Harmony Book Reviews

Interview with Claire Carmichael

Posted on: June 26, 2008

I’m lucky enough for Claire Carmichael to take a few minutes out of her schedule to answer a few questions on Leaving Simplicity and writing. My review of Leaving Simplicity can be found a few posts down. Now, without farther ado, the wonderful Claire Carmichael:

1. Inspiration for Leaving Simplicity?

The realization that advertising was becoming more and more intrusive in everyone’s life, particularly online. Advertisers are becoming sneakier, too, with product placement in movies and TV programs.
2. My opinion of advertising today and where it will be in the future.
We are bombarded with so many ads that we scarcely notice most of them, which leads advertisers to do two things–either produce ads that are frantic to catch our fleeting attention with noise, color, movement, or to find more underhand ways of seeping into our consciousness.
The future will be more of the same, but utilizing even more research into consumer’s motivations and psychological hot buttons. Also ads will be tailored to specific receptive audiences, rather than to the general public.
3. My favorite character in Leaving Simplicity? Whom am I most like?
My favorite would be Barrett. It was fun seeing the world of the near future through his astonished eyes.
I’m not like any of the characters, although of course, like most authors, I realize there’s a little bit of me in every one of them.
4. Writing process–outline or wing it?
I start with a premise and one or two main characters come to life as I ask myself “What if…?”
I know how the novel begins and ends–but everything in between I discover as I write.
5. Write with music playing? Some of my favorite singers and bands?
I have to have absolute silence while I write so I can hear my characters speaking to me. I read all dialogue aloud to make sure it sounds natural for the individual in question.
As far as music is concerned, I enjoy the widest range, from classical to the latest hits. My only true dislike is Hawaiian music–I can’t stand it! 
6. Favorite books? All-time favorite author?
I have countless “favorite” books–there are so many excellent writers in the young adult field. Two authors I do particularly admire are Lois Lowry (“The Giver” is a masterpiece) and Philip Pullman (especially “His Dark Materials” trilogy).
7. Working on now? 
I’m writing a YA novel about the need for young people to be electronically connected to each other 24/7. It’s called “Gotta B” (got to be connected) and is set slightly in the future where huge communication companies link everyone in a worldwide electronic sea. I asked myself what would happen if one of those young people were to be totally cut off from everyone–no Internet, no instant messaging, no team game-playing. In my imagination, I heard the character say, “When I’m disconnected, I feel like I don’t exist.”
8. Advice for readers?
The world is full of the most fascinating things. Don’t waste of moment!

1 Response to "Interview with Claire Carmichael"

I love her last line about not wasting any time.

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