Thursday, December 13, 2012

An Interview with Greg Leitich Smith

Q: Patty Campbell talks about the germ for a piece of writing  
being like the sand in the oyster.  What is your grain of sand?  Do you begin with character or setting or something else?  

A: It depends. I usually get an idea first, but sometimes a character is wrapped up in that.  In any case, fruitful writing never occurs unless there's an actual character to go along with the idea.  With CHRONAL ENGINE, I went through two or three drafts just based on the concept until I got a handle on the character of Max and where he was coming from.

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.)  

A: Definitely the brainy book nerd.   Honors and AP classes, Motorola National Merit Scholar, academic competitions, the whole shebang. Of course, my school was a bit atypical, at least by the John Hughes 1980's suburban landscape standards.  I went to high school in the city of Chicago (Chicago Public Schools) -- a school called Lane Tech that had a student body of about 5000; my graduating class was about 1100. We were all required to take shop classes and a lot of math and science (even the theatre kids :-)).  There were so many different students doing so many different things, it was easy to find common ground -- and get lost if you wanted to :-).

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

A: Cyn and I have four cats: three short-haired tabbies and one long-haired white cat.  The biggest problem with them is that they tend to like to sit on the keyboard.

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

A: Never. Occasionally, however, I do wake up in the middle of the night with a new idea or solution to a particular plot problem...

Thank you so much for your time, Greg. We look forward to seeing you at the festival!

To read more about Greg Leitich Smith, peruse his website.

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