Saturday, 8 December 2018

Getting to Know the Authors: Featuring Jeff Giles!

      Jeff Giles is a writer based in Montana. He was previously the Deputy Editor of Entertainment Weekly, where he oversaw all coverage of movies and books. Prior to EW, Giles was an arts writer and editor at Newsweek, where, among other things, he served as a Rohan Army extra in “Lord of the Rings” while chronicling the trilogy from start to finish (Peter Jackson shot a close-up of him, then cut it, saying he “looked silly.”) Giles has freelanced for many outlets, including Rolling Stone and The New York Times Book Review.
      Jeff’s debut novel, THE EDGE OF EVERYTHING is a Young Adult Contemporary/Fantasy. A Montana girl, who’s grieving after the mysterious death of her dad, chases her little brother into a blizzard—and stumbles on a bounty hunter from the underworld who’s come to take a soul. She tries to help him escape his life before all hell breaks loose.

What has he written?
He has written:

Now on to the Interview!!!
1) How old were you when you started writing, in your opinion?
I remember taking a cool blank journal on a family vacation to Greece when I was 9 so I must have been thinking about it even then. (I ended writing about five words in it and that's it. I still have it somewhere, I think.) By 14 or so, I was probably sure that it's what I wanted to do for a living if I could. I wrote many, many bad stories and poems before I graduated from high school. I even put the date on all of them, because I thought they'd be important some day!

2) What do you want a reader to gain from reading your works?
My YA books, "The Edge or Everything" and "The Brink of Darkness," are fantasy novels but they've got a lot of stuff about family and grieving and shame and empathy. Those are the themes that mean the most to me personally.

3) What are your three top suggestions on becoming an author, or being a pleasure writer?
First, find a schedule you can stick to, even if it's only writing a couple hundred words a day or week. That way you won't wander away from a project because you haven't sat down to write in a while. Secondly, I always suggest writing at least a simple outline if you're thinking of a novel, so that you know where it's going and that the plot is interesting enough to carry a reader through a novel. Third, make sure you have snacks in the house, preferably chocolate.

4) What is your favourite novel, why?
I have many favorites, depending on what genre. My favorite young adult novel is "Still Life with Tornado" by A.S. King. It's about a teenage girl going through a hard time with her family. She skips school to walk around her city and keeps magically meeting up with herself at older or younger ages-- and she tries to get advice from herself on how to handle her life.

5) Who is your favourite author, why?
In YA world, it's A.S. King. In other genres, I love the Canadian short story writer Alice Munro and the Japanese novelist Huraki Murakami.  I also love the British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro. His sci-fi novel "Never Let Me Go" is one I recommend to all kinds of readers.  I also recommend Ann Patchett's thrilling/romantic novel "Bel Canto" constantly.

6) What are your favourite pass times besides writing?
I love music. I play a few instruments really badly and listen to all kinds of music.

7) Who in your life do you credit your imagination to the most?
Cool question! I'm not sure. I had a great high school teacher, Mr. Emmons, who really encouraged me to write. But I think it was all the reading I did as a kid that inspired me the most. When I was in high school and college, I read a lot of John Irving's novels ("The Hotel New Hampshire" and "The World According to Garp" were my favorites) and I loved the funny, generous way he looked at people, especially messed-up families.

8) What are the top five things on your bucket list?
I've never actually made a bucket list! But because I was a journalist I've already been really lucky in my life and gotten to meet many of my heroes and go to many places I dreamed about.

9) What is your funniest childhood memory?
Oh, I could write about a novel about being president of the high school marching band. We were the worst band ever.

10) To the youth of today, if you could tell them one thing, what would it be?
I'm sorry about what we've done to the earth and to people who are different and to politics, and I know your generation will fix everything.

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