Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Author Interview: R.L. LaFevers

Following our Flight of the Phoenix book discussion, the Book Buddies Book Club had the opportunity to intervew the author, R.L. LaFevers. It was a huge thrill and we had a great time talking with her. She was absolutely delightful and thoughtfully answered all of our questions.

Our first question was for her to tell us one thing about herself that would surprise most people and it turns out that Ms. LaFevers loves to bake!

She has always been fascinated by mythical creatures and doesn't want to discount their existance. She reminded us that new species of animals are being discovered all the time, so why shouldn't we think that creatures like the Phoenix might actually exist?

Her favorite place to write is in a rocking chair by a window which overlooks her town and the ocean beyond (Ms. LaFevers is from Southern California). She writes either on her alphasmart or in a notebook and she doesn't write everyday. In fact sometimes she'll even take a few weeks off because so much of her writing is really thinking about things and paying attention to things. She spends a lot of time getting her stories worked out in her head before committing them to paper.

If she wasn't a writer she would definitely be a librarian because she loves books and knowledge.

Flight of the Phoenix took 3-4 months to write but she had been thinking about it for 4 years prior to that. There will be 8 to 12 books total in the series because there are so many beasts that she's excited to write about including griffins, manticores and the Kraken. At the moment she is finishing up work on the 4th Nathaniel Fludd book which comes out in April.

We also asked her why she decided to have the character of Phil Fludd be a female character. When Nate first hears that he'll be going to live with Phil he assumes Phil is a man. He quickly discovers that Phil is "Aunt Phil" short for Philomena. She said that she always knew Phil would be a woman and that the character came to her that way. Also there aren't enough women explorers and she's always had a fondness for girls names that can be shortened to a boys name.

In terms of the time period that the story takes place, she made a very conscious decision on 1929 because the setting needed to be late enough that her characters could get places quickly but she didn't want things like cell phones, GPS and radar available to help them. Also she couldn't set the story in the present time because today there are a lot of politics involved in traveling and it would be hard to do the kind of exploring she wanted her characters to do. The travel restrictions we have now were not in place in 1929 and lots of exploring was taking place during that time.

In her free time, she likes to think about her writing, read and spend time with her family.

We finished up by asking her what things she would like to learn to do and she said she'd love to be able to paint and draw. She'd also love to learn to sing.

We had such a wonderful conversation and we will never forget it! A BIG thank you to Ms. LaFevers for taking the time to talk with our book club.

No comments: