Saturday, May 11, 2013

Julie Klausner

Julie Klausner's new book--her first for young adults--is Art Girls Are Easy.

From her Q & A with Claire Zulkey for WBEZ:

How hard or easy was it to switch gears into YA writing? What challenges did it pose?

It's completely tough to write a book, period. But switching gears into fiction was absolutely challenging, if only because I had to make sure I wasn't using my own voice the whole time when I was writing—whether it was in the description or in the dialogue. I don't have a lot of experience writing fiction. Part of that is because I have such a loud nonfiction voice. I am who I am. Another element of the challenge of having to sit down and make sh*t up is imagination. As I grow older, I become more and more fearful that I have little to no imagination. The kind of abilities I had as a little kid to just play and make things up as you went along. So, I had to get past that fear to crack the story, and then to write in the voices of the kids I invented. But as far as it being a challenge from a YA perspective, I honestly have to say that I just tried to be true to the material, and I didn't think of the audience as being below or necessarily less sophisticated than somebody I would usually write for. I didn't dumb down my prose—or, I tried not to.

You don't have to give us details (but feel free to), but how much of the book was inspired by your own young adulthood?

I absolutely relate to the main character in the book. I was a very emotionally intense adolescent, very interior. I was eaten alive by my own passions, which were equal parts artistic drive and sexual madness. That's where I drew the inspiration for Indigo's tumult. Her conflict is more internal than it is a concrete struggle with her best friend. She does have some love affair gone sour stuff with her best friend Lucy, but the main plot exists within Indigo, I think. As far as the setting, I did go to a Fine and Performing Arts sleepaway camp, but...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue