Monday, May 9, 2011

Interview and Giveaway with Gary Ghislain

Welcome to Jagged Edge!
Gary, would you like to tell us a little about yourself?
Hiya! Thank you for having me on Jagged Edge. What can I tell you about moi? I was born in France and I grew up between Paris and the French riviera. I studied literature and linguistics with the definite idea of becoming a fiction writer. After obtaining a master degree, I decided to travel the world while writing. I dragged around my oversized backpack in Amsterdam, Lodz (Poland), London, Wellington (New-Zealand), and Stockholm before coming back to Antibes, where I wrote “How I stole Johnny Depp's Alien Girlfriend”.

This is your first book how excited are you for when it comes out?
I still can't believe I have a book coming out. A few days ago, I received the hardcover copy. It's really something to be holding your own book. Writing and getting published means the world to me. I'm waiting for release day (May 25th) with the sort of excitement you normally associate with landing on the Moon.

How do you plan to celebrate?
I'm French. I live in France. One word: champagne!

What inspired you to write How I stole Johnny Depp's Alien Girlfriend?
Somehow, I'm always getting my ideas while traveling. I was crossing Sweden by train. I was thinking about the Norse mythology, the Valkyries, the Vikings... and, well, I was mostly thinking about Swedish girls! And suddenly, BANG! Zelda was born. She came before the story. She even came before David Gershwin, my main character and narrator. A strong minded, rude violent warrior girl from outer space who would destroy whatever was on her way. By the time my train arrived to destination, I couldn't wait to write her story.

What authors influenced you as a writer?
Four guys made me want to become a writer. Two French. Two Americans. In the French team there's Marcel Proust and Louis Ferdinand CĂ©line. In the American team there’s Raymond Chandler and Kurt Vonnegut.

Your favorite character?
I love Phillip Marlowe - Raymond Chandler's protagonist. I love his humor. His wit. Whenever I'm writing and the jokes are not coming, I always open a Chandler novel and try to see what Marlowe would have said or done in similar circumstances.

What is your favorite Quote?
So it goes.” (from Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Number 5)

If you could jump into a book, and live in that world, which would it be?
You know. The one fictional world I'd most like to join is not very literary. I've always dreamed of joining the Scooby Doo team! I mean, those guys have great adventures, deal with ghost and ghouls, haunted amusement parks and swamp creatures while still managing to eat plenty of ridiculously large sandwiches.

What is the one thing that every writer needs to have or do?
To write, I need plenty of coffee and snacks. I have a rule with snacking. I'm like the dog in the Pavlov experiment. Every 5 or 6 pages, DING! I reward myself with a good serving of junk food. But fear not, I always exercise in the morning or in the evening to burn away my pavlovian habits.

What lead you to writing in this genre?
I didn’t really choose the YA genre deliberately. I don’t even choose my characters or stories, in general. They sort of choose me. Sure, I read a lot of YA titles, and I relate well with the themes you find in YA literature: the supernatural, the ongoing war against adults, finding your place in the world, romance, etc… but still, I can’t really choose to write a YA novel intentionally. I need the character to come to life in my mind, I need to feel and hear his/her voice, and if that character is a teenager, like David, or Zelda, I will write a YA title.

What inspires you the most when you write?
I watch a lot of stand-up comedy when I’m writing. It helps me to keep the comedy coming (not always an easy thing). You know this thing I said about eating snacks every 5 or 6 pages. Well, I eat snacks while watching Eddie Izzard, Ricky Gervais or Chris Rock on Youtube.

What book do you wish to see come out as a movie?
I’m like everyone: I want to see The Hunger Games trilogy come to the screen. It was such an amazing read. And it’s a ready screenplay. There’s no way they can mess it up (fingers crossed). I think it’s going to be a fantastic movie.

Funniest question you have ever been asked?
Can I get a part in it?” asked by someone failing to understand the difference between books and movies.

What happened while writing one of your books that you did not expect?
Since I let my characters do and say whatever they like, they keep surprising me. Very often, I’m amazed by how funny they can be on their own. David, my main character, comes up with those silly jokes and witty remarks I could never think of by myself. It’s like he has his own funny way of seeing the world and a better sense of humor than I do!

What was your favorite book as a kid?
I was all comics when I was a kid. My older brother was a Marvel fiend. He had the most impressive collection of superheroes titles. Anything coming out of Marvel, he had to have it and I get to read it! Spiderman, Silver surfer, Fantastic 4, the X-men were like my friends. I spend many hours reading and re-re-re-reading my favorite ones. Wolverine ranked really high in my list of favorite characters, back then. Still does!

Was there a question you wish I would have asked but didn't?
Of course: What’s next, Gary? Well, I’m working on a new hilarious YA title. "Us vs the Galaxy" - a fast paced humorous sci-fi meets romance YA extravaganza ;) This time it’s a space invasion... But… hush-hush… I can’t say more… and thank you for having me here again!

To win 
(He's giving away 2 copies!)

1 comment:

jennymilch said...

Big congrats on your upcoming release, Gary!! I can imagine the excitement. Holding that book *is* bigger than landing on the moon :)

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