Thursday, August 5, 2010

Q&A with Tish Cohen

HarperCollins Canada has put together a blog tour for Tish Cohen's new book, The Truth About Delilah Blue. I was lucky enough to be chosen as a participate and today's the day that Tish stops by to answer a few questions. Enjoy!

Me: At the end of The Truth About Delilah Blue you thank a bunch of people who helped you sort out some of the details in the story (information on art, coyotes, Alzheimer’s, etc). Can you tell us more about how you go about researching items when writing a book?
TISH: I usually write about subjects I have some base knowledge about, and then supplement what I think I know with books on the topic, online research and interviews.

Me: How do you feel about used book stores/charity used book sales/swapping websites (or sites like who encourage members to give away their books?) What do you think the impact is on book sales?
TISH: Honestly, this is not a thing I worry about. Books can be costly and some people love to read but simply cannot afford to spend on new books—I completely respect that and am just thrilled to hear people are reading. Obviously this doesn’t help the publishing industry, but it doesn’t necessarily detract from it either—it might just mean people are buying more books than they would have otherwise.

Me: How important are the new internet tools (bloggers, websites like Twitter, Facebook and others) in promoting a book? How has this changed the way you work?
TISH: I don’t think social networking necessarily creates huge increases in book sales, but Twitter and Facebook are excellent ways to connect with your readers. In terms of impact on my work – social networking is an enormous distraction!

Me: Which of your books is your favourite? (I know it’s like asking which of your children is our favourite). Which one are you most proud of? Why?
TISH: I am most proud of The Truth About Delilah Blue because this book went through a great deal of change before it became the story we read between the covers. And I put more real life events into this one.

Me: Which one was the hardest to write?
TISH: Definitely The Truth About Delilah Blue

Me: Can you tell us a little about what you are working on now?
TISH: I am revising an adult novel about suicide and a teen novel that will come out next spring.

Me: What/who was your inspiration for Delilah Blue?
TISH: I wanted to explore the issue of aging parents and the eventual role reversal that its most parents and children. It is easy to imagine how adult children from loving homes might respond to their parents being needy, but what about children from disturbed homes? How would an adult child respond to the demise of a parent who had grossly wronged him or her? It seemed a fascinating scenario to wrap a story around.

Me: Tell us about your writing environment. (music or quiet, desk or comfy chair, etc.)
TISH: I usually write on my laptop because I don’t have wireless so am less likely to waste time on the Internet. So I tend to move away from my desk and write in a comfy chair somewhere at home or at the cottage. In terms of noise, sometimes I need quiet and other times I love to hear the hustle and bustle of people and action all around me.

Me: When did you start writing? Did you ever want to be something else?
TISH: Like Delilah Blue, I wanted to be an artist. The first manuscript I wrote was a picture book, about eighteen years ago.

Me: What is your favourite book that you’ve read?
TISH: Olive Kittredge by Elizabeth Strout.

Me: What do you do for fun when you are not writing? Do you have any hobbies?
TISH: I run, hike, do yoga, and read.

Me: Tea or coffee? Cats or dogs? Dark or milk chocolate?
TISH: Coffee, dogs and milk chocolate!

Me: What’s your favourite place that you’ve lived? If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?
TISH: I live in Muskoka during the summers and that’s probably my favourite place on earth.

Thanks so much Tish for taking time to answer my questions. I really appreciate it.

For everyone else, don't forget to drop by the other tour stops. Click here for the schedule.

Oh, and come back here tomorrow because that's when I'll be posting my review of The Truth About Delilah Blue.

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