We're so excited to have Nicholas Gannon, author of the DOLDRUMS, as our next interviewed author. Before reading his interview, be sure to check out our review on his book.
(Key: KBR= Oscar and Olivia, Kid Book Reviewers, and NG= Nicholas Gannon)
NG: I have two. The first is thinking up fun things to write and the second is rewriting those things as many times as I can to get it right.
KBR: What’s an average day for you when you write?
NG: I think routine is important for a writer. I begin my day at 5:30 or 6:00, have a cup of coffee, put on music, and begin to settle into my book world. I’ve found that if I don’t get into my book world first thing in the morning, I have a difficult time with it throughout the day.
KBR: What career did you want to do before writing?
NG: I went to art school and I’ve always loved illustration. But I never saw illustration as something that stood on its own. I’ve always seen it in relation to stories. So in one form or another, I’ve always wanted to work on stories.
KBR: What was your first story about?
NG: The Doldrums is my first story and the first book I wrote.
KBR: Are any of the events in The Doldrums inspired by real-life events that happened to you?
NG: Quite a few were, actually. One is that I once lived in a single-family brownstone on the upper east side of Manhattan. The home belonged to an old family named after a president and it was filled with artifacts and old tapestries and art. I rented a top floor bedroom with a balcony overlooking the private garden. That was a big inspiration for Helmsley House and Archer’s family.
KBR: Have you ever been to Antarctica, and if not, where did your inspiration for Archer’s adventure come from?
NG: I haven’t, unfortunately. I chose an iceberg because I wanted the grandparents to disappear in a style. And an iceberg fit the bill. In book two, you’ll learn a bit more about that.
KBR: Who’s your favorite character in your book?
NG: That’s difficult to say. Archer, Oliver, and Adélaïde each have a quality I enjoy. I will say I find writing Adélaïde to be very enjoyable because she never quite says exactly what she’s thinking.
KBR: Was the setting for The Doldrums inspired by your childhood?
NG: It wasn’t. I grew up in the country where I spent most of my time barefoot, running around with my brothers and friends. My mother had a big bell on the back of the house and she would ring it when it was time to come home for dinner. (This was before cell phones.) I didn’t know city life till I went to art school in New York City. And it was living in that brownstone and spending time in Europe that inspired the setting for the book.
KBR: Are there any obstacles you overcame as a writer, and if so, how did you overcome them?
NG: There were many obstacles. And the best thing to do with obstacles is to turn them to your advantage. While working on book one, I had a day job in a cubicle and could only write at night. So I used my time in the cubicle to think about what I wanted to write next and by the time I got home, I was ready to go.
KBR: If you could go back in time and give yourself advice as a young writer, what would it be?
NG: I’m still very much a young writer since this is the first and only book I’ve written. Perhaps I’ll have some advice for myself in the next five years or so.
KBR: What’s the future of the Doldrums? Can you give us any hints to the next book, if there is one?
NG: I’d love to tell you, but it would be difficult to say anything without giving away a big question mark in book one. I will say the trio is still together. And in book two, Archer’s world gets bigger.