Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Friday, November 4, 2011

Five Questions With ... Author Lilian Duval

Today, I'm so pleased to be hosting author Lilian Duval for a question and answer session.

Lilian Duval lives with her husband George, a native of Singapore, in a small house in New Jersey overlooking a large county park. They have two sons and a daughter, all independent and ambitious, and several cats. She’s an amateur classical guitarist and enjoys attending concerts and plays in New York City.

But writing has always been her calling. In her own words, “The most enjoyable activity I can imagine is to invent some characters, make them a little larger than life, set them bickering and thrashing against each other and their fates, and enact a fictional resolution that makes more sense than the chaos and unpredictability of our complicated lives.”

Lilian’s latest book is You Never Know: Tales of Tobias, an Accidental Lottery Winner.

You can visit Lilian’s website at www.lilianduval.com. Connect with her on Twitter at @lilianduval and Facebook at Lilian Duval.

At what age did you know that you wanted to be a writer? 

Lilian:  Oh, it happened early. I was 7 years old and there was a school-wide writing contest at my elementary school in North Bellmore, Long Island. The topic was libraries. I was pretty hopeless at sports. If someone threw a ball, I ducked. But I liked books. In my essay, I wrote that books in the library were like houses on a street, and the rows of shelves were like roads. The rest of my metaphors were good enough to win the first prize, presented at a school assembly: the book “A Child’s Garden of Verses” by Robert Louis Stevenson. I read it over and over, but was disappointed because I’d really wanted a trophy, like the athletes got.

What three important facts do you want readers to know about your books?

Lilian:  They are easy to read without being dumbed-down. 2-You can always find a character to identify with. 3-You care very much about what happens to the characters, because they seem so real.

Who are some of your favorite authors? Who inspires you?

Lilian:  For fiction, Vladimir Nabokov is my favorite author ever, and also F. Scott Fitzgerald. For memoirs, my very favorite is Frank McCourt.

What do you have coming up in the future?

Lilian:  I am ghost-writing two book-length memoirs. Both projects are going on at the same time, but the life stories of these two people are very different. And in 2012, I am publishing my collection of short fiction, "Random Acts of Kindness."

What advice would you have for anyone wanting to break into writing today?

Lilian:  Write every single day. It doesn't matter how short or how unprofessional this piece of writing is. Anyone can write in such a way that people feel your message. It doesn't matter how much education you have had, or what kind of bad luck life has thrown at you, or how much money you have. You have to believe in your message, and just let the words express your personality.

My thanks to Lilian Duval for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer these questions, and to Dorothy Thompson with Pump Up Your Book Promotion for arranging this interview!

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