Tenner Interview Number 3 today: Irene Latham, author of LEAVING GEES BEND, due out from Putnam on January 7. Welcome, Irene!
CBR: What are ten words that best describe your book?
IL: heart-touching, historical, adventure, lyrical, southern, survival, quilts, midgrade, family, love
CBR: What is one of your favorite sentences or paragraphs from your book?
IL: "Mama always said every quilt tells a story. Every piece of cloth, every stitch and every bit of cotton stuffed between the seams tells a secret about the one who made the quilt."
CBR: Michelangelo once said, "What do you despise? By this you are truly known." What are ten things (smells, sounds, situations, etc.) you just can't stand?
IL: restaurants where the music is too loud to converse, politics, predictable movies, the fact that there's not enough time to read all the books I want to read, napkin fuzz sticking to my black pants, the way ink smears for us left-handed folks, how expensive printer ink is, nubby sheets, cockroaches, the inability (so far) to time travel
CBR: If you had to spend the rest of your life on a desert island, what fictional character would you take with you?
IL: Oh my. This is quite a commitment. But I think me and Newland Archer from Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence might have some fun.
CBR: Who are some authors that have inspired you?
IL: Katherine Paterson, Sharon Olds, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Mary Oliver and so many others.
CBR: What book of the past ten years did you enjoy the most?
IL: Gosh. The MOST? Impossible to say. But for a real reading experience, I enjoyed Griffin and Sabine by Nick Bantock
CBR: When you were ten years old, what did you plan to be when you grew up?
IL: A thoroughbred horse trainer (and my sister would ride our horse to victory in the Kentucky Derby)
CBR: If you could choose anyone, living or dead, what illustrator would you choose to illustrate your book?
IL: Garth Williams (knee-jerk response -- love his work on the Little House series)
CBR: What would be your main character's theme song/some songs on the soundtrack for your book?
IL: the movie them from Forest Gump
CBR: Could you give us any hints/teasers as to what your next project might be?
IL: I've got two in the hopper: another historical fiction set during the 1902 eruption of Mt. Pelee and a contemporary midgrade about a boy who lives at a zoo.