Happy Friday Everyone!
I hope everyone is having an amazing week!
Today I am happy to present an interview with Lynda Meyers!
Lynda wrote an amazing book called Letters From The Ledge.
Here is the interview!
1. How did living in New York City influence your writing of Letters From The Ledge?
I think a lot of people have misconceptions about the city. It is definitely fast-paced and impersonal in some ways, but it's also full of human beings, just like you and me. We all have the same hopes, same fears, and we all need each other. I didn't pick the setting of the story per se, that's just where I saw it happening when the scene opened in my mind, but in hindsight I think it was the best place to show that no matter where you are - even in one of the biggest, most bustling cities on the planet, you can still connect. It's possible to find like-minded people to share life with - and even in the midst of millions, you don't have to feel alone.
My next book (Truly, which is set to release Christmas 2012) takes place in New York City as well. However, I have another book that's not yet released that takes place in San Francisco. I lived there for about ten years and it's one of my favorite cities.
2. Please explain the New Adult genre and why you choose to write a book in that fantastic way?
New Adult is technically targeted to readers 18-25. I'm sure that's not a hard and fast rule, but basically this genre seeks to reach kids just graduating high school through the college years and a little bit beyond. When I was submitting Letters From The Ledge to publishers, I went two full rounds. The adult fiction editors said it was too YA for adults. The YA editors though it was too adult for YA. I was told that if I wanted to rewrite the story so that it focused on set of characters or the other it would stand a better chance, but I was committed to the story as it stood. I wasn't willing to change the story or the characters to fit the market - lucky for me the market changed to fit my characters!
The story actually has three different generations of characters in it - Brendan and Sarah who are seventeen and eighteen, then Nate and Paige who are in their mid-twenties, and Frank and Ginny, who are less prominent characters but are in their forties. In addition to multiple age groups, the story involves complex thematic elements that a broad range of readers have experience with, such as suicide, rape, cutting, drug use, adoption, rejection and father issues, just to name a few.
That wasn't done for effect or with an eye toward broadening the audience, it just happens to be how the story played out. The result, however, is that depending on the age and emotional perspective of the person reading it, there is a broad range of readers. Although I agree that it fits bets in the New Adult category, because all the primary characters fit into that range, so far the book has been read and enjoyed by readers as young as twelve and as old as seventy-seven! Letters From The Ledge is special and unique in many ways, but in my heart I was writing a genre that did not exist at the time I wrote it: 15-30 years olds. I am so happy that New Adult is finally being recognized, and is in fact the fastest growing segment of book sales!
The main character in my next book, Truly, is twenty-five, and a lot of other books I have in mind are geared toward either YA or New Adult, but I am not ruling out books written for traditional adult audiences either. I know a lot of writers try to find a niche market, and in fact their is a lot of advice out there encouraging writers to pick and genre and build a fan base around it. I would rather write what is on my heart at that moment and decide where it belongs on the shelf later. If the writing is good, the fan base will come on its own.
3. Who is your favorite character in Letters From The Ledge?
My favorite is Brendan, for sure. He is my main man - the underdog I love to root for, the kid who does not know how strong and capable he really is on the inside. Who doubts himself but wants so desperately to be believed in. I love Brendan with all my heart. It does not hurt that he is also smart, cut, and really gifted, not to mention hilariously funny! I also like Nate. I feel Nate was Brendan and Brendan will be Nate some day. As we give out and pay it forward, others follow that give and sow into the next generation. Nate is the kind of man that men should be. He is not perfect, but he loves selflessly, and when he screws up he admits it. I couldn't ask for more than that.
4. What are your future plans as a writer?
I have so many more stories to tell - stories that have been pushing on my heart, aching to be told. I want to write as many of them as I can, but writing is not a constant practice for me. There is an ebb and flow to it right now and perhaps that is because I have teenagers in high school and young adult children who are getting married and going off to college. My relationships always take priority for me. If I hid myself away to write all the time I will miss out on my actual life.
Life is meant to be lived, and it is because of a vibrant and fully-lived life that I can write when I am supposed to write and live when I am supposed to live. The one balances the other. Unfortunately that makes it kind of impossible for me to predict when a book will be finished or how many more will be written. I only know that I will write as much as my life allows! It is an inextricable part of me and how I process the world. It also connects me to people in ways I simply cannot accomplish on my own. Books are a unique vehicle for one-on-on connection, yet with a global reach.
5. My signature question! If you could control any element, earth, water, fire, spirt or air, what would it be and why?
I would pick air - most definitely, because it could affect so many of the others. Air could move water, it could blow out or stoke a fire, and it could be powerful enough to move earth or even people or objects. Seems like it would come handy in a lot of ways!
I definitely recommend trying Lyda's book.
Thanks for the well-thoughout answers Lynda!
Thanks for the well-thoughout answers Lynda!
Thanks for Reading!