Earlier this summer, when I posted my list of vacation reads and mentioned loving young adult literature, Eden suggested I check out Gae Polisner’s The Pull of Gravity. One look at the premise – and the story’s inclusion of Of Mice and Men and Yoda – and I was sold. I adored the book and I’m delighted to have the chance to introduce you to the author, who in addition to being a terrific writer is also fun, friendly and interesting. In short, just the kind of person we love hosting here at Black Ink, White Paper.
Interview with Gae Polisner
1. What is your day like? On a good working day? On a bad working day? And how do you cope with the bad ones?
Because I wear a lot of hats, my days can look very different. I try to write every day (except for the breaks I take in between manuscripts). I also try to swim almost every day which is a part of my writing process. Seriously, my creative juices need to be activated by water. Because I have kids who have busy lives too, and because I have a part-time “day job” I still engage in (as a divorce law mediator), there is also a lot of juggling of those hats. Also, my writing life has been a bit different since right before, during and so far immediately after the launch of TPoG because now I spend such a good deal of time writing blog posts (like this!) and trying to get the name of my little book out there in the world. On a good working day, I’ve written something new (or revised something) I love and am so excited about I want to post a little snippet on my blog or on my facebook page. On a bad day, I swim and swim and swim. Because in addition to the creative flow of the water, the endorphins keep me happy and sane (ok, almost sane). And, yes, there are days I just stay under water.
2. Tell us a little bit about your workspace.
It’s a little faux, drop-down writing desk in my “piano room” where I sit with my laptop. For mother’s day this year, I got a little shiatsu roller chair pad that’s awesome too, so I often have that turned on. On top of my desk are a few trinkets that are writing related including a Yoda sculpture made for me by my younger son. Above my desk on the wall, is a beautiful little landscape painting by my mom.
3. If you had a perfect day, what would it be?
My kids happy, my writing flowing, an amazing open water swim, then sushi with my husband and vegging in front of Mad Men or Entourage with some Red Mango or tropical fruit, or, if you insisted, a really decadent piece of yellow cake with frosting.
4. Who do you most admire in your field (or in general) and why?
In my field, oh man, the list is ever growing. First and foremost, I admire my editor, Frances Foster. She’s amazing, a legend in the business, and at near-80 still totally on her game. She blows me away. A few YA writer names: Francisco X. Stork, David Levithan, K.L. Going. . . seriously, that list could just go on and on. Also, in general, I admire people who get off their asses and do. Not talk, do. I admire people who hang in there. Who feel the fear and do it anyway. And who help other people in the process. I try hard to be one of those people. Sometimes I fail. But the older I get the closer I get to succeeding.
5. If you weren’t a lawyer and a writer what would you be?
Job-wise, not sure. But I wish I were a better dancer and a better cook. Those who know me know that it’s one of my life goals to be able to shake my ass like Shakira. I mean really isolate each lower part of me and shake it. Er. But, have you seen how she can?
6. What is one thing you want to do before you die?
Dying is scary. There are things I just want to do. Period. Now. Soon. Eventually. Some of them (in no particular order) are: write a picture book; get my women’s fiction published; swim a 5-mile or more swim in the open water; return to Italy where I honeymooned but this time stay at the Hotel Ill San Pietro at Positano, set in the cliffs overlooking the Bay of Positano; learn how to shake my ass like Shakira. I might have mentioned that one already.
7. What is your favorite saying/quote/mantra?
Ever since I got published, I’ve found “Keep your eyes on your own paper,” useful. Meaning, some people will get more glory, have more books, get better reviews, sell more copies, etc. than I will. And some will do worse. I just need to focus on what I’ve done and what I can do in the future.
8. What’s the one thing that drives you crazy? At work? At home? In general?
People who crack their gum or chew loudly with their mouths open. At work, at home, and in general.
9. What’s your favorite book? Movie? Painting?
YA: Marcelo in the Real World.
Movie? Oh man,The Graduate, Swingers,The Princess Bride, to name a few.
Painting? Lately, I have a newfound love for Van Gogh partly because I’m working on a ms that has a lot of references to Van Gogh. But of all time, the painting that sticks with me always is Paris: A Rainy Day by Gustave Caillebotte. I know the painting from the old board game Masterpiece I played ad nauseum with my sister as a kid. I would bid on it even if I knew it was a fraud because I wanted it in my collection. Also, Monet’s Water Lilies. I mean, really, is there anything more beautiful than that?
10. Where’s your favorite place in the world?
I’m sure you can guess this at this point, but the answer is under water. In my crystal clear pool in the sunlight, with the water and light playing in reticulated patterns as I swim. Or, in the open waters of Long Island with the waves tossing me in an exhilarating, breathless swim. Although, lying on a lounge chair in my backyard in the sun staring at clear blue sky, with a profusion of roses blooming all around me, isn’t a bad place to find myself either.
Gae Polisner is a wife, mother, and family law attorney/mediator by trade, but a writer by calling. The Pull of Gravity is her first novel. You can find Gae at http://www.gaepolisner.com or http://thepullofgravity.com or follow her on Twitter @gaepol.