Today, I’m so excited to share my interview with Laura Wettersten. Laura’s debut, MY FAIRE LADY, came out on Tuesday… and kept me up reading until 5am because I couldn’t put it down! (Cue fangirling… now):
Rowena Duncan is a thoroughly modern girl with big plans for her summer—working at the mall with her best friends, taking trips to the Cape, date nights on the beach—until she catches her boyfriend making out with another girl. Heartbroken, she applies to an out-of-town job posting and finds herself somewhere she never expected: the Renaissance Faire.
As a face-painter doubling as a serving wench, Ro is thrown headfirst into a vibrant community of artists and performers. She feels like a fish out of water until Will, a quick-witted whip cracker, takes her under his wing. Then there’s Christian, a blue-eyed stunt jouster who makes Ro weak in the knees. Soon, it’s not just her gown that’s tripping her up.
Trading in the Internet and electricity for stars and campfires was supposed to make life simpler, but Ro is finding that love is the ultimate complication. Can she let the past make way for her future?
IB: First, congratulations on your debut! When the interview list went up, I jumped at the chance to interview you just from your title alone, and I wasn’t disappointed–Yay, Renaissance Faires! What inspired you to write MY FAIRE LADY?
LW: Actually, this book was a bit backwards because my editor pitched ME the idea. But after hearing about a girl who runs off to a Renaissance fair for the summer, how could you NOT write it? As I was writing, I collected pictures of Renaissance clothing, knights, the whole bit (some of which are on my Pinterest) and it felt so easy to get lost in this world.
IB: After reading your book, I just had to start making my summer renaissance faire plans–you captured the environment so perfectly! I’ve read interviews where you mentioned spending time with the face painter at your local Ren faire for research. What’s your favorite part of the faire? And since faires have their own unique cast of characters, did you have any… interesting… experiences while researching that you can share with us?
LW: My favorite part of the faire was the food. LOL! I think I ate more that day than I usually do in a week. I even tried a turkey leg for “research.” At my local RenFaire, there’s this odd section that’s like a graveyard, and so my friend and I climbed into some of the coffins and had our pictures taken while doing the zombie arms thing. This may or may not have been after a few too many glasses of mead.
IB: Speaking of characters, I saw in another interview that Rowena was inspired by one of your former students. As a YA author, what have you learned from your students that helps to breathe life and authenticity into your characters?
LW: Yes, and I was thrilled because they model on the book looks so much like this student! It’s crazy how well they matched someone to Ro’s description. They’re good at S&S! I think my students help to keep me in a younger frame of mind. I’m an old geezer, or at least at times I feel that way, but they’re constant reminders of what life is like as a teenager. There’s drama and gossip and heartbreak, but it’s also a time for incredibly good friends, falling in love for the first time, laughter, and discovering your niche in the world.
IB: Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process? (Just curious: Is this the book you mentioned on your blog that you approached as a fanfic? That made me grin, since mine also was the book that I just wrote for fun and for myself.)
LW: I don’t think this was the one I meant, but I do approach all of my writing like it’s for fun. If I put pressure on myself, or think too much about what others will think about it, I lose perspective and the writing starts to feel like a chore. I know it’s good when I forget I’m writing, and I’m just seeing the scenes in my head and my fingers are flying to catch up. I try to write daily, and I usually need a big chunk of time to get in the “zone” and stay there.
IB: And, since you’re on the fearless fifteeners blog, I’d like to end by asking you to mention one thing you’re afraid of and something you’re not afraid of.
LW: Afraid of… I’m trypophobic, which means I have a fear of patterns of small holes. Seriously. I can’t stand honeycomb or lotus pods. Makes me physically ill. But I am NOT afraid of performing. I love being onstage and direct and act in musicals as much as I can.
|Growing up, Isabel Bandeira split her time between summers surrounded by castles and Celtic tombs in Portugal and the rest of the year hanging around the lakes and trees of Southern New Jersey, which only fed her fairy-tale and nature obsessions. Even though she tones down her love of all things glittery when she’s engineering medical devices during the day, it all comes out in her writing. Her YA contemporary novel, BOOKISHLY EVER AFTER, releases in Fall 2015 from Spencer Hill Contemporary. You’ll find her at all hours on Twitter @emberchyld.