Thursday, October 11, 2012

In the Spotlight #5

Today, In the Spotlight features author and blogger Kathleen Zamloch. Be sure to check out Kathleen's blog Notes on the Writing Life. And I have to say, her recent novel, Catch the Sun, sounds really good! It's definitely on my TBR list.

About the Book
Tell us about your novel. Catch the Sun follows Marilyn Monroe’s final summer when she is 
 Catch the Sun
exhausted, heavily drug-addicted and recently fired from her last movie. Looking for something to cling to, she decides she needs a house to give her the roots, the stability, she has always lacked. She finds a house on the beach owned by a well-known artist, Edith Lindsey. Marilyn meets Edith’s three year-old daughter, Meredith and become convinced that the child is the little girl she gave up for adoption three years ago. She wants the house and the child. She can have neither. Thirty years later, the child, now a model going by the name of Amanda Grace, becomes haunted by Marilyn Monroe. Is she a ghost? Has she defied time and space to find the child she could not have? Or is Amanda Grace losing her mind?

What gave you the idea for your book? How long did it take you to write it? The idea came to me because I’ve always been fascinated by Marilyn Monroe and her hold on the American imagination. She seems to represent so much, to women as well as to men, and I wanted to capture that. I wrote many drafts over several years. At first the dtory was a novella, then it became a short story published in Emry’s Review. I couldn’t leave it alone, though and turned it back into a novel about a young school teacher who’s haunted by Marilyn. In the end, my character became a model.

Which character was your favourite to create? Why? Marilyn because I could hear her voice in my head. She literally poured out of me. The other characters, by comparison, were difficult to create.

If you were asked to make a soundtrack of your novel, what songs would be on it? Moody jazz pieces. John Coltrane. Miles Davis.

If it were turned into a movie, who would play the leading characters? No idea.

What is your writing process? Was there a part that was difficult to write? I write a little, then rewrite. It’s exactly what “they” tell you not to do, but I can’t move forward until what I have looks and sounds right. I probably produce around five pages a day because of this. And I always start the day by editing yesterday’s output. Once I finish a draft, I may very well make major changes as I complete my final revision.
As I indicated earlier, the difficulty in this novel was finding the right character to be Marilyn’s daughter. Was she an ordinary woman? Was she in show business? Was she beautiful? I knew she needed to suffer insecurities as an adopted child, and I knew that she did not see her life as a success. But I struggled with what form all that would take

About The Blog

Tell us about your blog.  My blog, Lee Zamloch’s Blog: Notes on the Writing Life, is about the ups and downs of being a writer. I ask questions, muse about things that drive me crazy and/or inspire me, and offer tips and suggestions on what has and has not worked for me. I do not claim to be an expert or have all the answers. I simply share my experience and my path as a working writer.

How did you come up with your blog name? The name is my name (Lee Zamloch’s Blog) along with a description of what the blog is (Notes on the Writing Life). It seemed simplest to let the blog speak for itself.

How long have you been blogging? I started blogging in July. I’m brand new.

What is the most enjoyable thing about blogging? The hardest? The most enjoyable thing about blogging is getting to express my opinions, impressions, and stray thoughts about writing. The hardest thing is coming up with a topic every week.

What advice would you give to others who are just starting out? Develop your own voice. Be yourself.  Don’t try to imitate anyone else, even writers you most admire.

About the writer/blogger
What is a normal day like for you? Take us through your usual routine. This isn’t fascinating,
 but here goes: I rise at 7:00, drink coffee, eat breakfast, then I work out for 45 minutes to an hour. After my shower, I check emails, then write. (I’m working on a novel at the moment) After lunch, I clean house, take my Siberian  huskies to the dog park, or grocery shop. In the evening I socialize and/or watch TV and/or go to the movies.

What do you like to do in your spare time? I like to hike, bike, read, travel.

Is there a certain book that has made a lasting impression on you? Too many to count, but one that had a huge impact on me was Iris Murdoch”s The Sea, The Sea.

Other than your own, what blog do you think totally rocks? Anne R. Allen’s Blog. Also Joe Konrath’s.

Is there a certain genre of book you will not read? I don’t read romances.

If you could choose one book to turn into a movie, what would it be and who would you cast? The book I’m reading now, The Hypnotist

If you were stranded on a desert island, what five things would you want to have with you?  My dogs, my boyfriend, my IPad, my IPhone., my favourite jeans,

Bonus Questions
Chocolate or potato chips? Chocolate, no contest

Cuddling in front of a fire or under the stars? Fire, but it’s a close call

Favourite book/pizza toppings/TV show? Can’t pick a book. Favorite pizza topping is pepperoni; TV Show, “So You Think You Can Dance,” “Boss”, “Newsroom.”

Coffee or tea? Coffee

Paperback or ebook? Ebook

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