Saturday, December 15, 2012
BEAUTIFUL MUSIC FOR UGLY CHILDREN
by Kirstin Cronn-Mills
5 lucky winners will receive a free signed copy on Friday, December 21, 2012!
About the Book:
"This is Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, on community radio 90.3, KZUK. I’m Gabe. Welcome to my show."
My birth name is Elizabeth, but I’m a guy. Gabe. My parents think I’ve gone crazy and the rest of the world is happy to agree with them, but I know I’m right. I’ve been a boy my whole life.
When you think about it, I’m like a record. Elizabeth is my A side, the song everybody knows, and Gabe is my B side—not heard as often, but just as good.
It’s time to let my B side play.
Check out our Exclusive Interview with the Author Here!
1) Which came first, the title or the novel?
The title came first. When I moved to my town twenty years ago, there was a radio show called "Beautiful Music for Ugly Children," on a small college radio station. When I decided to write a book about music and radio, I pulled that title from the recesses of my mind, and I found the guy who used to do the show, to ask him if I could borrow it. I was so happy he agreed!
2) When you start a new book, do you like to outline the entire story or fly by the seat of your pants? What about your characters? Do you figure them out entirely before you start writing or do they reveal themselves to you along the way?
I am a "seat of your pants" kind of girl. I just start and see where it goes. Gabe didn't start out as a trans man--I was researching some literature for a class I was teaching, and I ran across some really inspiring stories by trans men. I mashed up the strength those trans men showed (you've gotta be strong to stay true to yourself, especially when it seems like the whole world is against you) and the element of revealing yourself (how often do radio DJs look like the person you imagine them to be? not often) and BOOM--there was Gabe.
3) Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, what do you like to listen to?
Absolutely! Gabe's love of music (all kinds) mirrors my own, so I listened to a lot of different genres for this book. I used musical "themes," so to speak. I listened to a lot of 50s & 60s music to get myself into John's mindset (John is Gabe's mentor), and lots of music from my own high school days to put me into Gabe's emotions. Music is essential to anything I'm writing--to my life, really. It's my comfort and my strength.
4) Be honest, how many drafts did you have to write for this book?
A billion. Maybe closer to 7 or 8. I don't keep careful track. Maybe 10? And things changed radically in each draft.
5) What’s your typical celebration ritual when you sell a new book or get exciting news about an existing one? Anything strange or quirky we should know about?
I tell my husband and my writing group the news, and then I eat ice cream!
About the Author:
Kirstin Cronn-Mills writes a lot, reads as much as she can, teaches at a two-year college, and goofs around with her son, Shae, and her husband, Dan. They live in southern Minnesota. Her first novel, The Sky Always Hears Me and The Hills Don't Mind (Flux) was published in 2009, and a short story epilogue, "The First Time I Got Stranded in the Big Empty," appears in the e-anthology The First Time (Verday and Stapleton, 2011). Her second novel, Beautiful Music for Ugly Children (Flux), released in October 2012. Visit the author online at: www.KirstinCronn-Mills.com
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