Hey everyone! I’m here to post an interview with the lovely Lara Zielin, author of Donut Days, The Implosion of Aggie Winchester, and her newest novel- The Waiting Sky. After the interview, there will be a Rafflecopter form to fill out to enter to win a signed copy of The Waiting Sky. You can read a bit about The Waiting Sky by clicking this. I should have my review of the novel posted soon. So without further to do, here is my interview with Lara.
1. You don't really see many books about tornadoes in the YA world. What gave you the idea to make The Waiting Sky about someone who's going tornado chasing?
In 2004, I went on a tornado chase all across tornado alley. It was like those tours where you pay to go see whales in the ocean, only we were paying to get up close to crazy weather! I didn't see any tornadoes, but I saw some funnel clouds and some seriously bad storms. After the whole experience I thought, "Oh my god, I HAVE to write a book with tornadoes in it!"
2. If you were to be a part of the "TorBros", which job would you like to have (photographer, scientist, etc.)?
I would definitely want to be a scientist! During Tornado Awareness Month (which occurs every April, I'm not making that up) I talked with a university meteorological professor who says there is a real lack of women who are in his meteorology classes. But it's not just his classes -- it's other science classes, too, all across the country. That's super sad to me because when I talk with young girls, so many of them are like, "I love science! I want to chase and study storms
when I grow up!" The question of why these girls are then dropping out of science programs by college is a tough one that a lot of people are looking at. It was important to me to have at least one female character in the book who was a chaser (Hallie) and show how her gender is an issue in the field. If I personally could stand alongside Hallie as a female member of the Torbros, I totally would!
3. What do you want readers to take away from reading The Waiting Sky?
One of the most surprising things about the tornado chase I was on in 2004 was that there was also lots of time on the road to just think. Here we were, expecting constant adrenaline rushes, and instead what we got was hours and hours trapped in a van with strangers, driving miles and miles. My main character, Jane, has a similar situation in the book. She leaves a chaotic situation at her home in Minnesota, and expects to find more chaos in Tornado Alley, but instead she just has
tons and tons of time to think about how she might be able to change her life. I guess I would hope that readers would find those all-important quiet moments in their lives too -- where they put down the phone, turn off the TV, stop looking at Facebook, turn off the Kindle, etc. – and just think consciously about their lives and what they want.
4. Which character in the novel can you relate to the most?
I love Ethan, Jane’s brother. First, I pictured him being waaaaay
cute! And secondly, he wants so badly to do the right thing for
himself and his sister, but he really struggles. Sometimes doing the right thing is really hard. I totally get that.
5. Can you tell us anything about your next novel? Is there anything you'd like to add?
My next book is called 'The Sum of Small Things' and it's about a girl, Penny, who suffers from panic attacks. At it's heart it's a
romance, which is new for me -- mostly the love story in my books takes a little bit of a back seat to whatever else is going on. Tornadoes, proms, donuts, etc. But in this case, the romance is right up in front. And there may be kissing. Okay, there is tons of kissing.
Thank you so much for agreeing to do an interview, Lara! So now, if you’d like to enter to win a copy of The Waiting Sky (which you should totally want to win, because it’s awesome) just fill out the Rafflecopter form below! You don’t get any extra entries for being a follower of Zoe’s Book Reviews, but I appreciate it if you are.a Rafflecopter giveaway