Tuesday, 28 September 2010

An Interview with Swati Avasthi

Today on the blog, we have Swati Avasthi, the debut author that brought us SPLIT. It's an amazing, powerful book and I wrote my review on it some time ago. And afterward, she was kind enough to answer some questions!

How would you define love? My co-blogger and I ask every author this because we get such different answers.

Wow, you start with doozy, eh? For me, romantic love is respect plus passion.

What are five books that you love and would recommend?

Only 5? I'll go with:

To Kill a Mockingbird (my fav of all time)
Wuthering Heights
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

What is one book you wish you wrote?

My next one. Or, any of the five books listed above.
Split is about a very heavy, very real subject matter. How did it feel to write about something like that?

Therapeutic. Split was the result of coordinating a domestic violence legal clinic and listening to thousands of stories of abuse. Because I needed to go into work everyday, I could usually put some professional distance between myself and how disturbing their experiences were. But I think listening worked its way under my skin and into my subconscious and came back out onto the page years later, transformed. I just want to add that none of the incidents of violence in Split are taken from any of the clients' stories.

You have an incredible trailer for Split. How would you feel it it was made into a full length movie?

Thanks! I can't take any credit for it, though. My one and only idea was to flood the screen with questions. Everything else -- from the writing, to the choice of music to the movement between the pictures -- was done by my brilliant and supportive husband.

As to how I'd feel if Split were made into a movie: Richer.

Split, the audio book, was narrated by actor Joshua Swanson. I approached listening to that with a little nervousness and a good deal of hope.. As it turns out, I am so impressed by what he and the director/producers at Listening Library did! It's a great interpretation of the book. So, I'd have hope that the director and actors could bring a strong interpretation of it to the screen.

On the page for your next novel, Bidden, you mention that it will be part prose and part graphic novel. What made you decide to do that?

Like most of my decisions, this one was fueled from a few different places: partly the story itself cries out for a different mode of storytelling, partly because when I read The Invention of Hugo Cabret, I was intrigued by the inherent difference in prose versus visual narration, and partly because using the graphic novel format allows me to provide a specific type of window into my protagonist's consciousness, making what is fantastic seem both alluring and more vividly real to her.

Besides Bidden, any other future projects you can tell us about?

I have a few ideas, but nothing is set yet. I will say that I'm kind of eager to return to a boy's voice. Surprisingly, I've found channeling girls' voices harder than boys'. I cannot explain that, not one iota.

 Thanks so much for stopping buy, Swati! Some awesome answers!



  1. Thanks for the interview, y'all! Loved Swati's prose in Split, and more than that the ability to get into the mc's world so easily, and feel what he is feeling.

    I recommend it to anyone wanting to write a boy's pov!



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