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Thursday 13 October 2016

ℚ♫ Extraordinary October - Diana Wagman

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Extraordinary October (, Ig Publishing, 264 pages), a Young Adult Paranormal novel.

"In an auspicious debut for teens, adult author Wagman (Life #6, 2015, etc.) proves particularly adept at mixing genres and maintains a terrific balance between fantastical (and occasional macabre) happenings and genuine teen perceptions. Offbeat while also incorporating themes of tolerance, October's tale will have readers rooting for her every step of the way." - Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis | Trailer | Teaser: Exclusive Excerpt | Author Q&A | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

A very warm welcome to Diana Wagman; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

"Hi BooksChatter! Thank you so much for having me to your wonderful site. As I write to you, I’m listening to “I Can’t Feel My Face,” by The Weekend. Don’t know why I love this song, always makes me laugh. (Somehow the numb face thing doesn’t seem very romantic, but maybe I’m not getting it?? My daughter would say, “typical!”)"
What was the inspiration for Extraordinary October?
"My daughter was horribly teased in elementary school about her belief in fairies and other magical creatures. My advice was to keep her thoughts to herself, but she was tough and didn’t care what others thought. As a young teen she was still devouring fantasy books, everything from Harry Potter to Vampire Diaries. One day she said to me, “Remember how awful those kids were to me? Wouldn’t it be great if I could turn into a fairy now and show them?” That was the inspiration."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Like my character, October, I was an outsider in high school. No best friend, no group, no special talent. I thought I was ordinary (and boring!) in every way. More recently—and this is kind of embarrassing to admit—I went to a hypnotist. Twice! I’m a terrible sleeper and it was supposed to help my insomnia. It didn’t, but maybe I should have had more sessions. The hypnotist was very nice, not an evil witch at all, but that experience inspired Madame Gold."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Extraordinary October - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The artist is Nicky Lindeman and I think she did a wonderful job. She came up with it on her own. I love the subtle feathers and mushrooms—both significant in the story. I was so glad she didn’t focus on October, the main character. I like readers to imagine characters any way they like."
Why should we read Extraordinary October and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"I hope my book is fun to read. It’s well written and has unusual characters—an obese dad, a mom who’s a mycologist, a girl Frisbee expert. It’s an adventure about a girl finding out she isn’t ordinary at all. There is a bigger message about acceptance and belonging and openness that I layered in, without being too heavy-handed.

Plus, the story is set in the real world of Los Angeles and shows us another hidden magical world. That homeless guy on the corner talking to himself? He might really be talking to a creature the rest of us can’t see!"
Can you tell us something quirky about Extraordinary October, its story and characters?
"The older brother of a friend of mine was named Walker—the name of the handsome older guy in the book. The real Walker also had incredible blue eyes, like the sky on the best possible summer day, and I, like October, had a mad crush on him. Unlike in the book, my friend’s brother never knew I liked him. I doubt he even knew I was alive. And, as far as I know, he did not have any magical secrets."
Who would you recommend Extraordinary October to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"Extraordinary October would be a good book for people who feel like outsiders . I guess that would be most people at one time or another in their lives. There is a girl who disappears and is probably dead, and creatures forced to drink and become addicted to alcohol. The story has a dark side."
If you could / wished to turn Extraordinary October into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"This is the most fun! I would want Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as the two main characters, Walker and October, but since it can be mythical, they’d both have to be 10 or 15 years younger. I’d love for Sophia Coppola (MARIE ANTOINETTE, LOST IN TRANSLATION, THE VIRGIN SUICIDES) to direct. In a dream world, I would cast my friends and my daughter’s friends who want so badly to be actors and keep auditioning and getting nowhere. I think they’re great. They just need a chance."
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I like to write about people who walk that fine line between sane and insane. Outsiders. (That word keeps coming up!) I like for my characters to be things I’m not: courageous, outspoken, funny. I always look for character to start a book, but I’m not sure what kind of book it will be until the character comes alive—I never think of genre before I start. I am a voracious reader of fiction and I read all kinds of books. I’m half way through a great new novel right now: Little Nothing by Marisa Silver. It’s a kind of fairytale, and a dark, weird story. I’m loving it."
What is your writing process?
"I get up, drink too much coffee, walk my dogs and get to work. I try to write every day Monday through Friday, sometimes weekends. Of course life gets in the way. I have a husband and two kids and two dogs and my house is falling down. Plus I teach and do other part time work. But even if I only get 20 minutes, I try to stay at it a little bit every day."
What is in store next?
"I’m working on a murder mystery about a dogcatcher. I didn’t think Extraordinary October would be a series, but friends keep sending me title ideas for the other eleven months of the year. Superlative April. Stupendous July. If anyone has any ideas, I’m stumped for November. They would all be set in Los Angeles, and October would come back, but maybe not as the main character. I’d like to write one from a male point of view."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I have two dogs now, Betty and Henry. I love them and they drive me crazy. I had a dog, Bow, black and white, who was the best dog ever and I miss her a lot. This is a picture of me walking Betty when she was a puppy and Bow. This picture wasn’t taken too long ago, but now Betty is 100 lbs!"
Aww, Betty, you must be beautiful :-) Lots of cuddles to Betty and Bow from all of us!
Thank you for sharing, Diana :-D

Extraordinary October
Available NOW!

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1 comment:

Giselle said...

Thanks for hosting today! :)