Wednesday, December 5, 2012

An Interview with Bettina Restrepo

Q: What do you hear from your readers? 

A: I receive most of my questions via my webpage and Facebook.  Some readers want to know what happened to Nora from Illegal, some are doing a class assignment and ask for an interview.  A few readers asked me to do their homework (which, by the way, I refer them to my website to find their answers.)

Q: What is one thing you would like your readers to know about you?

A: Actually, I, the author, would like to disappear as they read the book.  I want readers to think about the characters, the setting.  I want the voice of the book to whisper in their mind and carry them away to another place.

It’s like Jennifer Aniston from the 90’s sitcom Friends. Whenever I see her in a new movie, I think… there is Rachel playing the ad executive, girl who can’t commit, or naughty dentist. I never get lost in her character or the movie.

I’m a boisterous personality with a naughty streak of bad language and black humor – but my books aren’t that way.  They tend to be quiet and thoughtful. The author is just a name on a book. I’m the person who is a mom, wife, dog walking, bawdy, yet anxious and self-conscience human trying to make her way in the world.

You’ll see tiny hints of me within each character, but it’s never all me.

Q: In high school, where did you fall? (Prom Queen/King, Gamer Geek, Brainy/Book Nerd, Jock, Shy/Quiet Scholar, Skate Rat, Stoner, Class Clown, etc.)

I was ‘jack of all trades’ leaning toward the band nerds/drama and speech crowd with a touch of honors classes.

I desperately wanted to fit in, yet did things to set myself apart. I dressed just on the cusp of Molly Ringwald meets the Breakfast Club (on a Kmart Budget), barely made B’s in my honors classes while being the most outspoken person in the room about the books we were reading and why grammar was stupid.

I worked too many hours at the local McDonald’s because I was desperate for independence. I found trouble, but hid it from people outside the group. In a way, I was innocuous. Fitting in just enough to be invisible yet not suffocated, yet standing out enough to find my own voice and cultivate my own life path.

Q: Do you have a pet (pets)?  Tell us about it (them) and how they help/hinder your writing.

I have always loved animals. Winston, my Springer Spaniel, sits next to me all day (except when snoring from the bedroom). Insists on a twice-daily walk, and is an excellent Kleenex on days that I get frustrated and cry. He’s naughty and wonderful.

Q: How often do you dream about the writing you are working on?

Always.  I believe in writing slow and taking naps. The subconscious mind is where all of my writing begins.

Thank you for your time Bettina! We look forward to seeing you at the festival.

For more about Bettina Restrepo, visit her website.

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