Monday, December 2, 2013

Celebrating Debutantes 2013: Ari Goelman (Interview)

Another middle-grade debut author drops by for an interview for Celebrating Debutantes 2013--Ari Goelman!

Ari Goelman

1. What do you feel about the number '13'?

It's a great number.  Given that I'm writing middle grade novels, my heroes are often 13 -- the protagonist of THE PATH OF NAMES is a super smart, somewhat surly thirteen-year-old, and that's a big part of what made her (and her friends) so much fun to write.  In my experience, no one does snark quite as well as a thirteen-year-old.

2. What's the best thing that happened after your book was published?

Let me qualify this as the best book-related thing that happened:  I did a small book tour of the east coast, last June. It was super fun to be back on my old stomping grounds as an author.  I did a few readings at bookstores and cafes, I visited bookstores and signed books.  Anyway, the highlight was one 24 hour period in New York City where it was like I was a real author:  I had lunch with my editor in the village, did a podcast interview in a real sound studio, did a reading at Books of Wonder (one of my favorite bookstores).  The next morning I presented in front of an auditorium of middle school students, then finished off the twenty four hours with a lovely brunch with my lovely agent.

3. How did you celebrate the publishing of your book?

I had a book launch at another of my favorite book stores -- KidsBooks in Vancouver.  Lots of friends came.  One highlight was biking down there with my 5 year old (with her bike attached to mine via towbar), and her giving me excellent presentation advice.  

4. Do you read reviews of your book?

Definitely.  For a while I was a little obsessed.  Not just with reviews at places like Booklist and Publisher's Weekly, (although those were nice) but pretty much any review anyone posted anywhere.  I stopped doing that quite so assidously, as I found it started getting in the way of new writing.  It's a good lesson in focusing on the process not outcome.

5. What is your best or most unforgettable moment with a fan?

Tablet Magazine organized this event where they had an 11-year-old fan of THE PATH OF NAMES interview me.  She was super-smart, asked great questions and had obviously appreciated the book.  

6. Was there any book/s from other debut author of 2013 that you loved?

There are tons of great books that have come out from debut authors this year.  I really liked Lindsay Ribar's The Art of Wishing (full disclosure -- Lindsay is my agent); Elisabeth Dahl's Genie Wishes, Caroline Carlson's M marks the Spot.  The list goes on and on.

7. Are you interested in writing in a different genre or for a different audience?

Sure, yes.  In fact, I've published around twenty stories for adults, and have plenty more on the go.

8. Share one embarrassing moment you've had.

Just one?  I honestly don't know where to start.  How about this one:  the time one of my very young children looked at the woman sitting next to us in a cafe  (who had short hair, and a tiny bit of a moustache) and asked, "Daddy, is that a woman or a man?"  

I answered, "It's a woman.  Sometimes women have short hair."  

My child took another look, then said decisively.  "I think he's a man, Daddy.  He has a moustache."  Impossible to argue with, impossible to meet anyone's eyes.

(Sidenote: HAHAHA!)

9. Favorite color?


Favorite movie?

Wet Hot American Summer

Favorite ice cream flavor?


Favorite song?

Changes on a daily basis.  I will say that my musical tastes seem to have calcified at some point in the late nineties, so I'm still listening to a lot of Belle and Sebastian & Elliott Smith.

10. What's next for you?

More books.  More teaching.  More time with my very young children.


More about Ari!

Ari Goelman has published about twenty short stories, most recently in Strange Horizons, Daily SF, and Fantasy Magazine.   He is a past winner of the Writers of the Future competition, and a graduate of the Clarion West writers workshop. 

His academic work has been published in the Journal of Architecture, Planning and Research as well as Environment and Planning A, and has been covered in places as diverse as the Brookings Institute and The New York Times.  He lives in Vancouver with his family and the rain.

Find him: Website * Facebook * Twitter

Take a peak on Ari's debut novel!

The Path of Names
by Ari Goelman

Published April 30th 2013 by Arthur A. Levine Books

Blurb (Goodreads):
Mysteries, mazes, and magic combine in this smart, funny summer-camp fantasy -- like THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER & CLAY for kids!

Dahlia Sherman loves magic, and Math Club, and Guitar Hero. She isn't so fond of nature walks, and Hebrew campfire songs, and mean girls her own age.

All of which makes a week at Jewish summer camp pretty much the worst idea ever.

But within minutes of arriving at camp, Dahlia realizes that it might not be as bad as she'd feared. First she sees two little girls walk right through the walls of her cabin. Then come the dreams -- frighteningly detailed visions of a young man being pursued through 1930s New York City. How are the dreams and the girls related? Why is Dahlia the only one who can see any of them? And what's up with the overgrown, strangely shaped hedge maze that none of the campers are allowed to touch? Dahlia's increasingly dangerous quest for answers will lead her right to the center of the maze -- but it will take all her courage, smarts, and sleight-of-hand skills to get her back out again.

The Escapist

Head over Oops! I Read A Book Again now for debut author Laura Lam!

Yesterday: Nancy J. Cavanaugh (This Journal Belongs to Ratchet) and Christian Schoon (Zenn Scarlett)
Tomorrow: TL Costa (Playing Tyler) and Christina Lee (All of You)

Calling YA/NA/MG debut authors of 2014! Want to join us on this fun event? Fill out this form! Don't forget to spread the word with your debuting friends!

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