Boys with magic are just a dream but in The Art Of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar the dream comes true. We’ve fallen in love with Alladins blue Genie but Oliver will give him a run for his money.
What sort of something? Oh, I know! Here is a reverse-chronological history of songs that I once called My Favorite Song Ever. (In all cases, it was true at the time.)
– “Lake of Silver Bells” by Carbon Leaf (current)
– “Touch Me Fall” by the Indigo Girls
– “Loin de chez moi” by Bruno Pelletier
– “She Was There” from The Scarlet Pimpernel
– “I’ll Love You Back to Life” by Davis Gaines
– “The Music of the Night” from The Phantom of the Opera
– “You There in the Back Row” by Liz Callaway
– “Memory” from Cats
– “Human Nature” by Michael Jackson
– [the musical wasteland that was elementary school]
– “Baby Beluga” by Raffi
Inspiration can hit at any moment, where were you when the idea for THE ART OF WISHING came to you?
I don’t actually remember when the initial idea came to me, though it must have started at some point. I should make up a good story for that, shouldn’t I? Anyway, what I do remember is the moment I decided to stop thinking about it and start writing it. That happened on a plane, when my friend Andrea and I were flying to Beijing. (Helpful tip: Xi’an is way more awesome than Beijing. If you ever go to China for fun, go to Xi’an.)
Why genies? Mostly because of the weird power dynamic that you find in most genie mythology. Genies have all this magical power, but they’re often bound to human masters. In the end, who is more powerful, the magical being or the person in charge of the magical being?
Why kissing? Because power play + romance = fun times for everyone!
My favorite fictional genie is, hands down, the big blue guy from Aladdin. But a special award for Best Sexy Fictional Genie goes to Amir from Alaya Johnson’s Moonshine. (Oliver, my own sexy genie, would probably agree with me.)
Has your experience working in publishing affected your writing?
Absolutely. At my agency, I work editorially with a lot of authors (my own clients and some of my boss’s clients), so I’m used to the many different forms that the editorial process can take, at least at the agency level. I like to think that’s made me a better collaborator; I hope my editor and my agent think so, too!
Working in publishing also meant that when I was ready to start The Process (by submitting to agents), I knew what I was in for. I knew how the system worked, and what the rules were, and I knew how to play my part. It’s something every author (hopefully) learns eventually, but I was spared a lot of pre-query research because of my experience in the industry.
Usually I pretend it’s not there, and I damn well write anyway. (Unless I’m having a horrible day, in which case I close my laptop and whine at my friends. I have excellent friends, so this usually helps quite a lot.)
We know how much you love musicals. Did any of them inspire your writing of THE ART OF WISHING?
Not particularly; although Sweeney Todd plays rather a large role in the story (it’s the musical that Margo and her friends are rehearsing for throughout the book), it wasn’t so much a source of inspiration as a carefully chosen plot point. I wanted certain characters to wind up in certain kinds of roles, and Sweeney was the show that best fit what I was looking for. Plus it’s a really kickass musical!
Some authors collect personalities, some collect sentences people say and some collect characteristics. During your writing journey did you find yourself collecting/compiling anything that helped your writing?
Oh, hell yes. I collected songs. As I was writing the first draft, I started a playlist of songs that reminded me, in any possible way, of my characters, themes, plot, etc. Anything from “This entire song perfectly illustrates how Character X feels about Character Y” down to “This one little guitar riff reminds me of that weird thing Character Z said to Character A” was eligible. It ended up being a pretty big playlist – but as I edited the book, I whittled it down into something more manageable, which was a fun reflection of how the story changed over time.
I’m sort of terrible at dream-casting, and I haven’t been able to find someone who fits my exact idea of how Oliver should look… but I will admit, with no shame at all, that I’ve always pictured him a little bit like a teenaged Zac Efron. Like, if you darkened Zac’s hair and maybe reduced his Movie Actor Pizzazz Level from a 9 to about a 6 (and then put him in a gray hoodie), you’d get something very close to Oliver. See how cute? So cute!
What book being released in 2013 are you looking forward reading most? Why?
2013 books that I’ve already read, and that you (yes, you) should also read, include (but are not limited to!): Red by Alison Cherry, OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu, The Path of Names by Ari Goelman, The Wig in the Window by Kristen Kittscher, The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding, Magic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson, and Infinite Sky by C.J. Flood.
Finally, what would you like to say to your readers before diving into THE ART OF WISHING?
Absolutely nothing, because I’ll be too busy pinching myself to see if this whole strangers-reading-something-I-wrote phenomenon is actually real.
Lindsay Ribar grew up in New Jersey, where the only logical thing to do after high school was to move to New York. She majored in drama and English literature at NYU, and now works in book publishing, where she reads other people’s novels by day and writes her own by night. She owns approximately twelve bazillion CD’s, attends far too many concerts, and mainlines nerdy television shows like it’s going out of style. She is fond of wine, Ireland, musicals, long walks around Manhattan, and the color blue.