Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Q&A with Susan Juby, Author of The Woefield Poultry Collective

When I posted my review The Woefield Poultry Collective the other day, I forgot to mention that it was a part of a blog tour. Thanks to Shannon HarperCollins Canada for putting it together. To read what the other participates thought of this great book, go to the new and improved Savvy Reader website.

Today, Susan stops by to answer some questions I had for her.

Marie: What's easier (or more fun) to write: Adult fiction or YA? Why the switch?

Susan: I wouldn’t say one is easier, exactly. At about the halfway point in any book, I begin to despair and feel as though I will never finish! When I write YA it’s because I love writing about the teen experience. It’s much more fun to write about than to live through. I wrote the adult book (such an odd term!) because I wanted to write about characters who were older. My main goal is to make their voices distinctive and authentic, even if the action of the book is a bit absurdist.

Marie: Your latest book is situated on a farm. Do you have any experience living on a farm? If yes, what was that like? If not, what was your research like?

Susan: I grew up on a small acreage and we had chickens and pigs and a horse as well as a large garden. I took those things entirely for granted and managed not to learn one thing about small scale farming. Now I would love to move onto acreage again, though my experiments with growing vegetables suggest things could go very wrong unless we get a lot of professional help. To research the book I read many books on Peak Oil, sustainability, the local foods movement and visited beautiful and productive little farms in our area. I also went to agricultural fairs and farmer’s markets.

Marie: The characters for Woefield were really fun and quirky. What was the inspiration for these characters?

Susan: They are all composites. Prudence was inspired by the lead character from Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. Seth was partly inspired by some of the bloggers I enjoy reading and by an image I had of a young man in a dark and dingy bedroom, his face lit only by a computer screen. Sara was inspired by some of the kids I saw showing off their animals at agricultural fairs. Earl was inspired by some of the laconic older men I’ve known and a biography of Bill Munroe, the founder of modern bluegrass.

Marie: Any plans to write a sequel to Woefield? (I'd love to read one).

Susan: I’d love to write one! It depends on whether people enjoy (and buy!) this book.

Marie: What's up next? What are you working on? Is it adult or YA?

Susan: I’m working on a sci-fi story for young adults. I’m in the despair phase.

Marie: PS. I absolutely loved Woefield.

Susan: Thank you! You’ve made my day.

Marie: Thanks for stopping by today Susan. I'm looking forward to reading more of your work.

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