I'm extremely happy to be joined today by the phenomenal Barnabas Miller, author of the entertaining and laugh-out-loud hilarious YA contemporary novel, ROCK GOD: The Legend of BJ Levine.
If you missed my review of Rock God click here.
1. Welcome to Bookish, Barnabas! Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to join us here today ! Would you mind telling us a little bit about yourself and your road to publishing?
Thanks! I'm so honored to be here! My road to publishing was an unexpected one, actually. I grew up singing and acting in New York, and when I came out of college, I was looking for a job that would allow me to audition during the days. My friend was working for a publisher at the time, and suggested I write a sample to see if they might hire me to ghost write for one of their young adult series. The next thing I knew, I was channeling my inner seventeen-year-old girl for a living, and I've never looked back.
2. What (or who) inspired you to write a book about a young boy determined to become the most almighty rocker since Bon Jovi?
Well, it is my personal belief that all young boys and girls are secretly determined to become the most almighty rockers since Bon Jovi. They may be forced to realize this dream in the privacy of their own showers, basements, cars, and PlayStations, but still, when all is said and done, they're living the dream. I actually wanted to be the next Michael Jackson or Prince, but there's a parallel universe where I'm from New Jersey, and there, I dreamed of nothing but Jovi.
3. What was the most difficult part of the book for you to write?
I love that question! I think the biggest challenge was to launch B.J. (the main character) on his quest as soon as possible. I knew I wanted the story to be about a boy who is thrust into this wild rock and roll adventure, and I wanted that adventure to be well under way by Page 50, but I kept finding myself caught up in the characters and the setup. My editors were a huge help in paring down the early chapters without sacrificing plot or character development.
4. How do you approach writing a new novel? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I am, without question, a major plotter. Sometimes I wish I were more of a pantser. Spell check keeps turning "pantser" into "panther." I wonder if you had the same problem. I suppose sometimes I wish I were more of a panther, too. Anyway, yes, I could plot until the cows come home. Of course, once I'm writing, half that plot tends to go out the window, replaced by a completely different plot, but despite how well I know this, I continue to believe that I must nail down the entire story on a nearly scene-by-scene level before I start to write. I need a Motivational Pantser to help me break this habit.
5. Do you ever experience writer's block? If so, how do you deal with it?
By doing more plotting! Somebody call my Motivational Pantser! Yes, I definitely get blocked at times, and I deal with it by going to my wife and instructing her to recite extremely generic words of encouragement to me like "everything's going to be fine," and "you're doing great." It's surprisingly effective.
6. What's next in line for you? Are you working on a new book now?
I am hard at work on a Y.A. mystery thriller for Soho Press, and I'm very excited about it. In case you haven't noticed, I'm in the plotting phase again.
7. If your book had a soundtrack to accompany it, what songs would be on it?
As a matter of fact, my book does have a soundtrack to accompany it! B.J. and his band The Good Supreme have recorded his original song "Three Notes," featured in the book, and you can hear it at http://www.facebook.com/rockgodbjlevine or http://www.sourcebooks.com/rock-god-bj-levine.html ! Also, like me, B.J. is still mildly obsessed with hypnotic YouTube legend "Nyan Cat"-- the one music legend who will literally never die. You can hear the band's hard rocking cover of Nyan Cat, too! As far as songs not performed by B.J., I think the soundtrack would have to include all of the three-chord classics that Layla the drummer mentions in the book: "Louie Louie," "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," "Brown Eyed Girl," "Wild Thing," "Twist and Shout," "Save It for Later," and almost everything the Ramones ever wrote. And then, of course, I'd have to close it out with all eleven Bon Jovi albums and all sixteen--no, make that all seventeen of Bruce Springsteen's albums. The man has dropped yet another album since the book came out. He may very well outlive the Nyan Cat.
Barnabas, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to join us here today! I'm definitely looking forward to reading more of your books!
About the author:Barnabas Miller has written many books for children and young adults. He also composes and produces music for film and network television. He lives in New York City with his wife, Heidi; their cat, Ted; and their dog, Zooey.
!!! ~Giveaway~!!!Sourcebooks Fire has generously offered to give away one copy of Rock God. And if you don't win - don't worry! Thanks to Raincoast Books you will have one more chance at winning this book in a bigger prize pack at the end of the month! Stay tuned!
OPEN TO: Canada/USEnds: June 30thTo enter:Be a follower of this blog, 13 or olderEnter via rafflecopter below:
This Interview + Giveaway was posted as part of the Contemporary Fiction Month feature. Click on the picture for full schedule.