (Keith and Alyssa's first kiss), and Round & Round & Round (works with themes of Inconvenient)
"Because of You" is the type of song that, when it comes on, I feel the need to sing my heart out.
5) What are some of your favorite things RIGHT NOW? Books, movies, people, music, anything!
This question is super appropriate because I just saw this Sound of Music reunion on Oprah last week, and your question reminded me of that song from the movie. :-) Yes, I'm dorky. Favorite things right now: candy corn, marshmallows, my super supportive friends, people who bought my book, Taylor Swift songs, the book ALBATROSS by Josie Bloss (just an amazing, emotional book), friendship reunions, my family, funky earrings and jewelry (I'm not a pearls and diamonds kind of girl--really prefer the artsy stuff you buy at street fairs, kiosks, and flea markets), the new 90210, laughing.
Thank you for having me!!
No, thank you, Margie!
For more on Margie or the book, check out her website, blog, or twitter. Or you can, you know, read Inconvenient.