Thursday 10 March 2016

Q & A with S. Jane Gari

Losing the Dollhouse
by S. Jane Gari 

When nineteen-year-old Jane finally works up the nerve to expose the truth about her stepfather's sexual advances, her mother is outraged. But not at the stepfather. Her mother takes his side-a betrayal that threatens to destroy the family and leaves Jane struggling to forge her own identity as she enters adulthood. Once marriage is on the table, Jane packs up her life and resolves to stare her demons down. Losing the Dollhouse offers a slice of dysfunctional Americana complete with divorce, stepfamilies, eating disorders, mental illness and the search for true love. 

Paperback, 238 pages
Published February 2nd 2014 by Touchpoint Press

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Read It & Reap:  September 18, 2016

S. Jane Gari lives in Elgin, South Carolina with her husband and daughter. Her nonfiction has been nominated for three Pushcart Prizes. In addition to her upcoming memoir,Losing the Dollhouse, she has also co-written Flush This Book, a collection of humorous essays.

                                    Q & A with S. Jane Gari

1. Tell us a little bit about your main characters.
Losing the Dollhouse is a memoir, so I had to craft real people into characters, including myself. I wrote the first few drafts for myself and then edited with the reader in mind. Readers wouldn’t know anything about the details I take for granted, like the mannerisms and physicality of people I’ve known all my life. The main characters are my mother, stepfather, father, stepmother, sister, husband, and me. The central relationship in the memoir, however, is between my mother and me and how we navigated life after I disclosed my stepfather’s ongoing sexual advances and she took his side. My mother was the kind of mom who played with me, listened to me, read to me every night, and cheered me on. I was a sensitive, artistic kid and young adult. Her betrayal is something I still struggle with.

2. Who designs the covers for your books and what is that process like for you as an author?
Brett J. Miller ( designed the cover for Losing the Dollhouse. I thought the cover should have a dollhouse on it, but he felt we should go for something to solicit a more immediate visceral, emotional response. Once I saw what he had in mind I could see he was right. As much as we don’t like to admit it, books are often judged by their covers—that’s what draws somebody in to pick up the book and give it a chance. 

3. Describe your ideal writing spot.
My ideal writing spot is the table in my kitchen under the skylight on a warm day with the door to my screened-in porch wide open. It’s the best of all worlds—an ergonomic setup with fresh air pouring in. I get to enjoy the feel of being outside without the direct glare from the sun on my computer screen (and without the bugs).

4. What is the best advice you have been given?
“To thine own self be true.” It’s one of my favorite quotes from Hamlet. Ironically, my mother used to say it to me all the time. Ultimately that advice led me to write Losing the Dollhouse.

5. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a ballerina until ninth grade. Then I set my sights on being an English teacher and a writer. But I still go to the ballet as a spectator.

6. Which do you prefer: hard/paperbacks or eBooks?
I still prefer a hardcopy of a book in my hand, especially if it’s a nonfiction book I’d like to browse through later for references. I taught high school English for years, and I love to look through my copies of novels with copious notes in the margins. My Kindle saves me from stockpiling thousands of books, but I’ll always love my “real” books best.

7. If you could have any supernatural power what would you choose and why?
I’d want the power to heal myself and others. I think it would be the most practical and the most gratifying.

8. What book are you reading now?
I just started The Stone Necklace by fellow South Carolina author Carla Damron.

1 comment:

  1. Brett did a great job with the cover and it definitely drew me in.
    sherry @ fundinmental