Thursday, March 17, 2011
Interview + Giveaway: Savita Kalhan and The Long Weekend
This afternoon I'm thrilled to welcome author Savita Kalhan to the blog! Her young adult novel, The Long Weekend, was extremely surprising to me (in a good way) and left a very memorable impression, so I hope all of you get a chance to read it! Savita has been kind enough to offer up a copy of the book to one lucky commenter, so be sure and check out the bottom of the interview for entry details. If you'd like to read my full review, you can do that HERE.
Hi Jenny, thanks for inviting me here today! I’m looking forward to answering your questions.
So much of the intensity of this story is psychological–the villain isn’t always present but we feel him throughout the entire book. When reading, do you find yourself more anxious with books that are mentally taxing or books that are full of a lot of action and violence?
Oh definitely those that are mentally taxing – especially if they’re psychological thrillers! Books full of action and violence are like films that are full of action and violence – I can watch or read them without really having to do much thinking or engaging with them on a complex level. They’re raw entertainment – fun and absorbing at the time, but pretty forgettable once they’re finished.
What do you feel is the most unnerving or tense scene in the book?
For me it was the scene when Sam goes into the bedroom looking for Lloyd. He’s not sure what he’s going to find – and when I wrote it neither was I! Writing those few chapters was a very tense time because I wasn’t sure myself how far I would go until I started writing them.
Sam’s mind works brilliantly in a very stressful situation, do you think you work well under pressure?
I’d love to say yes! But honestly I’m not sure. I have worked well under pressure in the past, but this kind of pressure isn’t the kind that most people come across in their lives. This is a very different kind of pressure.
The morning The Long Weekend released, do you remember the first thought that went through your head?
Yes – “Oh my god, I’m a real writer!”
Which do you find more terrifying: the disfigured, axe-wielding, slasher movie type, or the more quiet, “normal” person-who-could-be-your-neighbor type?
Both! I’m a real chicken when it comes to horror films! Slasher films give me nightmares and I can’t watch things like Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th anymore. The more quiet, “normal” person-who-could-be-your-neighbor type movies are equally as terrifying, but in a very different way. I do love watching things like CSI Vegas, and Law and Order, and thrillers, but I draw the line at horrors!
If Sam and Lloyd were to interview you and they asked why you wrote certain events as happening to Lloyd and not Sam, how would you explain your decision to them?
I don’t think I could. I would have to hang my head in shame and apologize profusely to Lloyd.
Is there a reason you chose to write this story with two young male characters as opposed to female?
No, it just happened that way. When I got the idea for the story, Sam’s character and voice arrived and Lloyd followed shortly after. But I’m so glad they did. It would have been a very different story if the characters were female, and actually there are lots of teen and YA books out there where it’s girls who are kidnapped.
Last book that kept you up all night reading? Why?
This book has been out for a long time, but somehow I only got around to reading it recently – Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. The voice of the character came through so strongly, despite the fact for much of the book the character has no voice. It’s a very poignant, moving story and I absolutely loved it.
I know with just writing simple reviews, every time I re-read my work I find something to edit or change, do you find this as well with your writing? If so, at what point do you decide the book is done and you won’t change another thing?
That’s such a hard call to make! I think you get a gut feeling when it’s there. Having it read by other people who are good readers, and who are able to be perfectly honest about your work is very important. You don’t have to take any advice offered, but I find it is important to hear a few different points of view. It helps you see your work more clearly.
If The Long Weekend were made into a movie, what would the poster or voice-over tagline be?
“Sam and Lloyd, two kids who get in the wrong car.
They’re locked up in dark secluded mansion…where the monster is real.
Will either of them get out alive…?”
I’d love your followers to come over to my website, www.savitakalhan.com and have a look around, leave me a message on my message board and tell me what they think of The Long Weekend!
They can also find me on twitter http://twitter.com/savitakalhan
And on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Long-Weekend-Savita-Kalhan/117223691628538
For the international GIVEAWAY competition, I’d like your followers to answer this question in the comments section – What was the last book that kept them up all night reading? I’m looking forward to reading their responses!
Thanks so much for inviting me here, Jenny!
Thanks so much for stopping by and providing readers with a chance to win your book Savita! If you haven't had a chance to read this book yet, please add it to your list, it's an amazing story! To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment answering Savita's question as well as a valid email address so I can contact you if you win. This giveaway will run through midnight on March 25th after which time a winner will be chosen by Random.org and announced on the blog. This giveaway is international. Good luck everyone!