Monday, April 7, 2014

The Author Interview: Helene Dunbar, THESE GENTLE WOUNDS

It's time for another round of the aptly titled segment, THE AUTHOR INTERVIEW! In this episode, I'm thrilled to introduce you to fellow OneFourKidLit alumni, Helene Dunbar, author of the brilliantly-titled YA novel, THESE GENTLE WOUNDS. Here she is, to tell us a little about herself, her process, and her amazing new book.

Tell me a little about yourself for bio purposes. Also, if you like, tell us a little about where your from and how that place fuels you as a writer. (Basically, what's the local writing culture like?)

I’ve always written, but mostly journalistic pieces like music features or encyclopedia entries or marketing documents.

I live in Nashville which is filled with writers, musicians, and other creative sorts, but I have to say that, even though I don’t live there anymore, it is still New York City that fuels me as a writer. I lived there for most of 15 years and it’s just inside me somehow.

1. You wrote a book? Awesome! What's it about and when can we read it?

I did! And thanks! These Gentle Wounds is out May 8th and is about a boy with PTSD who has to dig deep within himself to save those he loves.

2. Tell us a little about the process. How long did it take? Is this your first book ever? What inspired you?

This is the fourth manuscript I completed. The third is my 2015 Flux release, currently titled Crash. I was inspired by some of the tragic cases I wrote about for an education series on popular court cases. And curiosity. Always curiosity.

3. How was your journey to publication, and what was it like when you arrived?

The journey felt WAY longer than it was. I signed with my first agent after querying Crash for a couple of months. We submitted that for a while and then, TGW won a couple of awards and we sent that out and Flux bought both of them. That was just over a year. Flux had a spot in their Spring 2014 list open, so it will be just over a year from signing to publishing.

It’s been amazing. Really, the best is the support of other writers. This is a wonderful community.

4. Any advice for would-be writers just stepping out?

READ. Seriously, I can’t tell you the number of books I’ve studied to try to figure out WHY they work. And I don’t mean on a commercial level, but on an emotional one.

Also, be nice. This isn’t a race where someone wins and someone loses.

5. Finally, where can we find you? (goodreads, amazon link, website, blog)

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