About the Book:
Beth Vrabel interview
Q. What inspires your writing?
A. Everything! This is why I always keep a notebook handy. I never know when something I see or hear will strike a chord that just resonates, kicking into gear the storytelling part of my mind. In fact, when I go to schools to talk with students about writing, I usually end the assembly by making them promise to keep a notebook nearby at all times!
Q. What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
A. Being a writer gives me a chance to reimagine my own experiences and give them new, more satisfying endings. Take Lucy in the PACK OF DORKS series, for example. Like Lucy, I was often picked on when I was ten and eleven. But where I tried my best to become invisible under that bullying, Lucy finds ways to face it head on. She brings together a group of friends, outcasts and loners, and together they find they’re strong enough to not only confront frenemies but, more importantly, to be themselves.
That being said, considering a corner of Starbucks to be my office is a nice perk, too.
Q. What is the toughest part of being a writer?
A. Being a writer can feel pretty isolating. Spending all day in yoga pants and sweatshirts sounds awesome … at first. But I make it a point to get dressed in real clothes and ready for a day of work, even though my office, like I said, is typically a corner table at my local Starbucks. This way, I feel like I’m part of my community and am forced to have “real life” conversations.
I’ve also incredibly lucky to be part of a powerful, vibrant community of writers through my agent, Nicole Resciniti, and the Seymour Agency. Through her, I’ve connected with other writers. We hold each other accountable for reaching our goals, cheer each other on when we do, and talk through tough points in our stories.
Q. If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?
A. My family and I just visited the Wolf Sanctuary of Pennsylvania. It is amazing! If I couldn’t be a writer but could do anything else, I’d want to be one the sanctuary workers.
If I could really be anything, though, I think I’d want to be a musician. I love music—I create playlists for my books and can’t seem to write without music in the background—but, honestly, I can’t clap to the beat. Not to save my life. I can’t even sway to the beat. So if I had the chance to suddenly tap into a different talent, I think I’d go with musical ability.
Q. What would the story of your life be entitled?
A. This might be the hardest question ever! I just asked my daughter for help. She said, “Beth.” And went back to reading her book. So I guess that’s it. Beth.
Q. What is your favorite book of all time?
A. It’s a tie: “Because of Winn-Dixie” and “The Bridge to Terabithia.”
Q. Which character from ANY book are you most like?
A. Ramona Quimby from the series by Beverly Cleary
Q. What character from all of your books are you most like?
A. Alice from A BLIND GUIDE TO STINKVILLE
Q. Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?
A. I love this question! “Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone.” I’d love to spend the weekend at Hogwarts, so long as it’s the part of the book where Voldemort is still tucked away in a turban.
Q. What is your favorite season?
A. I absolutely love spring. I live in New England, and it never fails to amaze me that despite the harsh winter, irises, tulips and hostas push through the dirt and come into life.
Q. What inspired your book cover(s)? Or what is your favorite book cover and why?
A. Sky Pony Press, the publisher of my books, has an amazing design team. I’m thrilled with my book covers. In fact, I got a small tattoo of one of the origami wolves from the PACK OF DORKS cover on my wrist! The wolves in PACK OF DORKS covers showcase how Lucy and her pack are inspired by wolves they meet at a sanctuary; the fact that they’re origami points to the fact that they’re all unique.
A BLIND GUIDE TO STINKVILLE and A BLIND GUIDE TO NORMAL (releasing in October) covers harken the British “Keep Calm and Carry On” propaganda. The Braille-like typography clues readers in that the characters are visually impaired. The white background in Alice’s story, A BLIND GUIDE TO STINKVILLE, not only hints to her albinism, it also allows her story to unfold from a blank space. This mirrors her experience of moving to a new town and finding her way around on her own, despite being born legally blind.
Q. Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
A. Hmm. Well, it’s a little too soon, but I think it’ll be funny to me some day—my family certainly cracked up about it when I told them. Let’s just say some students at recess might’ve seen a whole new side of me thanks to a sudden gust of wind as I walked into a school. And from now on, I’m sticking with pants during presentations.
Q. Are you working on something new?
A. Always! I recently finished a paranormal story featuring two brothers who must take on witches, goblins and maybe Death itself to break a family curse.
I’m also working on a contemporary realistic story about a twelve-year-old boy who realizes he must break up with his best friend. The main character of that story, Caleb, has cystic fibrosis. I’ve met a number of young adults and children with the genetic disease. Alice in A BLIND GUIDE TO STINKVILLE is a kind, brave, regular kid who happens to be blind. Similarly, Caleb is loyal, compassionate boy who happens to have cystic fibrosis.
Q. Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?