Monday, January 16, 2012

Interview with Aya Tsintziras (Pretty Bones Blog Tour)

Today we have Aya Tsintziras here for an author interview! This interview is part of The Teen Book Scene's blog tour for Pretty Bones. You can find out more about the tour here. Make sure to visit all the other stops of the blog tour if you'd like to know more about Pretty Bones!

What inspired you to write about anorexia?
In the ninth grade, a girl in my grade passed away, and we quickly learned it was because of a severe eating disorder. Being only fourteen, I was really disturbed by this (but of course, this is disturbing at any age) and it basically haunted me throughout my high school years. I wanted to write about anorexia in order to explore the thoughts and feelings I had surrounding this tragedy, but also because dieting and body image is such an important issue in our culture and something that everyone deals with. In high school, I knew quite a few girls who ate weirdly, and that didn’t stop once I reached university – a lot of girls were obsessed with the gym and some even went several times a day. In tenth grade, I was having a really hard time and went through a minor depression and wasn’t eating, so when I was part of a young playwright’s unit here in Toronto the spring of tenth grade, I had to write a one-act play and I knew I wanted to write about a teenage girl with anorexia and how that would affect the people in her life. The summer before eleventh grade, I decided to turn the play into novel, and that’s how the book came to be. I think that almost every girl deals with food and weight and body image issues at some point in their lives.

Can you tell us a bit about the writing process? Do you have any weird writing habits?
The writing process for this book is quite different from how I write now. I wrote the first draft of this book when I was sixteen, and so I wrote in bits and pieces – sometimes I wrote after school at the Starbucks near my house, sometimes I wrote at night before going to bed. I thought about the story all the time, though – I daydreamed about it during class, I thought up new scenes before going to sleep every night.

Now, since finishing my university degree this past June, I write every day and I have more of a real writing process. After I wake up and have breakfast, I walk to my local Starbucks and come back home to write for the morning, take a break for lunch, and then write for a few more hours in the afternoon. Or I go to another coffee shop to write in the morning and then write at home in the afternoon. So every writing day isn’t exactly the same, and I do take some breaks, but the main thing is that I’m always working on something and try to write 2, 000 words a day.

I don’t think I have any weird writing habits! But for a while I was obsessed with writing in first person present tense, if that counts. The story I’m working on at the moment is in third person past tense, just for something different and to challenge myself.

If you could pair your main character, Raine, up with any character from any book, who would it be and why? 
Maybe Heathcliff. I think that would be romantic and tragic enough for her. But really, she wouldn’t want to be with anyone other than her boyfriend, Dylan! 

Which is easier for you - dialogue or description?
Both come pretty naturally depending on the book – but I absolutely love writing dialogue. Once I get the feeling of who my characters are, I could go on forever.

What was your favorite scene to write in Pretty Bones?
There’s a party scene near the end of the book that was really satisfying to write – but I can’t say more than that, because it would be a spoiler!

Thanks for the great interview answers, Aya!

Make sure to check out the rest of the tour stops, and keep your eye out for Pretty Bones, which has already been released.

Pretty Bones by Aya Tsintziras
(Amazon | Goodreads)

Raine has a family, good grades, best friends, and a boyfriend who loves her. But then anorexia takes over, and her life spirals out of control. Her efforts to hide her condition are finished when she collapses at a school dance. Although she's whisked away to treatment, Raine isn't ready to accept who she really is and get the help she desperately needs. For Raine, coming-of-age means coming closer to death.


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