Author Interview: Lara Zielin

Sunday, September 20, 2009 |

So next up my author interview will be with Lara Zielin! She is the author of Donut Days. It looks super cool so you guys should go and check out her website and to support her, buy the book!
Hope you enjoy this interview!

What is Donut Days about?

Well, donuts of course! Just kidding. It’s about a lot more than that. Here’s the synopsis I have on my website: DONUT DAYS’ main character, Emma Goiner, has a lot going on. Her best friend’s not speaking to her, a boy she’s known all her life is suddenly smokin’ hot, she’s at a camp-out for the opening of a donut shop, and oh yes—her evangelical pastor parents may lose their church. And that’s just this weekend. Suddenly, sixteen-year-old Emma has to make some serious choices: creationism or evolution, faith or freedom, Harley bikers or Frodo wannabes, and of course, cruller or glazed.

How did you come up with the idea?

DONUT DAYS was definitely inspired by real-life events. The donut camp came into my life when I was living in Minnesota, after graduating from Carleton College, and the first Krispy Kreme opened up in the state. People went bananas. They camped out in advance of the store opening; they set up grills and tents; the media swarmed the scene; the line was out the door for days. All for donuts! At the time I thought, that’s an awesome setting for a book. Sadly, that Krispy Kreme is out of business now, but I have my fingers crossed that the franchise is making a comeback. And yes, I friended them on Facebook, and I follow Dunkin’ Donuts on Twitter.

As far as the church stuff goes, I was an evangelical Christian for most of my teen years, but I never thought this was remotely interesting until I met my husband, Rob. He was like, dude, you have to put all this into a story. The more I thought about it, the more I realized he was right. Even though it was pretty hard to relive aspects of those days, Rob really encouraged my journey in that respect. It took me a long time to figure out—with his help—how to write the story honestly and find the right voice. When I started out, I approached it pretty medicinally, without much heart. (Translation: my writing sucked!) Rob was there the whole time, letting me know it was okay to just bring it real, and cheering me on.

For you, what is the best part about being an author?

I am always honored that people want to read anything I’m written. I am also always surprised when I walk into a bookstore and see my book there. I’m still like, wow, that actually happened. Someone liked what I wrote enough to publish it. Score.

What are some similarities that you and Emma have? Differences?

Physically, both Emma and I have brown hair, and neither of us are a size six. Both Emma and I also have really good work ethics. I got my first job when I was fourteen, and since then there’s never been a time I haven’t been employed in some fashion.

As far as differences go, I think Emma is a lot more cerebral than I am—she thinks about stuff more than I do. She is also more opinionated. I’m pretty easy going about most stuff.

When did you start to write? Why?

I distinctly remember penning my first story in first grade—I don’t recall what it was about, but I know the pencil I used to write it was green and glittery. I also remember an overwhelming feeling of contentment as I poured all my words out on to the paper. I went on to write second- and third-grade masterpieces with titles like The Man How He Stole Water, and Help, I’ve Been Captured!

I wrote because it always seemed like I had something to say (for better or worse!). I also have always loved books, and I was always looking at them thinking, I want to do that!

Any must-have's while writing?

A quiet environment. I can have headphones on, but the room itself needs to be pretty chill. I’ve never been the kind of girl who’s been able to be productive at coffee shops and the like. Not so much.

Can you give us the best piece advice for those young aspiring writer's out there?

Read, read, read. Read everything you can get your hands on. I can’t tell you what a difference this has made for me. I am not only inspired by the quality of authors out there, but I’m also inspired to think about plot, pacing, character choices, and more.

Also, if you’re a writer, you must write. Don’t be afraid. My first books were terrible. Awful. In fact, my early stuff was so bad, I have a new website dedicated to it:

Your stuff can’t be worse than mine. I think it’s against the law of physics, actually. And look, I’m published! That means you can be too.


Non-related author questions

What was the most scariest thing you've ever done in your life?

In 2004, I went on a tornado chase in the Midwest. It was crazy! We were never in danger from a funnel or anything, but we were close up to some extreme weather! No flying cows either. But I had a great time.

Favorite Drink? Color? Book?


What are you most proud of?

I am proud that I’ve been able to shape my life into an existence that has made me very, very happy. I am married to a man I love deeply, I have a day job at the University of Michigan that is blissful, and I get to write books in my free time. There was a time in my life when all of this seemed really impossible. I’m so grateful that it’s now a reality.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

I am from Wisconsin, the state with the best cheese ever. I love cheese!


Thank you Lara for the great interview! Stay tuned for a chance to win a SIGNED Hardback copy of Donut Days!


Cynthia said...

Someone today told me to read where the red ferns grows

Holly said...

I love that you have a blog dedicated to the work you're not so proud of! I can see how reading a lot can make you a better writer. Its essentially practice.

Thanks for the great interview!


Cute interview....I <3 Pink too!

Wanda said...

The book sounds great! And I love donuts, too!

Jenny N. said...

Nice interview. I've never read Where the Red Fern Grows so might look it up.

Leslie said...

omg! where the red fern grows was one of my fav books through middle school and high school! that is too cool!

Ashley said...

Loved this interview!
Haha I've never had Wisconsin cheese. :]
I really want to read her book.

Shadowofwonder47 said...

I've read Where the Red Fern Grows. In fact I OWN it!! LOL. I remember I was like 11 when I first read it and I got SO MAD and was sobbing and stuff at the end!! But it’s a really awesome book!!

Nancye said...

What a great interview! Lara sounds like a real down-to-earth person who is just a regular person. I like how she describes what it was like when she was in the 1st grade nd wrote her first story. I haven't read any of her books, but I want to now.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Froggy said...

great interview!! chasing..hard core!!

Paradox said...

Wow, a tornado chase?! I've been fascinated by tornadoes for years, but I think I'd be to scared to go on a chase! Great interview!

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