Monday, 25 March 2013

Interview with Lindsay Ribar

Happy Monday! Joining us today is Lindsay Ribar, agent extraordinaire and the author of THE ART OF WISHING (which I reviewed last week, here, if you missed it).

Welcome to We Do Write, Lindsay! Tell us a bit about yourself.

But of course! Here’s me, in a nutshell: Associate literary agent by day. Writer by night. Concert junkie 24/7.  Lover of kissing scenes, fictional boys with magical powers and great hair, gender-bendy/queer stories, red wine, and bourbon.  Taurus.  Blue-eyed, suspicious of many things, and overly fond of vacation.

As someone who is counting down the days to my own vacation (32, if you're wondering), I don't think it's possible to be too fond of vacation. How long have you been writing?

Oh, I’ve been writing since I learned what letters were.  Seriously.  Ask my parents. But I’ve only been writing with an eye toward publication since about 2007 – the same time I started working in the publishing industry.  Before that, it was all fanfiction, all the time!

Ha! I'd love to get my hands on some of your fanfic. I bet it was great. So, tell us about THE ART OF WISHING. What’s the story about?

It’s about a high school senior named Margo McKenna, who accidentally finds out that a boy she only-sort-of-knows from school, a sophomore named Oliver Parish, is actually a genie.  Not only that, but he has become bound to her… which means she is his master, and he owes her three wishes.  They (spoilers) fall in love! There is kissing! But there is also Oliver’s crazypants ex-boyfriend (also a genie), who’s out to get him.  And Margo might just be the only one who can save him.

Believe me, folks, it's as awesome as it sounds. How did the idea of the story come to you?

I’ve long been a fan of human-girl-meets-supernatural-boy stories, whether it’s vampires, werewolves, ghosts, or what have you.  What drew me to genies, though, was the power dynamic inherent in genie magic, at least in certain stories.  They have all this magic, but they have to use it to serve the whims of masters who are, more often than not, far less inherently powerful than they are.  So the master is automatically the alpha of that relationship, not the genie.  Add romance to the mix, and… hey! Fun for everyone!

What a cool idea. I love the genie aspect and how that power dynamic worked between Margo and Oliver. Their relationship is so unique and refreshing, as compared to many other YA paranormal romances. 

Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?

I always self-edit as much as I can before I send my work out, but yes, I’ve always depended on the kindness of beta readers.  This is largely a holdover from my fanfiction days, when beta readers were the only source of editorial advice you could get before you posted a story online – but even now that I’m working with an editor and an agent, I cling as tightly as I can to my beta readers.  I’m a very collaborative writer, so I love having as much outside input as I can get.  

Well said. Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I’m a pantser with latent plotter tendencies.  By which I mean, I usually know certain points in my books that I want to hit – usually the end, plus one or two key points in the middle – but I don’t know how I’m going to get there until I’ve already arrived.  I like to discover things as my characters do.  Makes it more interesting!

Yes. Yes, it does. What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

The hardest part of writing is writing.  I may be quoting someone else on that, but I don’t know who… so hey, whoever you are? Speak up now, or I’m totally taking credit!

It's a good quote, and so true! What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

Water and/or tea, and my laptop.  That’s about it.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

It hasn’t even been a week since my book hit shelves, so I’m going to go with my gut and say: The power to make everyone in the world buy my book and love it.  Ask me again next week, though.  I’ll probably have a more sensible answer by then, like the ability to fly, or turn invisible, or breathe underwater.  Or to turn into a cat.  Ooh, that’s a good one.

That IS a good one! Just think of all you could do as a cat... always land on your feet, climb furniture/drapes/people's legs, get free tummy rubs. That would rock. 

What's the weirdest thing you've googled?

I can’t actually recall anything particularly weird – not book-related, anyway.  But I’ve definitely spent far too many hours on looking up everything I could find about common tropes in genie-centric stories.

Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: wish, theater, insensitive.

Only the most insensitive master would force his genie to grant a wish in the middle of a crowded theater.

Maybe that was too easy... Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ... 

…at a concert.  (Or reading.  Actually, probably reading. Or maybe even reading while waiting for a concert to start.)

Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Who would you like to thank for supporting you throughout this process?

Well, I will say that my acknowledgments page takes up two entire pages in the back of the book – in a very small font.  All those people know who they are, and they deserve all the hugs in the world.  But right now, during release week, I especially want to thank everyone who’s kept me going throughout the Very Questionable Month of March.  My friends.  My roommates.  My very patient clients.  My favorite musicians.  And especially my agent, Brenda Bowen, who has kept me from jumping off soooooo many ledges.

Well, I guess I should thank Brenda Bowen, too! If she didn't keep you from jumping off ledges, who would keep me from doing the same?

And finally, where can our readers find you and your books online?

Well, gosh, thank you for asking!  Here are some links:

My Goodreads page:

Thank you so much for joining us, Lindsay! Congratulations and best wishes (did you see what I did there?) to you and THE ART OF WISHING!


Lindsay Ribar said...

Brenda's also the one who passed YOUR query along to ME! So I can thank her for that, too! :)

Dorothy Dreyer said...

I love the writing test question! Great interview!

Dorothy Dreyer said...

I mean the answer to the writing test question, lol. Oops. More coffee needed.