Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Author Q&A with Robyn Harding

Robyn Harding, author of My Parents Are Sex Maniacs and a number of other books (check her website for a complete list of titles!), has answered some of our burning questions about life, high school, writing, and food. Enjoy!

1. What embarrassed you most as a teenager about your parents?

My mom remarried when I was 11. Of course, it never occurred to me that this meant she was having sex with my stepfather. Imagine my shock (and horror) when she got pregnant when I was 13! I definitely know how Louise felt when her mom was waddling around her high school hallways with a huge baby belly.

2. Have your kids reached the age where you’re embarrassing them yet?
My son is eleven so he finds me a little embarrassing – which is crazy because I keep telling him how lucky he is to have the coolest mom in the world.

3. What was your favourite part of high school? Least favourite?
I really enjoyed drama and creative writing classes. My least favourite part was anything math related.

4. What’s your writing strategy?
It’s taken me several years to figure this out, but I’m really only creative in the morning. If I wasn’t so lazy, I’d get up at 5:00 AM and write in my pajamas for a couple of hours. Unfortunately, I am so lazy so I usually start work around 8:30. I kind of self edit as I go along, so I don’t have to write too many drafts.

5. What is your favourite part of being an author? Least favourite?
I love writing! I love telling stories! And I love when readers tell me that something I wrote touched them or made them laugh. The worst part is definitely bad reviews. A bad review is like a punch in the solar plexus.

6. Who are some of your favourite authors?
I love YA author Susan Juby. Her Alice, I Think series is hilarious. David Sedaris is soooo funny. I literally cried with laughter reading Naked on a plane once. And Nick Hornby is always good.

7. What are your most- and least-eco-friendly habits?
I am pretty green (if you care to know exactly how green, you can read: Mom, Will This Chicken Give Me Man Boobs? My Confused, Guilt-Ridden and Stressful Struggle to Raise A Green Family). About a month ago, I bought a composter, which I think is a huge step in my green evolution. But I still feel bad about a lot of non-green things I do: dyeing my hair, using a lot of Kleenex, flying to Australia (my husband is an Aussie) every four years…

8. If you didn’t have to worry about any practical matters (work visas, language, moving, kids’ schools, work, etc.), where in the world would you choose to live?
Paris! I’ve only been there once but it really spoke to me: Come live here Robyn, it said, before you get tied down with work and visas and kids’ schools! So if that were all off the table, that’s where I’d be. But Vancouver is a pretty awesome place to live, too.

9. What food could you eat exclusively for an entire week without getting sick of it?
Dairy Queen Blizzards. I’d have a different flavor every day for variety.

10. What advice do you have for writers who want to get published?
Write and then submit. Get the Writer's Market and send your manuscript everywhere. I didn’t have any insider connections and I got published. It’s not easy but I remember reading some sage advice: if you’ve written something good, it will find a home.

Thanks, Robyn!


Inderjit Deogun said...

"If you’ve written something good, it will find a home." Ms. Harding, I absolutely love this quote!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the words of advice. Very inspiring!

Wondering if Ms. Harding has vivid dreams. I myself do and have heard that highly creative people often do.

Sometimes I will use my dreams in my own writing.