Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Reader's Snapshot - Michelle Zink

Michelle Zink's smashing debut novel, Prophecy of the Sisters was released over the weekend and as such it's Michelle Zink Week here at Persnickety Snark. This lovely lady kindly took the time to tackle my patented reader's snapshot questions.

Which book is memorable from your teen years?
I read a ton - Madeline L'Engle, Stephen King (pilfered from my dad's library), Peter Straub (ditto), Harold Robbins (pilfered from my mom's library!). It's difficult to name one as being more influential than the other. What I DO remember is that I attended a small town, combined elementary/middle school and our library was tiny. We didn't have a lot of shiny new books - most of them had been donated or had been there since the dawn of time, it seemed. Because of this, I ended up reading older mysteries, complete with torn pages and worn cloth covers and usually set in rambling old castles or manor houses. They typically featured a young girl trying to sort out some kind of mystery, and I remember being totally carried away by the different time and place despite the fact that many of the books were written at least 20 years before I found them.

Describe your high school English teacher in three words...
I had too many! I moved a lot and was never in one place for more than three years. I didn't have a specific English teacher that stood out in my mind or one that ever recognized my love for reading and writing. It makes me realize how very important passionate, insightful teachers are, because I don't remember anyone ever explaining to me what a career as a writer would LOOK like, which classes I would take, what course of study in college I would pursue. I see so many passionate teachers today who work incredibly hard to reach out to their students and to guide them toward fulfilling futures and it just makes me so happy! A fantastic teacher makes ALL the difference!

Your book of the moment?
A small picture book called A Roomful of Questions by Tracy Gallup. I'd try to explain it but I don't think I can. Let's just say it's an enchanting book for philosophers of any age.

What do you use to mark your page when reading?
I dog-ear the pages. I know some people say it's wrong, but I love my dog-eared books! It tells me that they've been read - and loved - many times over. They feel familiar and comfortable to me, and I like them just that way. It's probably the same reason I like old houses, antique furniture (the not-precious kind), and vintage clothing!

Favourite place to read?
In bed before sleep. AFTER I've washed my face so I don't have to sit there and dread the whole before-bed-face-washing routine! (am I the only one who does that?!)

Favourite word?
It changes, but I think right now it might be "wraith".

Favourite book store?
Oh, no way can I choose! I don't have an Indie within 30 minutes of my house, so I frequent the closest bookstore possible - the Borders in my small-town mall. It's very small, but it's the place I used to go to smell books and coffee and dream about what it would feel like to have see my book on one of the shelves.

Character you wish you had created?
Ingrid in Janet Fitch's WHITE OLEANDER. Such a horrifyingly complex character. And what a book!

Thanks Michelle. You can read my thoughts on Prophecy of the Sisters here but I think it's in your best interests to go and buy a copy so you can dip yourself in a pool of literary deliciousness!


a flight of minds said...

Great questions and answers! I also like read in bed before sleep- but I'm teeth brushing, not face washing. I either fall asleep and never end up brushing my teeth (which is bad), feel too lazy to get up and brush my teeth so just forget about it (which is even worse), or force myself to get up and brush my teeth (but then it takes me a while to fall asleep). Really, it's a no-win situation.

- Alex

Michelle B. said...

I really enjoyed this interview, your questions and her answers. :) She also totally rocks my socks off even more for loving White Oleander; it's one of my all-time favorite books!

Steph Su said...

Ugh, I HATE the before-bed-face-washing dread! And here I thought I was the only person who didn't like it! I haven't yet White Oleander yet, but I really need to start it soon, I think.. :)