Friday, May 8, 2009

Quick Q and A's with Thalia Chaltas

Thalia Chaltas is the debut author of Because I Am Furniture.

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1) Your debut novel, Because I Am Furniture, just came out this past month. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

The book is written in poems in the voice of 14-year-old Anke. Her home life is full of abuse and neglect, and no one outside the home knows. As Anke becomes more skilled at volleyball and builds and breaks down relationships, she moves forward from feeling like a piece of furniture in her abusive home to being able to speak out.

2) What inspired you to write Because I Am Furniture?

I wasn't inspired, I was taken over! I was editing a picture book manuscript and felt words bubbling up that had nothing to do with the picture book. Finally, I started writing what was bubbling up just to get it out of the way, and two hours later had the start of a novel. It is based some on my childhood, which was similar, but although there is truth in the novel, it is definitely mostly fiction. True life has good background info, but often makes an sloppy story on its own without some strong fictional threads thrown in.

3) Because I Am Furniture is told in verse. What made you choose to write it that way instead of a plain narrative?

I have always written poetry, and I seem to think and therefore write in phrases and images. It is easier for me to write in poetry than prose! And particularly for Anke, her story lends itself well to fewer but denser words - abuse is a tough subject. In poetry I could address the heavy topic of abuse without being too graphic, and by leaving a lot of 'white space' on the page, lighten the atmosphere visually. And Anke doesn't say a lot, so poems worked well for her.

4) Your book’s main focus is primarily on the effects of physical and verbal abuse. So, my question is, do you have any advice for teens out there who may possibly be going through what Anke and her family dealt with?

Anyone going through family or personal difficulties should find and talk to an adult they trust - neighbor, teacher, school counselor, a friend's parent. Someone who will take the problem seriously. Start small if you want, by saying "I am having problems at home," for instance. Any caring adult will assist you as best they can.

5) What is one of your favorite things about being an author?

Hearing from readers of all ages! And knowing I have a book on ANY library shelf!

Least favorite?

Sitting down so dang much to write! If I could write while playing volleyball, that'd be perfect.

6) Are you currently working on any future novels? If so, can you share some information about it with us?

I am currently immersed in a novel set in the California desert - and because it's so early in my process, that's all I'll say. Stay tuned!

7) Is there anything else you would like to add?

The three necessities in life are travel to expand the mind, hugs to expand the heart, and ice cream to expand the body. :)
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Thanks so much, Thalia! :)

5 comments:

  1. I absolutely adore that last quote.
    Brilliant; I can't wait to read! (waiting for it to come to my library... grrrr.)

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  2. Thanks for the interview! Because I Am Furniture is on my "to check out" list. I've heard good things about it. :)

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  3. Ahh! I love her hair. I've always wanted a gray part in the front. Kinda like Stacy London from TLC's what not to wear. Its so pretty!

    I really enjoyed BIAF. Great interview!

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