Thursday, February 25, 2016

Amy Koppelman doesn't hesitate to write great a book giveaway

Today we're pleased to feature Amy Koppelman, whose latest novel, Hesitation Wounds was recently published. She's here as part of Hello...Chick Lit's blog tour to answer some questions for us. Hello...Chick Lit is also giving away THREE print copies of Hesitation Wounds for readers in the US and/or Canada as part of this tour.

Amy Koppelman ​is the author of two critically acclaimed novels, A Mouthful of Air and I Smile Back. She received her undergraduate degree from University of Pennsylvania, and an MFA in fiction from Columbia University. Koppelman and her screenwriting partner adapted I Smile Back for the screen. The film, starring Sarah Silverman, premiered at the 2015 Sundance, Toronto and Deauville Film Festivals. Amy lives in New York City with her family. She is an outspoken advocate for women’s mental health. Visit Amy at her website and on Twitter.

Synopsis of Hesitation Wounds:
Dr. Susanna Seliger is a renowned psychiatrist who specializes in treatment-resistant depression. The most difficult cases come through her door, and Susa is always ready to discuss treatment options, medication, and symptom management but draws the line at engaging with feelings. A strict adherence to protocol keeps her from falling apart.

But her past is made present by one patient, Jim, whose struggles tear open Susa’s hastily stitched up wounds, revealing her latent feeling that she could have helped the people closest to her, especially her adored, cool, talented graffiti-artist brother.

Spectacularly original, gorgeously unsettling,HESITATION WOUNDS is a novel that will sink deep and remain—like a persistent scar or a dangerous glow-in-the-dark memory.

What is your favorite compliment you've received about your writing.
I think the favorite compliment I ever received came from a psychiatrist who emailed me after my first book came out. She wrote to say that she had a patient in the throes of Postpartum Depression who desperately needed medication but her patient's husband and mother where dead set against it. They simply couldn't wrap their heads around why their wife and daughter would need "to take medicine for having a baby". Anyway, the psychiatrist went on to say that she gave each of them a copy of A Mouthful of Air and told them to read it-that maybe after reading it they would understand. And then did! After they read it they understood that PPD is an illness and together they were able to get the new mom to take medication. I couldn't believe it. My novel helped someone.

Often, even now, three books in, I wonder why I write. No, I know why I write but I question why I bother trying to get what I write published. I don't have a huge audience which is to say I'm not very successful as far as book sales are concerned. I'm not sure if that's because the subject matter I write about is hard or because I'm always published on independent presses (because my novels are deemed "too dark" by the mainstream presses). I may never know the reason my novels don't get much exposure so when I get down I remind myself that book sales, while they'd be nice-are not the metric by which I should judge success or failure. All that matters is that I keep the faith that over time the people who need my books find them. Each and every time someone emails me to tell me how one of my novels helped them-or shows interest in reviewing a book- well it gives me a sense of purpose, a reason to continue writing. Which makes this a good time to thank you for reading and reviewing Hesitation Wounds. This book is very close to my heart. I hope it resonated with you.

What is some constructive feedback you've found helpful?
The best constructive feedback I've gotten (and what I tell writers) is to write what you write. What I mean by this is don't try to "game" the market. If a collection of linked short stories is all the rage that doesn't mean that you should change your novel into a collection of linked sort stories. Don't try to figure out what the next "big thing" is going to be. If you're writing fiction, in particular literary fiction, hold steadfast to the story you want to tell and tell it the way you want to tell it.

What is your usual writing routine?
Oh gosh, people always ask me this and I really don't have a good answer. I'm lousy insofar as routine goes. Some days I write all day. Other days I don't write at all. The only thing that I do consistently-is when I write I write from the purest part of myself. I don't care about how it will be accepted or not accepted. Writing, for me, comes from the purest part of my heart.

Which authors have inspired you?
There are so many writers that inspire me. I guess the writers that inspire me the most are the honest writers, the ones who don’t/who aren’t scared to show the worst parts of themselves in their work. Anna, my teenage daughter, really inspires me. She writes with abandon – with a ferocity-a determination to seek and articulate her truth…When I catch a glimpse of her sitting on her bed, laptop on her lap, clinking away at the keys mining her thoughts and feelings I remember why it is I became a writer in the first place. The purity of her intention makes me feel like I’ve become calculating in my work-that I have started to think about what will resonate and that’s not what it’s about—certainly not what it should be about. The good news is every so often she will ask me what so and so will think of something she’s written or if this essay is as good as the last one and I think-well, see, she does care about other peoples’ opinions which makes me feel slightly less jaded!

As far as professional writers/novelists go well some of my favorite are: Carver, Yates, Bowles, Wharton, Petterson, Salinger, Roth, Karr, Canin, Paley, Percy, Styron. I have been trying to learn a little about poetry. Right now I’m reading a book of poems by Zbigniew Herbert that are blowing my mind. Check out one of them here.

And of course there are the playwrights: Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Eugene O’neil -- doesn’t get better than that.

If Hesitation Wounds was made into a movie, who would you cast in the lead roles?
I recently finished the adaptation and am about ready to send it out. I've held back because I'm trying to make a list of actors that can play her from ages 17-45 . So far it's a very, very short list. If you have any suggestions, feel free to send them my way.

What is something that always makes you laugh?
Laugh? Hmm. Oh I know! The television show Scandal. I chuckle at least once an episode. Sometimes I laugh because a scene is actually funny. Sometimes I laugh because a line of dialogue is just so badass I can't believe it. Sometimes I laugh at the absurdity of a situation. Whatever it is I can pretty much guarantee you'll find me smiling at the end of an episode.

What TV show were you too young to appreciate when it originally aired but would totally watch as an adult?
A couple years ago I re-watched the first season of Dallas and wow! I mean I remembered that Victoria Principal was gorgeous but not just how gorgeous. And Bobby and JR Ewing. Oh my gosh Sue Ellen! I highly recommend it especially if you have a day or two to binge watch it.

Thanks to Amy for visiting us and Hello...Chick Lit for including us on her blog tour, as well as sharing her book with our readers.

~Interview by Melissa Amster

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

US/Canada only. Giveaway ends February 26th.

Visit the other blogs participating in the tour!

The Darling Bookworm - - Excerpt
Literary Chanteuse - - Promo 
A Crave For Books - Promo 
Chrissi Bliss - - Review
Steamy book momma - - Promo 
Amaryllis Turman - Author Q&A
It's Not All Gravy - - Author Q&A
Hello...Chick Lit - - Review
Judging More than just the Cover - - Author Q&A
Ali - The Dragon Slayer - - Author Q&A
Around the World in Books - - Promo 
Bookloverworm - - Review
Grass monster - - Review
ServeMeReviews - - Review


Janine said...

I read this book and really enjoyed it.

Cher B said...

Fantastic interview, can't wait to read this. I've had the movie "I Smile Back" on my to-watch list, guess now I'll be adding the book to my TBR! I don't use Twitter, but I plan to read Hesitation Wounds, for sure.