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Interview with Nora Zelevansky

Ali: Thank you Nora for stopping by Dazzled by Books today. It is really great to have you here. I want to start off this interview with a hard question but it is totally good, what is your favorite book of 2016 so far?

Nora: Not that any of them were published in 2016, but of the books I've read so far this year, I've really enjoyed All The Bright Places (YA), Big Little Lies (Women's Fiction) and All The Light We Cannot See (Literary). (There's a "light" theme apparently.) I am also deeply excited for Curtis Sittenfeld's Eligible.

A: Did you always want to be a writer?

N: When I was really little I wanted to be a writer and an artist. Then, there was a brief period of wanting to be an archeologist (before I realized how much dirt was involved). When I was 15, my mother suggested that maybe I would become a writer one day, but I told her that it seemed too hard. I worked in film and in politics briefly before realizing that writing was the end all be all for me!

A: What inspires your writing?

N: At this point, I would say growing up, getting stuck, moments of transition. In different incarnations, I always seem to write coming-of-age stories, about characters who are delayed and disoriented in their experience. As we evolve, I think we all have to readjust how we see ourselves -- our personal identities -- many times throughout life. That's often a bumpy, but rewarding road.

A: What was the hardest part writing "WILL YOU WON'T YOU WANT ME?"?

N: Hmm. Well, I did write part of it while taking care of a baby, so I guess that was challenging -- although, truthfully, writing was a saving grace at that time. But, also, I really wanted readers to grow alongside Marjorie, and relate. So that arc was the most important challenge.

A: What is your favorite thing about writing "WILL YOU WON'T YOU WANT ME?"?

N: I grew up in Manhattan and then moved to LA for a long time. Then, I moved back to NYC, but to Brooklyn. I have a soft spot for all three places and, in writing WILL YOU WON'T YOU WANT ME?, I got the chance to sort of live in them all again for a moment.

Also, I love writing banter and Marjorie's conversations with both her romantic interests and the little girl, Belinda, who she tutors, were so fun to conceive!

A: Do you have any habits while writing? For example: a specific snack food you have to have or maybe music playing in the background.

N: I never listen to music while I write. I sort of wish I did; that sounds fun. But I just can't focus. My writing habits: Starting first thing, sipping some delicious beverage meanwhile, reading passages from all time favorite books periodically and brainstorming ideas while I blow dry my hair.

A:  I do have to admit that I brainstorm ideas and conversation while I blow dry my hair. I am not totally sure why I just do. I am glad that I am not the only one. What is your favorite thing to do when you aren't writing?

N: See movies, hang with my daughter and husband and friends, drink astronomically overpriced pressed juice, eat sushi, take hikes, get massages. That's heaven to me.

A: Thank you so much Nora for taking the time to stop over at Dazzled by Books on your blog tour. It was wonderful to have you.

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