Thursday, March 13, 2014

Interview: Liv, Forever by @amytalkington @soho_teen

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About the Author
Amy Talkington is an award-winning screenwriter and director living in Los Angeles. Before all that she wrote about music for magazines like Spin, Ray Gun, Interview, and Seventeen (mostly just as a way to get to hang out with rock stars). As a teenager in Dallas, Texas, Amy painted lots of angsty self-portraits, listened to The Velvet Underground and was difficult enough that her parents finally let her go to boarding school on the East Coast. Liv, Forever is her first novel.

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Chat with Author Amy Talkington

What was your inspiration for Liv, Forever?
Thinking about my emotional state in high school. Thinking about ghosts. And, Occupy Wall Street. Those were my main three things that inspired me.

Tell us about the character Liv Bloom?
Liv is an artist and sees the world through art. She’s pretty wry and tough on the outside  but vulnerable on the inside. She has spent her life rejecting love and, sadly, doesn’t realize that until she is dead. Ultimately her journey is about learning to love herself, her art, and others.

Which do you prefer? Screenplays or novels? What are the pros and cons of each?
I love writing both. I’ve been writing scripts pretty consistently for about ten years and I love it. It’s a fantastic job. That said, writing a novel was just so exhilarating. The screenplay format is very prescriptive and lean so I felt incredibly free writing Liv, Forever. I loved every minute of it (well, most minutes. Some minutes were very frustrating.)

What's your favorite quote or moment from Liv, Forever?
Trying not to give anything away here but… my favorite moment is probably when Liv makes the “smoke angel.” So many things culminate in that moment. She’s expressing her love to Malcolm, she’s giving Malcolm a crucial sign that helps conclude the mystery story, and she’s finally showing her art to the world. It’s beautiful and it doesn’t matter that it just lasts mere moments. Moments matter.

Invisibility or flight?Why?
Invisibility, without a doubt. Flying would be awesome (Liv has flight in moments!) but I think it’d get old. Invisibility could provide endless intrigue.

Who is your favorite literary character of all time?
There are too many. I’m pretty immersed in YA at the moment so I have to go with a YA character I was recently obsessed with: Lennie from The Sky Is Everywhere. Lennie is a clarinetist and a poet (I love characters that make art, obviously!). She’s funny, even in her mourning. She is flawed and complex and deeply feeling. She is smart. Her poetry is incredible. She has a deep and messy awakening. She is written with utter perfection by Jandy Nelson.

If you could be any tree, what would you be? Why?
I’d say a weeping willow (which is heavily featured in Liv, Forever) but they’re kind of sad. So a pine tree, I think. I grew up around pines in East Texas and I love them. They grow fast and live long lives. They’re very adaptable. They’re evergreen (I don’t think I’d like to lose my leaves every year!) and, they might seem prickly but they’re actually kind and warm.

Any new projects in the works?
As a screenwriter, I always have a bunch of projects in the works. You have to because they’re completely unpredictable—they fall apart (and sometimes come together) in an instant. At present, I’m writing a feature script for Liv, Forever. I’m also developing a TV show I’m really excited about based on Eve and Leonora Epstein’s book X vs. Y: A Culture War a Love Story. Bookwise, I have a pretty clear  idea of a book two for Liv. I hope to start it soon.

Is there a question you wished interviewers would ask you? And the answer to that question?
You were a music journalist in the 90s. What’s the most fun interview you ever did?

Well, there were a bunch of fun ones. I got flown to London to interview Bjork over poached eggs. I got to go on the road for three days with The Reverend Horton Heat (and the Smashing Pumpkins). But probably the most fun single interview I did was with Damon Albarn of Blur. I met him at his hotel and, as we were talking, I asked him what he thought about New York City. He told me that he hadn’t really seen it because he’d been stuck at the hotel doing interviews all day. So, I said, “Let’s go see it.” We hopped into a cab, went downtown, and walked all over. (Check it out! It’s posted on my website and on my tumblr here).

If you want to know all the latest on Liv, Forever follow me on Twitter @amytalkington and Tumblr 

Goodreads Synopsis
When Liv Bloom lands an art scholarship at Wickham Hall, it’s her ticket out of the foster system. Liv isn’t sure what to make of the school’s weird traditions and rituals, but she couldn’t be happier. For the first time ever, she has her own studio, her own supply of paints. Everything she could want. 

Then she meets Malcolm Astor, a legacy student, a fellow artist, and the one person who’s ever been able to melt her defenses. Liv’s only friend at Wickham, fellow scholarship kid Gabe Nichols, warns her not to get involved, but life is finally going Liv’s way, and all she wants to do is enjoy the ride. 

But Liv’s bliss is doomed. Weeks after arriving, she is viciously murdered and, in death, she discovers that she’s the latest victim of a dark conspiracy that has claimed many lives. Cursed with the ability to see the many ghosts on Wickham’s campus, Gabe is now Liv’s only link to the world of the living. To Malcolm.

Together, Liv, Gabe, and Malcolm fight to expose the terrible truth that haunts the halls of Wickham. But Liv must fight alone to come to grips with the ultimate star-crossed love.

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