Saturday, December 6, 2014

1 Carol Goodman, author of RAVENCLIFFE, on exploring 1910's New York City

What is your favorite thing about RAVENCLIFFE?

There were so many things that I enjoyed about writing RAVENCLIFFE.  It was great fun to return to the characters in BLYTHEWOOD and to the magical world of the Blythewood School and the Blythe Woods.  But in RAVENCLIFFE I also got to explore New York City in the 1910’s.  Ava wears a Poiret-style dress to a grand ball on 5th Avenue and runs over the rooftops of tenements on the Lower East Side.  She rides the Steeplechase at Coney Island with her friends Nathan and Helen.  She and her friends experience the city from the dives on the waterfront to the soaring tower of the new Woolworth Building.  I loved reading about the city in this dynamic era and picturing my characters walking down its streets.  I hope my readers enjoy taking the journey with me!

What was your inspiration for writing RAVENCLIFFE?

I finished writing BLYTHEWOOD and couldn't get the characters (Helen, Ava, Raven, Nathan, Daisy et al) out of my head.  I wanted to see them navigating New York City--and learning how to dance!

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

It's really hard for me to write any scene in which any of my characters get hurt--and a few do get hurt during the course of RAVENCLIFFE.  So, hardest ... Raven in the dungeon.  Most proud ... Ava on the Titanic.  Particularly love ... the awkward tea at Violet House.

What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

I love Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle series, everything by Holly Black, Cassandra Clare's Clockwork series.  Also JANE EYRE by Charlotte Bronte, my all time favorite book.

How long did you work on RAVENCLIFFE?

A little under a year.

What did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?

I love New York City.

What do you hope readers will take away from RAVENCLIFFE? 

That even if your friends are acting a little silly they'll come around in the end if you stick by them.

How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?

I've published fourteen novels before RAVENCLIFFE.  I wrote two novels that never were published and I didn't publish my first novel until I was nearly forty.  (And I've been writing since I was 9.)  So yes, long and hard!

Was there an AHA! moment along your road to publication where something suddenly sank in and you felt you had the key to writing a novel? What was it?

No, if there's a key out there it hasn't been handed to me.  My AHA!  moment was when I realized that I just loved writing so much that I was going to keep on doing it whether I got published or not.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I like to write in the morning, after my first cup of tea and reading the newspaper, before I get groggy and tired.  I write my first drafts by hand in a composition book.  I usually put on the classical station and write at my desk with my dog sleeping in her bed underneath, but I sometimes write in cafes and I absolutely love writing on trains.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

If it's what you love to do just keep doing it.

What are you working on now?

I'm just reading the copyedit of the third BLYTHEWOOD book, HAWTHORN, and I'm working on an idea for another YA series.


by Carol Goodman
Viking Juvenile
Released 12/2/2014

She’s a student at Blythewood Academy, an elite boarding school that trains young women to defend human society from the shadowy forces that live among us. After the devastating events of her first year at Blythewood, Ava is eager to reunite with her friends—and with Raven, the compelling but elusive winged boy who makes her pulse race. She soon discovers, though, that the sinister Judicus van Drood hasn’t finished wreaking havoc on Blythewood—and wants to use Ava and her classmates to attack a much bigger target.

Ava’s the only one with any hope of stopping van Drood. But to scuttle his plans, she must reveal her deepest secret to everyone at Blythewood. What’s she willing to sacrifice to do what’s right—her school? Her love? Or her life?

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Carol GoodmanCarol Goodman is the author of The Lake of Dead Languages, The Fairwick Chronicles, Watchtower Trilogy (with husband Lee Slonimsky), and the forthcoming young adult Blythewood series. Her work has appeared in such journals as The Greensboro Review, Literal Latt, The Midwest Quarterly, and Other Voices. After graduation from Vassar College, where she majored in Latin, she taught Latin for several years in Austin, Texas. She then received an M.F.A. in fiction from the New School University. Goodman currently teaches writing at SUNY New Paltz and lives with her family in the Hudson Valley.

1 comment:

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