Book Nerd Interview
Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
I think we figure ourselves out through stories. We find who we are, how the world works, and how we want to fit into it, through the stories that we tell, the stories we read, the ones we reread over and over. We think, “This is how the world works.” Or, “This is the kind of person I want to become.” Or, “This is the love I am looking for.” We live out many lives through our favorite characters, trying things out, learning things. And that, I think, is the best part of all.
What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?
I’m very LOUD. I remember my best friend in grade school, I heard her mother speaking on the telephone saying, “Nichole has this wonderful friend named Gina. She is so nice. But she is so loud.”
Now, my kids are just about as loud. We are the LOUD family. I don’t know why. Probably because I grew up as the middle child. Just screaming over my brother and sister to get a word in.
What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
That truly finding what you enjoy or what you’re interested in means enjoying the process of something – not just the product, not just the fruits of your labor.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
Stephen King talks in On Writing about his first newspaper job, and how the editor showed him that he had some good stuff. But then he edited out the not-so-good stuff. It was like a revelation for King. Take out the stuff that’s not-so-good. To me, that translates to the last step of my revision process: I go through and take out everything that’s unnecessary. The restated lines. The meandering dialogue. Take it out. Get to the point. Hemingway the crap out of your work. Even that one line that you just **love** so much, for its turn-of-phrase, or its wonderful metaphor. Especially that line. If it isn’t necessary, if it isn’t moving the story forward, goodbye.
What are some of the common challenges that new and experienced authors face and what advice do you have for over-coming them?
Like I was saying above, I think it’s hard to kill your darlings. But really, I believe that’s the difference between something being good and being GREAT. Revision. You have to roll up your sleeves and just really butcher that thing up until you ONLY have the good parts left. Every. Single. Word. Must be necessary and well chosen.
Can you tell us when you started Flutter, how that came about?
I was having a late night conversation with my sister, and I had this kernel of an idea, which was the surprise twist ending of what would become FLUTTER. (I won’t spoil it!!) I told her my idea, and then it just started to blossom, unfolding backwards.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Emery?
In researching epilepsy, I read a lot about the human brain, and it is just fascinating. Then I did more research into the supernatural kind of stuff, like ESP and clairvoyance, and it just really gets me thinking. Maybe that big percentage of brain power that we don’t use as humans, maybe, it could/might do so much more! Food for thought!
If you could introduce Asher to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
These are such good questions! I think Asher could benefit from a heroic father figure. Atticus Finch?
You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
When you’re young, you think that you need to have it all figured out. You don’t! No one does. You don’t have to have a grand plan, all set in stone. Give yourself freedom to find what it is you love to do, and then do it. Find some way to make it your career! Then, you’ll never feel like you’ve worked a day in your life.
When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
“Mommy, can I please have Fun Dip?”
Where is the best place in the world you’ve been?
Easy. St. Simon’s Island, off the coast of Georgia. Gorgeous beaches, super-friendly small town-ish people, quaint restaurants and shopping. Not commercialized. My family and I love it there.
When was the last time you told someone you loved them?
Tonight. To all three of my crazy kids.
When was the last time you cried?
Hmmm. Probably watching some sappy kids movie. Who knows? Maybe even Sharkboy and Lavagirl. (This movie is right now my nemesis, as my twins seem to watch it CONSTANTLY!)
What would be harder for you, to tell someone you love them or that you do not love them back?
The not loving them back, for sure! I can handle my own self, but my heart always breaks for the underdog. In movies and in books, I LOVE the nerdy, slightly-less-confident boys. They always get my vote. I always just want to shout at the girls, “He’s a keeper! Go for that one!” My sister and I used to call this the Harrison Ford quality. (I’m dating myself, but so be it.) We used to discuss how the right guy would have to possess this tiny percentage of the dork quality, because then he wouldn’t be a jerk. Sort of like Indiana Jones or Han Solo. You get our 1980s drift.
What's the loveliest thing you have ever seen?
My kids being kind to others. Just at Halloween, they gave a neighbor kid a whole bucket of their own candy because he had fallen at school, gotten stitches in his chin, and missed trick-or-treating.
Where can readers stalk you?
Please, yes, stalk away! Twitter: @GinaLinko and www.ginalinko.com
Thanks so much for having me!
Escaping from the hospital, Emery travels to Esperanza, the town from her loops on the upper peninsula of Michigan, where she meets Asher Clarke. Ash’s life is governed by his single-minded pursuit of performing good Samaritan acts to atone for the death of a loved one. His journey is very much entwined with Emery’s loops.
Drawn together they must unravel their complicated connection before it’s too late.