Running a small press is just like running a business with a group of employees – well almost. I don’t actually get to see them every day and we can’t gather around the water cooler to chat. Since we all see each other only virtually, I thought it might be nice to ‘introduce’ our authors to both each other and their readers via a series of short interviews. These interviews will run every couple of days for the next month or so – it’s a neat way of finding out how similar authors can be, and yet so different.
Today, I’m proud to present Molly Ringle, a Seattle author who has written several young adult books across a variety of genres. We have published Relatively Honest and What Scotland Taught Me, two fun books that capture the essence of what it’s like when you’re starting out on your own. What I love about Molly is her great sense of humor, and her affinity for pop culture and fragrances. She’s been a huge supporter of ours and I’m an even bigger fan of hers.
1. The first book I can remember reading is: Since I can’t remember learning to read (it happened pretty early), I am not sure what the first book was, though I feel like it was perhaps a Richard Scarry book. I do remember my grandmother having me read aloud a paragraph from the encyclopedia to her friends, to show off how well I could read. I was maybe five at the time.
2. The first book I ever wrote was: ‘This Is a Difficult World.’ It was a novella. And the title sucks, yes. But it accurately conveys the IT’S NOT FAIR feelings of my middle-school self at the time. It was about some lame arguments my sister and I had with our best neighborhood friends.
3. An average day in my life goes like this:
“Mom, I want cheese puffs.”
“That’s not breakfast. Hang on, I’m getting you cereal and fruit.”
“NOOOOO. CHEESE PUFFS.”
“Maybe after you eat your real breakfast.”
“MOM! HE HIT ME!”
“Guys, quiet, I’m trying to check email real fast.”
“MOM! WHERE IS THE GREEN CABOOSE?”
“I don’t know, guys, it isn’t my job to keep track of your toys. Please go play; Mommy’s working.”
“Toilet. Heheh. Poopy butt. Heheh.”
“Don’t be rude. Nice words please.”
“Mom, are you still working? Mom, when are we going to the park?”
“FIVE MINUTES. LEAVE ME ALONE.”
(*ignoring children wailing while I type an email about how fun my life as a writer is, and how pleasant people are to me*)
“Hi Mommy. I love you so much.”
“Thanks, buddy. I love you too.”
4. I found out about Central Avenue Publishing from: The Preditors and Editors poll, where it got high ranking from its writers and readers. I decided to submit my book because: Michelle wrote a great post on the company blog about how much she’d learned already and how great business was going. She sounded so professional and encouraging, I figured it would be a safe bet to try one of my books with her. Best publishing instinct I’ve had so far.
5. The last book I read was: This has been a busy summer with not nearly enough reading–I’m still in the middle of some very good books, including one from Central Ave (William Topek’s latest). But the best books I lately finished were Les Misérables (Victor Hugo) for fiction, and The Perfect Scent: a Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York (Chandler Burr) for nonfiction.
6. In order for me to sit down and write, I need: A pretty good chance of not being interrupted. See my typical day, above, however.
7. My ‘day job’ is: Stay-at-home mom, currently.
8. I carve out time to write by: Begging, borrowing, purchasing, and stealing it.
9. In order to find time to write, I feel as though I sacrifice: Any sense of how to decorate a home or be a good hostess. Really, I can’t even remember to offer to take people’s coats when they visit. And that talent of making a room look pretty–yeah, I have no idea how people do that. But I’m trying to improve on both fronts.
10. I am currently working on: A fun and lengthy YA novel that plays with Greek mythology and reincarnation and other outlandish stuff.
11. The best piece of advice I ever got was: For writing: Put your masterpiece away when it’s done, and don’t look at it for a month or so. When you come back to it, you’ll see a zillion new flaws. Then have someone else look at it too, because they’ll see a zillion more. Pretty much everyone says that, but one such person was Stephen King in ‘On Writing.’
For life in general: lately I like: “If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.” The web claims that’s from Regina Brett.
12. The best piece of advice I would give is: For writing: Listen when people give you feedback on your story, even when the criticism makes you flinch. Thinking about their suggestions will almost certainly make you come up with a dozen new ways to improve your story that you would never have thought of before–maybe including their idea, maybe not, but you’ll love the improvements in the end.
For life in general: Figure out what makes you laugh immoderately, and seek out that trigger every day.