Hold on to your hat, next up for an interview is Naomi Kramer. If you haven’t experienced any of her books, it is a must. I have read everything she has written and haven’t been disappointed yet. Naomi has two series that are my favorites, Maisy May and Dead(ish). I had a great time interviewing Naomi, her sense of humor shines through.
Hi Naomi, are you a coffee drinker?
AHAHAHAHA… yes. Just a little. Like, two or three cups a day, on a good day. Don’t ask about the bad days. *twitch*
What is your favorite?
Caffeinated. I drink almost any coffee, instant or ‘real’, except the ultra-cheap stuff, which I only drink in emergencies (an emergency being, it’s morning and I have no other coffee). I do like my coffee very strong – I blame this on working with Italians for 2.5 years. They got me onto espresso, and I’ve never really recovered.
How many books have you written in your career?
I… umm… well, crap. I don’t know how to answer that. Somewhere between zero and thirty, depending on what you count as a ‘book’ and whether you can hunt down everything I’ve written and published. And let’s not even think about all the half-written and quarter-written books I have lying in my ‘Limbo’ folder on my computer. *shudder* I think I have twenty-odd ebooks up on Amazon at the moment.
What genre is your favorite?
To write? Humour, I guess. Alternative or noir. I’ve gotta admit, I’ve never quite figured out which genre most of my books (DEAD(ish) books, I’m glaring at you!) belong to. Mostly I just write, then worry about classification later. Maybe my favourite genre is really, “OMG, wut?”
I notice that you get a lot of “strange” reviews. Why do you think that happens?
Well, look at the source. I write weird-arse books, so I don’t find it surprising that my books seem to attract weird readers. 😀 I suppose it’s possible that they cause brain injury, too.
A lot of kids seem to read your adult books, why do you think they pick them up to read?
Because they’re naughty, I guess, but sort of infantile at the same time. DEAD(ish) in particular – Linda’s not exactly sophisticated in her torment of Mike. She doesn’t construct complex traps in which the trappee feels himself slowly, increasingly wrapped around and restricted and unable to escape. But to be fair, she might just be allowing for Mike’s limitations. He’s not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed. Getting back to the kids – there’s the simplistic humour, the rude words, and the occasional hint at naughty sex. If I remember my childhood correctly, that’s a trifecta. Not that I wrote them to appeal to kids – I wrote them to appeal to me. I guess that says a lot about me. 😛
Dead(ish) is such a…..different type of book, where in the world did you get the idea?
I was half-awake late one night, long ago, and I saw a scene in my head… a dead woman arguing with a living guy. She wanted something, and he was being a total arsehole to her – telling her to go away, she was dead and icky and he didn’t want her around any more. So I grabbed my laptop from next to the bed and typed up the scene. Months later, I opened the document, read it, and thought, ‘He killed her, and she needs to find her body!’ … and then I started to write DEAD(ish).
What do you do for leisure or entertainment?
I read, voraciously. Mostly fiction, but I branch out into science, biographies, and history every now and then. I love vampire fiction, fantasy, and science fiction. I will watch movies and TV shows, but I’m the same with movies as most people are with books – they’re nice and all, but I tend to lose interest and wander off.
What is your favo(u)rite hobby besides reading or writing?
I love the optional u! 😀 I guess I’d have to go for knitting (but I read a lot more than I knit). Or maybe painting and drawing. I’m a terrible painter, I’m a sub-standard drawer (no, that’s not fake humility, that’s simple fact… in contrast, I’m a pretty talented writer), but I still love to do both. But you’ll usually find me either writing, reading, or eating. Or drinking coffee. Is that a hobby?
Hmmmmmmm….I say yes!
What is the most dangerous thing you have ever done?
Sent a copy of DEAD(ish) to my mother. Nah, seriously, I tend to live a pretty boring life. I’ve never gone sky-diving or bungee-jumped. I’ve had open-heart surgery a couple of times – does that count? I didn’t exactly do it for fun, though. Hey, I did get a traditional Samoan tattoo from people I’d known less than a week, on the floor of a convention centre, without paying any attention to whether they were using sterilized equipment. How’s that?
That classifies as VERY dangerous!
How would your friends describe you, in one word?
Awesome. Insane. Funny. Who? Maybe all of those.
If you could visit any city in the United States, which city would you pick?
New York! I grew up in the country, in a teeny-tiny town of 600 people. That’s probably why New York calls to me. It’s so huge and diverse and full of life.
You change your hair color a lot, what color has been your favorite?
I love them all, they’re like children! But maybe yellow. It causes colleagues to call me ‘Sunshine’ and smile whenever I walk into the room. Unfortunately, yellow’s also a pain in the neck to do myself, because my natural hair colour – as far as I remember, anyway – is a mid-browny colour, so I have to bleach the crap out of it before I add the yellow dye.
Tell me the ONE character in your books that is the most like you. You can only pick ONE, no cheating?
Oh, Linda, without a doubt. She’s like a bitchier, more impulsive version of me. She does and says all of the things that I would find tempting, but probably wouldn’t actually do or say (but maybe think).
I knew it would be Linda. When I talk to you on line, I feel like I am talking to Linda.
When you sit down to write, do you wear anything in particular to inspire you?
Geez, I’m a bit too much like Linda in that regard. You’re lucky to find me wearing clothes at all. Not because I have a wonderful perky body that I like to show off. Just because… meh, clothes.
You seem pretty thick skinned, so what, if anything is your weakness?
TRUTH. I hate reading reviews where someone’s pinpointed every single one of my weaknesses as a writer. Basically, I’m thick-skinned because I’m pretty realistic about my strengths and weaknesses. Probably more so about my strengths, because deep down I’m a fairly arrogant person. But a review that accurately nails every flaw in a book? GAH. Makes me want to curl up in a ball and never write again… for five minutes or so.
What were you like as a child?
A pain in the arse. From the moment I was born, I was causing trouble to appear all around me. For starters, I was born with a moderately-rare congenital heart condition. Off I went to a big-city hospital. Luckily for me, I was born at a time when they were just starting to figure out how to perform open heart surgery on toddlers. I was two when they operated. But even during the operation I managed to be a pain in the arse – the surgeon finished up having to cauterise one pulmonary artery to keep me alive. So now I have a mildly dodgy ticker and only one functional lung.
Anyway, it’s not just in health matters that I was a pain as a kid. My dad says that I survived all that only because I’m incredibly stubborn – something he knows from painful and repeated experience. *grin* He often tells a story about me in hospital when I was two – must’ve been pre-surgery, I reckon. Apparently one of the other patients, a four year old boy twice my size, wandered up and took my teddy bear. Me being me, I got up, went after him, thumped him one, took back the bear, and went back to whatever I was doing. The poor thumped kid ran off to his mum, bawling his eyes out. She came into the room, hackles up, looking for the horrible child who’d hit her precious baby. He pointed at me… and she smacked him upside the head and told him off for getting picked on by a tiny little girl.
My mother, on the other hand, tends to dwell on the tantrums that she claims I had primarily in public, and the tendency I had to climb before I could walk. She says I’d happily build myself a ladder to get somewhere like a kitchen bench, presumably just because I could, and only then think about how I might get down (“MUM!!!!”).
I deny everything, by the way. I have no recollection of any such events. 😛
What were your childhood dreams?
The first ever dream that I remember having is of riding a tiger. Looking back, I can see that it might have been a perfect symbol for my life. Get on the tiger, start riding, then ponder how the hell I’m going to get off.
When did you first, without hesitation, call yourself an author?
Umm… hmmm. I’m not sure I really do even now. I call myself a writer – because I write. 😛 I don’t know that it’s really because I don’t feel as though I’m worthy of such a dizzying moniker… I’m simply… a writer! I write stuff.
Thanks, Naomi, for a fabulous interview! I can’t wait for the next Dead(ish) book, it sounds like it is going to be a doozy.