Thursday, December 2, 2010

Author Interview: L.B. Gschwandtner

Today I welcome author L.B. Gschwandtner back for an interview.  So grab your favorite cuppa and see what she has to say.

How did you celebrate when you found out The Naked Gardener would be published?
Being an Indie author makes publishing a completely different paradigm. You don’t have to wait for anyone else to give you permission to publish and that’s a very empowering position. I celebrate every day when I see my book sales totals. And I especially celebrate when strangers write reviews about their experience reading “The Naked Gardener.” It’s been an uplifting time for me so my celebration is ongoing.

How would you describe The Naked Gardener to others?
Artist Katelyn Cross loves Greg Mazur and he loves her. He wants to be married but a previous relationship that went sour has made Katelyn overly cautious about any permanent commitment. And what about Greg’s first wife? He lost her to cancer and Katelyn worries that he’s only looking for a replacement. What’s a girl to do? Canoe down a river with five gal pals, camp out, catch fish, talk about life and men. The problem is, a river can be as unpredictable as any relationship and just as hard to manage. On their last day, when the river turns wild, the women face the challenge of a lifetime and find that staying alive means saving themselves first while being open to help from a most unlikely source. As Katelyn navigates the raging water, she learns how to overcome her fear of change in a world where nothing stays the same. When Katelyn returns to her garden, she’ll face one more obstacle and the naked gardener will meet the real Greg Mazur.

Where did the idea for The Naked Gardener come from?

At a certain point in my life, I knew three women who gardened naked. They all had different takes on why, so I began to think about a woman named Katelyn Cross who goes to her garden naked and what that might mean and in what ways it would be liberating for her and important in her life. I chose one of the women I knew as the inspiration for the environment Katelyn creates. The garden symbolizes her world and the rocks in it keep getting in her way. So she has to deal with life's obstacles, even in her garden. Stripping off her clothes is an act of disencumbering, of removing outer layers that restrict the inner person.
When Katelyn says: “I never told anyone. Just kept going to my garden naked. Like some spirit hovering over the land,” she is referring to the spirit within that needs a voice.

Did you plan this book out or do you just write and see where it took you?

I plan and plot and then I let the writing loose. It’s a combination of both.

Do you get time to read? What are your favorite types of books to read?

I love to read although I’m a slow reader. I tend to think while I read. So I stop a lot. I like literature. I love to read fiction that’s set in a totally different world from my own. I wish I could read in different languages but I do like translations of books written in languages other than English.

What is your favorite room in your house?
That’s a terribly difficult question. I designed the house I live in. It’s in a fantastic setting on a high ridge looking across a tidal creek that’s almost a mile wide, and then the view also looks down to the mouth of the creek across the Potomac River to the Maryland cliffs. The sun and moon rise in the east where the house faces. The house is built on stilts so it sits in the treetops. So every room is my favorite one because from any room the view frames a wonderful vista as if you’re looking at many different paintings. I couldn’t pick a favorite room. They’re all like my children. No favorites here.

What is your favorite spot to read in?
I like to read in bed propped against lots of pillows.

What is your favorite snack food?

Chocolate, chocolate, and chocolate, in that order.

What is your favorite season?
Again, a tough choice. Because the house is so fabulous and the setting so perfect, I love all the seasons. Winter has arrived and the trees are bare so we see an enormous expanse of water. When the creek freezes, that’s wonderful. Flocks of ducks will arrive soon. And tundra swans. The geese are here already. Spring is magic. Everything turns green and fresh and the blooming begins. Summer we kayak on the creek and the fish jump and the turtles’ are swimming around. And fall is full of color and we celebrate with a huge pyre at our dock. People come from all over to join us every year. I love all the seasons.

Do you have a schedule for writing each day or do you just do it when you can?
I write when I can but I do write every day. It’s not on a rigid schedule. I miss it if I don’t write.

Any book signings/conferences/public/blog appearances in the near future?
Well there have been many blog reviews and interviews and more to come. Here are a few I’ve done already:
Psychotic State

The Next best Book Club Blog – Lori Hettler

Luxury reading

Interview – David Wisehart

excerpt =



goodreads LB Book page

Do you have a new book in the works?
I’m about to publish a middle grade novel titled “Page Truly and The Journey To Nearandfar.” It’s a lovely adventure story about a sensible girl and her sassy, unpredictable tooth fairy.
And I’m working on a novel with another writer. It’s titled “Foxy’s Tale,” a funny take on women’s fiction with a vampire twist.

Anything else you would like to say?
The writer I’m working with on the new novel actually talked me into going the Indie route to publishing. I’m really glad she did. The experience of publishing The Naked Gardener has been great fun. I get up in the morning and I’m excited to start my writing day, to promote my book, and to see the sales flow in. It’s all a wonderful feeling.

Thanks so much for agreeing to do an interview with me.
Thank you so much!