I had the special privilege to be able to talk with Carol Weston the author of One of my favorite reads of 2016 Speed of Life , so I got in contact with her and she said we could do a Q&A! here it is:
Q: Sofia is half Spanish, what was your inspiration for this?
A:I lived in Madrid, Spain, for several years and have an MA in Spanish from Middlebury. I love Spain and I think that kids who are brought up bilingual have the good fortune of owning a key to two worlds. As for the plot, a Spanish girl I know was Sofia’s age when her mother (my friend) died suddenly of an aneurysm. I really felt for the whole family.
Q: Did you cry at all when you wrote this book?
A:I sobbed my eyes out when I wrote the scene where Sofia talks to the tree on Mother’s Day. I wrote it one April 7, the anniversary of my father’s death.
Q: Did you have a special connection or relationship with any of characters?
A: Yes. I’m an advice columnist (happily married, mother of two!) so I identify with Dear Kate. As Dear Carol at Girls’ Life Magazine, I’ve received and answered a zillion letters since 1994. Even before that, I received mail because of my book Girltalk: All the Stuff Your Sister Never Told You. I identify with Sofia too because my dad died when I was young. I was 25 — but that’s still too young to lose a parent! (As Sofia realizes, there is no good age.)
Q: This was your first YA book, When did you come up with the idea?
A: Speed of Life was not speedy to write. I started it about ten years ago and kept making changes. The novel began in third person with four points of view (Sofia, Alexa, Gregg, Kate) until I finally realized that the book would work best in Sofia’s voice. The good news is that all those early drafts helped me really get to know the other main characters. Oh, and by the way, Drew, I have to say that I don’t love the label “YA." I think 11-year-olds and adults can enjoy a book like this one.
Q: Are you going to make a second YA novel?
A: I’m working on an historical fiction memoir based on a painting by Velázquez.
Q: Why was Sofia 14?
A: I’m not sure I gave it a lot of conscious thought, but the leap from middle school to high school is enormous and I wanted to explore that — and maybe let readers see the protagonist become stronger almost month by month.
Q: Why are you such a good author?
A: Aww, sweet question. Speed of Life is my sixteenth book, so I’ve been at this for a while. I’m also a student of writing: I majored in French and Spanish comparative literature at Yale. My first eight books were nonfiction; the next seven were diaries — part of the Melanie Martin and Ava and Pip series. I’m also big on revision and reading work aloud. By the time a reader sees my work, I’ve reread it myself countless times. Thank you — I appreciate the compliment!
Q: and… What is your favorite part of the Oreo?? A: I prefer chocolate chip cookies!
Thank you so much Mrs. Carol, you are such an amazing author and person! Go pre-order Speed of life now on Amazon, B&N ect. Now! This book comes out April 4, 2017