Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Interview with author Edward Stanton

Wide as the Wind


1. What really inspired you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a book? When I read Jared Diamond’s famous article about the collapse of Easter Island’s habitat, titled “Easter’s End,” in Discover magazine (August 1995), I wondered if anyone had ever written a novel about this tragic event that is a cautionary tale for our times.  I could not find a novel in any language.  After reading everything available on the subject and traveling to Easter Island, I knew I had a potential jewel in my hands.  With a great sense of responsibility, I began writing.

 2. What is it about and whom do you believe is your targeted reader? Wide as the Wind is above all a story of love and adventure, but it also deals with deforestation and the collapse of a natural habitat on a prehistoric Polynesian island.  It could be compared to the Disney film “Moana,” but there the environmental destruction is attributed to a cartoon monster; people, not monsters, were the real cause.  The novel is for all readers above the age of 12.
3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book? What should remain with them long after putting it down? My hope would be that readers would be moved by the story, which evokes the Polynesian sea voyages that National Geographic has called the greatest adventure in human prehistory, as bold as modern space voyages.  But I would also devoutly wish for readers to remember the devastation caused by the abuse of our one and only earth.

4. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers? Only write if you need to, if you cannot imagine a life without it.  If you have faith in your vision and your skin is thick enough to embrace rejection, keep writing.  If not, don’t kill yourself.

5. What trends in the book world do you see and where do you think the book publishing
industry is heading? I see a slight turn away from digital books and a hunger for the real thing
and the smell of its pages.  I don’t have overwhelming evidence for this trend, only some
personal experience and the knowledge that the number of independent bookstores has increased
during the “retail apocalypse.”

6. What great challenges did you have in writing your book? The challenge of patience.  From inception to publication, more than ten years passed; Wide as the Wind went through at least three major drafts.  There were many rejections by agents and publishers along the way.  Patience, persistence and faith in my writing led me through it.

7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours?  Wide as the Wind is the first novel to dramatize the life of a people whose habitat is being destroyed.  The combination of a good story and a powerful message makes good fiction.  The novel’s story is compelling, and I trust the writing is good.

Edward Stanton was born in Colorado, raised in California and has lived in Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Spain.  He is author of eleven books, some of which have been translated and published in Spanish, Arabic and Chinese.  Road of Stars to Santiago, the story of his 500-mile walk on the ancient pilgrimage route to Compostela, was called one of the two best books on the subject by The New York Times.  On the dust cover of this work, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author James Michener said, “Edward Stanton recounts his adventures with stylish conviction.”  His novel Wide as the Wind has won the 2017 Next Generation Award for Young Adult Fiction, the 2017 silver Moonbeam Award for Young Adult Historical Fiction and the 2018 silver Feathered Quill Award for Teen Fiction.  Stanton has also published short fiction, poems and translations in dozens of magazines and journals in the U.S. and abroad.  He has been a Fulbright scholar and has lectured in many countries around the world.  Stanton has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and he was named Distinguished Alumni Lecturer at UCLA.  He is now working on his second novel—a thriller set in the aftermath of the Dirty War in Argentina—and a travel memoir titled VIDA: A Life, about Mexico and Spain.  For more info, please see: www.edwardstanton.com

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.”

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