I have had the honor of coming across Piper Punches’ Blog, Piper Punches, Author. She actually found me on a poem I had written on my blog, My Constant Thoughts. Her comment made me smile, so I went to check out her blog, and I am happy to announce, she agreed to do an interview with me. Not another moment wasted, here we go.
Me: Hi Piper. Thank you for agreeing to allow me a few questions. Your blog intrigued me, funny faces, tendencies of being a pathological liar/storyteller, and having written a book at the age of 16. So, at 16 years old, you have written Silent Witness? That must have been exciting and then heartbreaking losing money. Is this the reason you began procrastinating on writing another novel?
No. At 16 it was disappointing and truly heartbreaking, but it was a learning experience that has stuck with me and helped me make better decisions. After all, I was 16. Who makes great decisions at that age? For me the procrastination manifests out of self-doubt. I am constantly critiquing myself and questioning my abilities and talent. I have had to learn to write past that self-doubt. To be comfortable with the tale I am telling and believe in myself. I can’t please everyone, what matters the most is that I am comfortable and proud of the final project at the end of the day.
Me: I completely understand that. It’s great you took the experience at 16 and learned from it. I, at 17, bought a poetry book, so they would publish my poem in it. It cost me $75 to buy my poem on a blank sheet of paper. lol. Okay, I have heard a lot of people give the advice to write what you know. Would you say your mother’s advice paid off? Was she supportive of your writing?
My mom has always been supportive of my writing or anything else I have chosen to do in life. Without her and my father’s early support, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Writing what you know gives your story authenticity. It makes it easier to get your thoughts on paper (or the computer screen). It helps you create believable dialogue and adds to your characterization. This isn’t to say that you couldn’t use research to craft a believable and well-written novel, but writing what you know makes the process easier – at least for me.
Me: The Waiting Room will debut soon? Your bio said your first novel as a bona fide adult. Do you see a huge difference as far as your style of writing now compared to when you were 16 years old?
Absolutely! It’s less formulaic. My characters are much more three dimensional, which comes from living and learning. The human nature is riveting. It rarely follows a straight and narrow path. Whereas when I first started writing nearly 20 years ago my characters were either good or bad, now they are complex and a lot more interesting.
Me: I love reading books where sometimes I find myself liking the one doing wrong or, I’ll start out liking a character, then based on an event in the novel, I dislike the likable one. I have to say, The Waiting Room sounds amazing. Reading the description, it sounds like a thriller or mystery, full of suspense. What genre does your novel fit under for you?
For me this novel is contemporary literature, women’s fiction. It will probably speak more to the female audience. There are twists throughout the novel, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say it is a thriller. It’s really more telling a story about life and death, holding onto grudges and letting go pain. But even the sweetest characters in the book have darkness inside of them that motivates their life choices.
Me: That sounds wonderful to me. Reminds me of one of my favorite authors, Janet Fitch, the writer of White Oleander and Paint It Black. Her books aren’t so much a thriller, but rather how you described your book. I know , you have probably been asked this question a million times, but I’m dying to know, who are authors that inspire you? Do you have a favorite author?
Authors that inspire me are those that can tell a story in a way that I never would have imagined possible. Some of the works I have read lately that have inspired, but also challenged me include: And the Moutains Echoes by Khaled Hosseini’s, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Up Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, The Storyteller by Ann Hithe, and Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. I could actually go on and on.
I love to read. I prefer reading to watching television and have hundreds of books. But, my favorite book has to be one I have read three times (which says a lot because I don’t like to reread books) is A Fine Balance, by Rohinton Mistry. It is such a tragic, hopeless novel that unfortunately describes a way of life for so many people in the world.
Me: That is awesome, because I watch a couple hours of television in the mornings, and it’s the re-runs of Supernatural. I also prefer the book to the movie. Now, I was reading on your blog, My Big Sweet Mess, where you shared an excerpt from The Waiting Room and linked up to Writing on the Edge. Why did you choose to link this excerpt, rather than the other excerpt on your blog, Cabin Secrets?
Those who participate in writing prompts know that you are given a phrase, a picture, a sentence, or some other form of inspiration to create a short writing example. I wanted to give readers a taste of The Waiting Room, but quite simply, Cabin Secrets didn’t fit the prompt. I think that the Cabin Secrets excerpt is a strong example of the book, but the My Big Sweet Mess excerpt shows a softener side of the novel. I didn’t want readers to think that the entire novel would have them feeling despair. There is a strong mother-daughter element to this book and there are light and humorous parts, too. It just depends on what page you happen to be reading.
Me: That makes perfect sense. I was a bit confused trying to put into words the question I felt. You answered it excellent! If you could describe your writing style in 5 words, what words would you choose?
Unabashed, tongue-in cheek, raw, swollen, comforting. Ha! Ha! Some of those don’t sound like they go together, but I guess readers will have to read the book themselves to make that judgment.
Me: They sound interesting though! I appreciate you taking the time to answer these questions for me. I have entered into your fabulous Book Lover’s Giveaway. I see people can find you on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, your blog. Do you mind sharing anywhere else you can be found? Could you, please, tell everyone where they can purchase your debut novel, The Waiting Room? Amazon,paperback, and so on? I’m looking forward to purchasing and reading your novel!!
Right now Facebook, Twitter, and my blog, www.piperpunches.com, are the best ways to stop by and say, “Hi!” Still figuring out the Google+ thing. I also have a Pinterest account: www.pinterest.com/piperpunches, but it is a work in progress. Oh, Goodreads! Can’t forget this wonderful sight. I am there, too. https://www.goodreads.com/piperpunches
The Waiting Room will be available to purchase on Amazon as a Kindle edition, paperback, and hardback. Reader’s choice! iPad users will also have the opportunity to purchase the novel from the iTunes store when it is released. I will be announcing the release date within in the next few weeks via my blog, Twitter,and Facebook so make sure your readers catch up with me online for the announcement. This is also another way to find out about pre-ordering.
There you have it guys. Piper Punches and her debut novel, The Waiting Room. I love reading new, fresh books, and just from the excerpts shared on her blog, I could tell I would love it and not want to put it down. Catch up with her on the above mentioned sites. This is a debut you don’t want to miss. I appreciate all of my readers. This is only the 2nd interview I have done throughout blogging. Lance from My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog, has his 2nd published book, fresh out, Soul To Body. I am honored both him and Piper agreed to do an interview with me and both worked around the fact that I’m new to the entire blog/interview deal. Keep an eye out for The Waiting Room, and go enjoy Soul To Body. Thanks!!