THE LITTLE GIANT
OF ABERDEEN COUNTY
BY TIFFANY BAKER
Having interviewed Tiffany Baker when this book first came out, I am thrilled to have been able to interview her once again for the release of the paperback edition of THE LITTLE GIANT OF ABERDEEN COUNTY. Here is what Tiffany was kind enough to share with me.
1. Thank you for once again agreeing to answer a few questions that my readers and I would like to know about you, Tiffany. First, is there something personal you'd like to share, or a place we can find some basic information on you and your work?
My website is www.tiffanybaker.com. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area with my husband and three children.
2. Where did you get the inspiration or idea for this book?
I started with the characters and the town of Aberdeen, which is fictional. I knew I wanted to write a book about an outcast woman in this small town, but the first draft of the novel wasn’t told from Truly’s point of view. It wasn’t until I got her voice in my head and heard how BIG it was that I decided to make Truly large as well, and things took off from there. Truly’s a great character because while she sees everything that’s going on in the town, no one sees her back.
3. How did the title of your book come about?
The title comes from a scene in the novel where the snooty schoolteacher looks down her nose at Truly on her first day of school and says, “Why, you’re a little giant!” It’s typical of how people in the town see Truly, which is to say they don’t see her inner personality, only her outer differences. I think most women have experienced this disconnect when it comes to our inner selves and our bodies. Our culture seems so crazy to me when it comes to standards of beauty for women. We’re encouraged to try to shove ourselves in boxes and erase the individual and unique parts of ourselves to fit marketing values, and I think it’s making a lot of women really unhappy. In the book, Truly has a beautiful sister, but she turns out not to be such a sympathetic character. I had a lot of fun exploring how outer looks ultimately define a person’s inner core.
4. Do you see yourself in your characters? Which characters are easiest or more difficult to write?
What’s that people say about dreaming—you are all the things you dream? Characters in a book are like that. There’s a little of me in all of them, but they’re not exact portraits of me, or anyone I know. I always have fun with the snarky, mean characters because through them I get to do things on the page I’d never get to do in real life. And other characters, like Marcus, take more time to develop. They get stronger the more drafts that I write. Sometimes, as in the case of Truly, a character will just take over the entire book!
5. What books would you say have made the biggest impression on you, especially starting out? What are you currently reading?
I read Jane Eyre when I was nine, and it’s still one of my favorite books, and my favorite contemporary author is John Irving. I love the whole arc of his stories, all the quirks and obsessions he has (I mean, really, what’s UP with all those bears), and his blend of wry wit and melancholy. In terms of what I’m reading now, well, I just finished an advanced review copy of Kathleen Kent’s new novel, The Wolves of Andover. It’s a prequel to The Heretic’s Daughter, and it rocks.
6. Can you give us a hint about the new book you have coming out next...even just about when it might be out?
It’s a novel about three women on a salt farm in Cape Cod, who all have a history with the same man. Again, there is a pair of sisters, but this time, there’s a pregnant teenaged mistress thrown into the mix. When the three women end up together on the salt farm, fighting the man they have in common, all hell breaks loose. I’m not sure yet of the release date, but check my website for updates!
7. Do you prefer writing fiction or do you think you might write a non-fiction book sometime?
For now, I love writing fiction. My daily life isn’t actually all that exciting. I have three kids. I have a messy house. We have taco night and go to soccer games. It’s great, but not groundbreaking, and that’s a blessing.
8. Some might say you were lucky to get THE LITTLE GIANT OF ABERDEEN COUNTY published since it was your first book. How much “luck” was involved compared to what you had to really do to sell your book to a publisher? How did that come about?
Oh, trust me, I feel very, very lucky. I have an agent I really trust and who’s always really honest. I have an editor who’s also completely honest and great at what she does, and both of them were willing to take a risk with my book. At the same time, however, I got rejected. I think I wrote five major drafts of Little Giant, and I’m writing about that many for my second book. Take whatever work you think you need to do to get a novel published, and then double it. I’ve had to be willing to push myself beyond what I thought I could do, take setbacks, and keep going when people told me no. But I still think it’s all a privilege. Thank you to everyone who’s read and loved Little Giant!
Thanks to Tiffany Baker for being so generous with her time to share the answers to my questions. For the giveaway of THE LITTLE GIANT OF ABERDEEN COUNTY, here are some bonus entry questions. If you missed the original post for the book and want to reread it and enter using those comments, please do. You can go HERE to start or review. These comments from today's interview will just give you more BONUS entries and chances of winning.
THANKS TO JESSICA AND THE GOOD FOLKS
AT NEWMAN COMMUNICATIONS, I HAVE
ONE COPY OF THIS FABULOUS BOOK
TO GIVE AWAY TO A LUCKY WINNER!
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