Author Spotlight/Interview: Lois Metzger

Posted June 28, 2013 by girlswit in Author Spotlight, Giveaway, Uncategorized / 6 Comments

Bio.: Lois Metzger is the author of three previous novels and two nonfiction books about the Holocaust, and she has edited five anthologies.

The following is an article from 2001:
Lois Metzger is a firm believer in the philosophy “books change lives.” It was while growing up in Queens, New York, and reading incessantly that Ms. Metzger decided that she wanted to become a writer.
She shared her passion with participants at The Door in Tribeca and at University Settlement Society in the Lower East Side from May 7 – May 11, 2001 as part of the National Book Foundation’s Settlement House Author Residency Program.
Ms. Metzger’s work has appeared in a number of prominent magazines, including Harper’s Bazaar, The Nation, The North American Review, Omni, and The New Yorker, where she worked for five years.
Even though she started her career writing for adults, Ms. Metzger quickly switched to writing for young adults. In an interview, Ms. Metzger was quoted as saying,”It’s a fascinating age to write for.”
She is the author of the acclaimed novels Barry’s Sister, a Parents Magazine Best Children’s Book for the Year; Ellen’s Case, a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age; and her latest, Missing Girls, a Junior Library Guild Selection.
It typically takes Ms. Metzger three years to complete a book because, she explains, “she rewrites it four or five times before she knows what it’s about.” For each book she does extensive research.
She is currently working on a novella and a collection of short stories.
Ms. Metzger currently lives in New York City with her husband, writer Tony Hiss, and their eight-year-old son, Jacob. 

Follow Lois: WebsiteFacebookGoodreads

Interview with Lois:

If you could work with any author who would it be?  Is his or her writing style similar to yours?
–​I’m a great admirer of Robert Cormier, author of I am the cheese.  His writing is similar to mine only to the extent that I try to do what he does—tell a complicated story in a simple way.  That’s my writing goal:  easy to read, complicated to think about.

What books have influenced you most?
–​Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger) is on many people’s lists, and for good reason.  The narrator, Holden Caulfield, tells the story in a pitch-perfect voice with no false steps.  Every moment is infused with Holden—every description, every quote.  This book showed me that the most important thing is character.  If you have a great character, you can describe a walk to the grocery store and it will be interesting.  The Sound and the Fury (William Faulkner) has multiple narrators, but basically it’s the same story told from different points of view.  Again, it’s the characters that make this book spectacular, especially because you are hearing the same thing over and over.  Because each person has his version of the truth, that same story is starkly different.

What’s a typical working day like for you?  When and where do you write?  Do you set a daily writing goal?
–​I live in an apartment, so every room does double or even triple duty.  My bedroom is also my office, with a computer, desk and file cabinet (book shelves are out in the hall).  This room also has a NordicTrack ski machine (I may be the last person in America to own one), so it’s the exercise room too.  I try to write a minimum of three pages a day.  A really good day is five pages or more.

What are your must-have accessories while writing?
–​A thesaurus and a dictionary.  I don’t look up words on the computer; I go to the books.

What inspired you to write A Trick of the Light?
–​In August 2004, I read an article about a boy with an eating disorder.  At the time, I hadn’t even known boys could get eating disorders.  My first thought was, this is some kind of mistake.  Sadly, it wasn’t.  As I later learned, of the 10 million people in this country with eating disorders, 10 percent are male, which means a million boys and men.

What type of research did you do, with regards to boys with eating disorders?
–​I contacted the writer of that article, and she put in touch with the boy she’d written about.  This led to conversations with his doctor, and other families of boys with eating disorders, and visiting a hospital, and reading books about eating disorders, both fiction and nonfiction.

Where do you see Mike after the book ends?
–​Mike will be very busy.  He will need lots of therapy.  He will be fine, though, of that I have no doubt!

What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview?  How would you answer that question?
–​I would love to be asked about the “recent movie sale” of my book!  (That hasn’t happened yet, but here’s hoping.)

Can you share a little of your current work with us?
–​I’m working on a book about a girl who is very unhappy, and she takes an unusual step toward happiness.  It takes place about 10 years in the future, so it’s got a bit of science fiction to it.  At the rate of three pages a day, it should be done by the fall.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
–​If you get a chance to read A Trick of the Light, please let me know what you think!

A Trick Of Light 
Book Overview:
Mike Welles had everything under control. But that was before. Now things are rough at home, and they’re getting confusing at school. He’s losing his sense of direction, and he feels like he’s a mess.
Then there’s a voice in his head. A friend, who’s trying to help him get control again. More than that—the voice can guide him to become faster and stronger than he was before, to rid his life of everything that’s holding him back. To figure out who he is again. If only Mike will listen.
Telling a story of a rarely recognized segment of eating disorder sufferers—young men—A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger is a book for fans of the complex characters and emotional truths in Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wintergirls and Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why.
Lisa’s Review:  This is a very thought provoking quick read. Once I started reading I didn’t want to put the book down. The voice in the book really gets your attention and keeps it. This book displayed a very accurate account of the inner struggles of someone with an eating disorder. Although I would have liked a little more at the end of the book, this was a great book and I really enjoyed reading it.

GIVEAWAY TIME! Thank you so much Lois for your awesome donation and the awesome interview. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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