Interview with Sashi Kaufman, The Wired Man and Other Freaks of Nature, Plus Giveaway!
YABC: What surprised you most while writing your latest book?
SK: I was surprised by how much drinking and smoking pot my characters do as part of high school. I guess that was a part of my high school experience though I never thought of myself as a heavy substance user. My book has a pretty nonjudgmental attitude to kids engaging in these activities which I suppose might bother some teacher/parent types. My parents raised me with the attitude of “Hey we know you’re going to experiment and try this stuff, just try not to let it get out of hand.” And that worked pretty well for me.
YABC: If you could live in any fantasy world, which one would it be?
SK: I think I would do pretty well as a character on Downton Abbey. I’d like to live on a large estate in the UK somewhere with plenty of suitors who bathe regularly and have good teeth -so yeah, fantasy.
YABC: Do you have a mantra that gets you through the drafting phase?
SK: I will not hate what I write. I have no idea where this came from. I attribute it to my dad who is also a writer but he may have gotten it from somewhere. There are so many times when writing a draft when I feel like it might just all be crap, but if you stop there, you’ll never have a completed book to revise and turn into awesomeness.
YABC: What is your favorite hobby when you're not writing?
SK: Reading. Reading, and also more reading.
YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
SK: The main character in WIRED MAN is hearing impaired and very self conscious about appearing “normal”. It was hard to get into the mind of a character like that who is very guarded and self-protective
YABC: Do you enjoy writing to music?
YABC: If so, do you have a go-to playlist?
SK: No! I totally can't do this. I can barely have a conversation if there's music or worse -TV on in the background. I drive my husband crazy because I'm always turning the volume down on things. I'm also a middle school teacher and my students often want to listen to music while they're working independently and I'm always staring incredulously at them because my brain just doesn't work that way.
YABC: What's a book that you've read recently that you would recommend to your readers?
SK: I recently read Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman and I just can’t say enough good things about it. He portrays mental illness in a way that is both artful and realistic at the same time. There is a lot of YA that is really important and has great messages and/or themes. But it's more rare to find a book that does this and also tells a really good story. Challenger Deep is like that. It’s an amazing book!
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
SK: Wow, they’re both so challenging in their own ways. I love the surprises that come with drafting; those moments of pure inspiration when you figure out a solution to a plot problem or suddenly you know how a character might react to a certain situation. There is such magic in those moments. But drafting can also be such a slog and you just have to have faith that you’re going to figure it all out.
Meet Sashi Kaufman!
Sashi Kaufman is a middle-school science teacher, author, and amateur trash-picker. WIRED MAN AND OTHER FREAKS OF NATURE is her second novel. When she’s not writing, she is most likely out in nature or eating ice cream. She lives in Maine with her husband, two children, and three feral chickens.
Ben Wireman is partially deaf and completely insecure. The only two things that make him feel normal are being a soccer goalie and hanging out with his best friend, Tyler.
Tyler Nuson is the golden boy, worshiped by girls and guys alike. But Tyler’s golden facade is cracking, and the dark secrets hidden behind it are oozing to the surface. Ben has no idea what to do when Tyler’s memories of their past start poisoning everything, including their friendship.
Enter Ilona Pierce. With tattoos, blue hair, and almost no friends, she’s exactly the kind of weirdo Ben has tried to avoid his entire life. But without Tyler, Ben isn’t sure who he is anymore, and maybe, just maybe, hanging out with a freak is what he needs.
Wired Man and Other Freaks of Nature is a captivating and compelling story about the shifting dynamics between two best friends during their senior year in high school, as their loyalty to each other is tested by betrayal, secrets, girls, and the complex art of growing up.
The Wired Man and Other Freaks of Nature
By: Sashi Kaufman
Release Date: September 1, 2016
One winner will each receive a copy of Sashi Kaufmans’ THE WIRED MAN AND OTHER FREAKS OF NATURE
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*