Deborah Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and nutritionist and the author of thirteen books for children, young adults, and adults. She has been a regular contributor to The New York Times (including four years as the Sunday New York Times Magazine beauty columnist), and a home design columnist for Long Island Newsday. Her health, fitness, beauty, travel, and feature stories have appeared widely in many other newspapers and national magazines including New York’s Daily News, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Woman's Day, Family Circle, Self, and Vogue. Blumenthal lives in New York City.
Author website: http://www.deborahblumenthal.com
I’m happy to welcome Deborah Blumenthal to my blog today for an author interview.
JMW- As an author of Adult fiction, YA fiction, and Children books, do you find it hard to write in different genres and find the right voice for each one?
DB-Actually I enjoy going from one genre to another, especially when I need to distance myself from a project that may not be going smoothly. And no, it’s not difficult to find the different voices if I have a clear idea of the characters and the storyline.
JMW-Which one is your favorite genre to write in?
DB-Right now I’m really enjoying working on young adult books.
JMW- How did you first get started writing novels?
DB- Before I started writing books, I worked as a nutritionist and then as a journalist, so my first adult novel, FAT CHANCE - the story of an overweight journalist who is a gung ho spokeswoman for self-acceptance until a Hollywood hottie asks her for help with a movie he’s in - grew out of my work.
JMW-Do you outline when you write? Or do you write whatever is inspiring you at the time?
DB- I never outline. I start with an idea and then let the story tell itself while my fingers do the typing.
JMW- How did you come up with the idea of “The Lifeguard”?
DB- I was up in Rhode Island on vacation and I was struck by how beautiful the beaches were which led me to think about setting a young adult romance there. I thought about the somewhat cliched fascination girls have with lifeguards, but then decided to give my particular lifeguard magical healing powers so that he’d be more unusual. As an aside, I’ve always been fascinated with the powers of spiritual healers.
JMW- Are the Amazon shaman healers a real legend? If so, where did you find out about them?
DB- People like Antonio do actually exist, and before I wrote “The Lifeguard,” I read a book called “Black Smoke: A Woman’s Journey of Healing, Wild Love, and Transformation in the Amazon,” by Margaret De Wys that tells the story of a woman with breast cancer who was cured after going to the Amazon and meeting a healer who drew on the powers of both plants and spirits.
JMW- What’s your favorite website or book to get research from?
DB- I don’t have a favorite website, but I’m a big fan of a book on writing by Anne Lamott called “Bird by Bird.”
JMW - If your book turned into a movie and you could pick your cast, who would you want to play Pilot?
DB- Hard question. I can imagine him in my mind, but so far I don’t know of any actors out there who look the way I imagine him.
JMW- Sirena has to deal with a difficult issue that a lot of kids face these days. Was there a theme or platform that you were hoping to install in teenagers today?
BD- No. Divorce is such a difficult issue for kids to deal with and I think that everyone has to come to accept it in their own way. What helped Sirena though was knowing that even though her parents marriage was over, that didn’t affect the love that each of them had for her, and that was what she had to hold onto.
JMW- Are you working on other new projects you can tell us about?
BD- I’m finishing up another young adult novel, but it’s too early to talk about it.
Thank you Deborah!
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