Deborah Nam-Krane was born in New York, raised in Cambridge and educated in Boston. You’re forgiven for assuming she’s prejudiced toward anything city or urban. She’s been writing in one way or another since she was eight years old (and telling stories well before that).
When did you first realize you wanted to be an Author?
I always knew I wanted to write, but I decided I wanted to be a writer with a capital W when I was thirteen years old. Once I decided that my job was to create stories, I couldn’t stop.
What would you say is your interesting quirk that only happens when you are writing?
I talk to myself- A LOT!
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing your books?
That I have a much greater capacity to sympathize with people who have done “bad things” than I let on in real life. I’m not as judgmental as I let on!
Where did you get ideas for your books?
I think I’m like most every fiction novelists: I combine ideas from current events or history with things and people I’ve seen or experienced. Once I decided that I was going to write what I knew (in my case, Boston), I realized how much my setting had to offer: education, technology, history and people coming in from all over the world. There’s a lot to inspire me here, and I don’t feel limited at all.
Out of all the books you have written which is your favorite and why?
Of the four I’ve written so far, I’ve only released one as of this writing, but I’m editing the sequels as we speak. Out of all of them, it is probably the second one that I feel the most attached to: the core story has been playing out in my head for sooo long. I take a bunch of risks, but it’s the story I need to tell. I’ll probably cry into my pillow for a week if I feel like readers on the whole don’t like it.
Is your book considered Erotica, Romance with a few spicy scenes or YA and Why?
Romance and the spice level are pretty tame. It’s more New Adult than Young Adult- my characters start out between the ages of nineteen and twenty-s ix– but the bedroom door stays closed for the most part. The sex is talked to more in the second book, but it still isn’t explicit at all. (Just thinking about writing something that makes me blush!)
What do you think makes a good story?
Something that emanates from a person’s character and not splashy plots of convenience. Strange things happen to everyone all the time (or is that just me?), but the way an individual handles it is about their character. The fact that everyone is going to respond differently is what makes things interesting.
Who are some of your favorite Authors?
In no particular order, here’s a partial list: Charles Dickens , all three of the Bronte sisters , Erin Cawood, Judith Krantz , the D’Aulaires , Lucile Morris on, Jean Rhys , Mary Stewart, Sarah Woodbury, Claudia Christian, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Agatha Christie, Susan Faludi, Robert Graves , George O’Connor, Charles Mann, Lis a Stull and Irene Némirovsky
In my mind’s eye, the main characters look too much like people I know to be able to pick an actor. But there are a handful that I now associate with actors. Theresa Russell would be perfect as Lucy Bartolome, and Adrian Pasdars creams Alex Sheldon to me. The only main character I could cast would be Mitch; I would totally use a young Van Williams , whom you may (or may not) remember as the original Green Hornet (picture attached).
What sets your book apart from others of the same genre ?
I’m not sure they’re significantly different, actually. I write books about strong young women and I think my stories could be classified as a combination of Chick Lit and Romance. My stories are set in Boston, and they start out at a university that, er, just might bear some resemblance to
The university I attended. But I don’t think I’m the first person to write about women who will walk away from men who aren’t perfect but will go to great lengths for their friends .
Who are some of the people that influenced your love of writing?
My uncle, Nam Si-Uk, who risked his safety a couple of times when he was writing and editing for one of the biggest newspapers in Korea; my fifth-, sixth- and seventh-grade English teachers , all of whom told me that I could write; and my sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade history teachers , who introduced me to novels that made me feel connected to a larger story.
If you had one piece of advice for an aspiring Author what would it be ?
Keep reading, writing and editing until you’re telling your story the way it needs to be told. And get an editor before you publish it.
What would you like to say to friends and family of Authors (not just your own)?
Careful what you say around us; we’re listening, especially when you don’t think we are!
Is there anything else you want to share with your readers?
I am so grateful to all of you for coming along for Emily, Miranda, Jessie and Zainab’s journeys , and I hope all of you have been lucky enough to have friends as loyal and devoted as these women are to each other.
Excerpt: ” The Smartest Girl in the Room” Available On Amazon
Emily got to the mall and sat down on the stone ledge by the pool in front of the movie theater. Ugh. Brad Pitt really was playing.
” You beat me here.” She turned around to see Mitch. He looked at the marquee and grinned. ” It’s playing after all, and you’re just dying to see it, aren’t you?”
” You win.” ” Now what?”
” I believe we agreed that you were going to buy me dinner-” ” The best dinner you’ve ever had.”
” -The best dinner I’ve ever had, and then tells me all about why you’d rather spend the evening with a little kid like me than go to that frat party.”
” Can you be bribed out of part two?” ” Not unless the bribe is my diploma.”
He clucked his tongue. ” Dinner it is then.”
” Let’s see: there’s Friday’s but every time I’ve gone there before, I’ve gotten food poisoning. There’s Chili’s but I made myself something Mexican for lunch…oh!” She smiled and clapped her hands . ” Au Bon Pain!”
” That is the best dinner of your life?”
” No… but I’ve sort of been in the mood for one of their cheese sandwiches .”
” We could always walk down to Newbury Street.”
” I’m so not in the mood to wait in a line on a Friday night with the beautiful people while I’m holding all of my stuff.”
” Au Bon Pain it is !”
” Cool. Do you mind going to the one on the upper level? The lower level can get so crowded.”
” Sure, but then you have to explain your touch of agoraphobia.”
” You’ve managed to talk your way out of dancing, Newbury Street restaurants and a ‘crowded’ Au Bon Pain. That’s starting to sound like a pattern.”
” It is. It’s all part of my plot to get you alone with me.” She smiled. ” And I guess it worked.”
” Is that the truth, or just your way of trying to end the conversation?”
” That,” she touched the tip of his nose lightly, ” would be telling.”