Rambling and Interviews: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Nina Malkin: When my poetry was published in third grade. Well, not published. Mimeographed. I can still smell the mimeograph chemicals. Mmmm…
RI: What inspired you to write Swoon?
NM: Betrayal. The idea about the spirit of a boy from the past who possesses a contemporary girl had been kicking around awhile, yet I didn’t do anything with it till I’d gotten seriously screwed over by someone I trusted. This wasn’t in a personal relationship, but it was really rough on me. Betrayal became an obsession, and it’s helpful to write out your obsessions. The day I hired a lawyer was the day I started SWOON.
RI: Will there be future books involving Sin and Dice?
NM: Series are compelling to a lot of readers, and I understand why—you get invested with a set of characters and you want to continue the relationship. Yet much as I love Sin and Dice, I’m not that motivated towards series as a writer. The characters in SWOON are free to do what they want without me now, and I’m more drawn toward the embryonic story ideas and fledgling protagonists clamoring for my attention.
RI: Is there a message in Swoon that you want your readers to grasp?
NM: Oh, just the obvious: Love conquers…not everything, but a lot. Nobody’s perfect. Forgiveness is healing. Hypocrisy sucks.
RI: Do you have anything specific you want to say to your loyal readers?
NM: Thank you very much. Writing is a lonely craft—well, not lonely, because you have all your imaginary friends. But you sit there in your sweats battering at a keyboard and you never know if anyone is “getting” it. So if someone does get it, and they write to tell you so, it’s fulfilling. Because that’s why you write—to reach people, for them to go, “Yeah, I feel that way too.”
RI: Do you have any advice for unpublished writers?
NM: I’ve heard some writers don’t love to write—that floors me. Then why do it? For most of us, it’s not glamorous or lucrative. So my advice, if it can be considered advice, is love writing. Love the process, have fun, amuse yourself. I wrote fiction for many years before I had the privilege of publishing, and I had a blast. Plus, for every book I’ve had published there are plenty that never saw print—I loved working on them, too.
RI: What's the one question people never ask, but you wish they would? (And, answer please!)
NM: I wish people would ask me if they could come over and clean my house. The answer would be yes.
3 Quick Questions:
Ice cream, because it is so easy to procure…
“I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.” Not because I prescribe heavy drinking or have no faith in primeval brain surgery, but because I think it’s the cleverest thing ever expressed. If I ever came up with anything nearly that smart I’d have to retire, since I’d never be able to better it.
RI: Again, I can't thank you enough for answering these! Tons of my fellow writers love your work and will appreciate the interview.
NM: You’re welcome, Ash. I love that you’re nurturing a community of writers. I hope to be seeing your stuff soon!