This week, I got the opportunity to interview Amy Bourret, author of Mothers and Other Liars. I ended up on a blog tour of this book earlier in the month and I really enjoyed it. I contacted Amy with a few questions and she was more than generous with her answers. Enjoy!
Lovely Little Shelf: I thought that a clever little part of the book was how Lark got her name, from a candy bar wrapper. Did you come up with the name first or the concept of Lark’s name coming from a “found object”?
Amy Bouret: She gave me her name first, and then told me where it came from.
LLS: What are your favorite pizza toppings?
AB: Chicken, artichoke and goat cheese
LLS: I want a piece of Ruby’s furniture! Did you base this job on someone you know/somewhere you shop or did you just kind of make it up?
AB: A little of both. As a kid, I loved “helping” my grandfather with his refinishing projects, and have done a few myself (the pie safe is autobiographical!). I’ve also been concerned about the environment forever – I joined the Sugar Bears Ecology Club when I was 6 – so I loved the idea of “repurposing” old furniture. I’d like a piece of Ruby’s work, too!
LLS: I thought that the decisions that Ruby had to make were truly gut-wrenching. Did you know going into it what she would decide or were you as surprised as the readers?
AB: I didn’t even know the choices she would face. That’s the fun for me in writing is letting the story carry you where it wants to go. And yes, I was very surprised at where it went.
LLS: I saw an immediate connection between Mothers and Other Liars and Jodi Picoult’s books, not only in storyline but in style. Was this intentional? Do you read her a lot?
AB: I have read some of Jodi’s work and am flattered to be compared to her, but no, I did not intentionally forge a connection. I hope my work is not deriviate of anyone. I just try to write honestly and well.
LLS: I read on your website that while you don’t have children yourself, you have practiced child advocacy law. How do you think those two facts shaped your novel?
AB: I don’t know how not having a child shaped the novel, because I can’t compare the experience with writing it while having a child. I WAS a child and I HAVE a mother, so I think there is some of me in each of Ruby and Lark – as well as some of my mother, my sister, my nieces and a whole lot of other people who i have crossed paths with along the way.
The child advocacy part is easier to answer. That work is so rewarding but is also heartbreaking, and I think my experiences definitely shaped the decision that Ruby made at that rest stop.
LLS: What is your favorite 80’s band?
AB: I love Bon Jovi, THE 80’s Hair Band. I also love the Eagles.
LLS: What are you reading right now? What were your favorite books as a kid?
AB: Right now I’m reading lots of poetry and nonfiction. I’m working on my next novel, and I try to protect my characters’ voices while they feel fragile by not letting other voices into my head.
Mothers & Other Liars hits the shelves August 3rd. For more info on the book and more info on Amy, go check out her website. It is pretty and full of good stuff.