Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Interview with Brenda Rufener, author of Where I Live


Can you tell us about your book?

I’d love to. WHERE I LIVE is about a homeless teen who secretly lives in the halls of her high school. She fights to blend in and live like everyone else, but with friendships, her future, and maybe even a first love at stake, coming clean doesn’t feel like an option. It’s scheduled for publication in 2018 by HarperCollins. I’ll reveal more soon, I promise.


Is it a standalone or duology/series?

Standalone.


When you write do you need background noise or silence?

A mix of both. Certain scenes require music, while others call for silence. I’ve been known to wear earplugs or open the window and listen to a cicada symphony. Recently, I discovered the Ravenclaw Common Room at Ambient Mixer. There’s nothing better than the sounds of Hogwarts.


What books are at the top of your TBR list?

My TBR list is eleven-deep, and those are the books stacked on my nightstand. But, at the top of the skyscraper sits John Corey Whaley’s Highly Illogical Behavior, Adam Silvera’s More Happy Than Not, and Summer Days and Summer Nights with Leigh Bardugo, Libba Bray, Nina LaCour…)


Who are your favorite authors?

There are too many to list! I mean, what’s the definition of favorite, anyway? Books that tug my heartstrings, make me feel something I need or want to feel at the time I’m reading, are the books I’ll define as favorites. These authors have succeeded in ripping my heart out, mending it on some level, and kept me frothing at the mouth for more words. Some I discovered when I was young, and a little less young, and a few I found within the last several months. Maeve Binchy, Sandra Cisneros, Angela Flournoy, John Green, A.S. King, Kerry Kletter, Toni Morrison, Rainbow Rowell, J.K. Rowling, Laura Ruby, Adam Silvera, Nova Ren Suma, Jacqueline Woodson, Jeff Zentner

What piece of advice would you give to querying writers?

I’ve heard that you’re not supposed to query until you’re absolutely ready. But, you’re never going to feel 100% ready, right? If I’d queried-when-ready, my finger would still be hovering over the send button. E.E. Cummings said, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” I suppose we can apply those words to all facets of our lives. My point? Be courageous and take risks. Invite others to read your work, become a sponge, and soak up words of wisdom from those who’ve paved the publishing path before you. And, no matter what, never give up.