SIX MINUTES WITH NINA DE GRAMONT:
Joining LitPick today for a Six Minutes with an Author interview is Nina de Gramont! Nina is the author of three novels for teens, The Boy I Love, Meet Me at the River, and Every Little Thing in the World. Nina is also the author of Gossip of the Starlings and The Last September for adults. The Distance From Me to You, a Junior Library Guild selection, came out in October written by Nina under the pseudonym Marina Gessner.
How did you get started writing?
Like most writers, what got me started writing was a passionate love of reading. It was the first thing I was good at, and the first thing I could do on my own without having to ask permission or have supervision. Reading was and still is my favorite escape. I started writing stories when I was very young – at six or seven I would dictate stories to my mother. I was lucky enough to receive a lot of encouragement, so there was never any reason for me to stop.
Who influenced you?
Certainly my parents’ encouragement was a big influence, and I have an uncle who’s a professional writer, so from an early age I considered it a viable and respectable profession. Literary influences are F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tom Robbins, Emily Bronte, George Eliot, Emily Dickinson, Dodie Smith, Donna Tartt, Peter Cameron, Stephen McCauley…I could go on typing names for hours.
Do you have a favorite book/subject/character/setting?
I have a few favorite books. Tender is the Night, I Capture the Castle, Wuthering Heights, and Middlemarch definitely top the list. My favorite character is Dorothea Brooke from Middlemarch. She is so good in her heart, so well-intentioned, but wrong-headed in a very sympathetic and human way. I just love her.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to be an author?
Read! Read voraciously, read widely. Read classics and best sellers and obscure titles nobody’s ever heard of. Don’t be a snob. Read everything. The more diverse your reading, the more unique your own voice will be. Also if you can, find a community of writers to support and encourage you. There’s nothing more valuable than that.
Where is your favorite place to write?
I like to write in bed, with my dog or cat or both keeping me company (though usually one or the other because they don’t get along).
What else would you like to tell us?
If people have additional questions you are welcome to contact me though my website, ninadegramont.com, or on Twitter. Thank you so much for your interest in my work!
Nina, thank you for spending six minutes with LitPick! Your advice to future authors is excellent!