TNBBC Presents-- Audrey Niffenegger Author Q&A discussion

90 views
All About Audrey > What makes Audrey tick?

Comments (showing 1-35 of 35) (35 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Lori (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 38 comments Mod
This thread is for any personal (but not TOO personal!) questions you would like to Audrey to answer.

For example:
What is it like to give tours at the Highgate Cemetary?
What were some of the worst jobs you have ever held?
Who are you most "star-struck" by and why?


message 2: by Mandy (new)

Mandy A couple of reading related questions here.

Are you an avid reader?

Do you find much time to read?

What is one of your most favourite books?

What genre is your guilty pleasure, one that you would sit in your comfy chair with a glass of wine and just read and relax?


message 3: by Stacie (new)

Stacie I guess this kind of piggy backs on Mandy's question, but I was wondering...

What authors inspired you or continue to inspire you?


message 4: by Audrey (new)

Audrey Niffenegger | 61 comments Mod
Mandy wrote: "A couple of reading related questions here.

Are you an avid reader?

Do you find much time to read?

What is one of your most favourite books?

What genre is your guilty pleasure, one that..."


I am a pretty voracious reader, yes. I am lucky because I know a lot of editors and other publishing people who often give me things they are reading, things I might not have known about or picked up on my own. So my tastes have been expanding.

When I am working on my own things I don't have as much time to read, but when I'm on book tour, which I'm about to embark on, there are hours on planes and in hotels when I can read, so I am getting caught up.

I recently discovered W.G. Sebold, I am reading all his work. Austerlitz is the one that really caught me.

I love mysteries, especially older English mysteries, but the hardboiled please me, too.





message 5: by Audrey (new)

Audrey Niffenegger | 61 comments Mod
Stacie wrote: "I guess this kind of piggy backs on Mandy's question, but I was wondering...

What authors inspired you or continue to inspire you?"


Richard Powers, David Foster Wallace, Susanna Clarke, Kelly Link, Geoff Ryman, Dorothy L. Sayers, Raymond Chandler, Chris Adrian, Shirley Jackson, Margaret Atwood, and many others.



message 6: by Lori (last edited Sep 25, 2009 05:27PM) (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 38 comments Mod
Hi Audrey,

I have read that you gave guided tours of the Highgate Cemetary. How did you get started with that, and are you still doing it?

Also, what TV show(s) are you currently addicted to?


message 7: by Audrey (new)

Audrey Niffenegger | 61 comments Mod
Lori wrote: "Hi Audrey,

I have read that you gave guided tours of the Highgate Cemetary. How did you get started with that, and are you still doing it?

Also, what TV show(s) are you currently addicted to? "


I was asked to guide at Highgate Cemetery after I had been researching its history for a year. It's an honor to be a guide. There are about thirty guides, each has his or her own unique tour. I learned by taking tours from other guides. I do still guide, but not very often as I live in Chicago and can only do it when I'm in London.

I am very enthusiastic about Doctor Who.




message 8: by Carol (new)

Carol I just visited your web page. Your paintings and drawings are amazing. I love the cat ones. I am assuming the lady is a self portrait of you. How did you transition yourself from art into the art of writing?Did you always want to write or draw or do both?


message 9: by Meghan (new)

Meghan What is your feeling on the state of writing today? Do you think that there is a writing crisis--or lack of good writing? Or does the next generation of writers excite you?

I read your thoughts on e-books and your feelings about the impact on book art. What are your thoughts on technology in general and the impact on writing? Many articles have been written about how younger generations are remaking the English language (due to text messaging and instant messaging). Do you feel that language and grammar are fluid and it all goes into the pot of creativity? Or are the standards lessening and this will ultimately hurt the future of writing?


message 10: by Audrey (new)

Audrey Niffenegger | 61 comments Mod
carol (akittykat) wrote: "I just visited your web page. Your paintings and drawings are amazing. I love the cat ones. I am assuming the lady is a self portrait of you. How did you transition yourself from art into the art o..."

Thank you (blushes). I'm not sure exactly which cat images you are referring to, but if it's the lady standing on the chair with the cat, that's my friend Pamela and her cat Zuzu. I made a group of paintings in which my friends all posed as circus sideshow freaks; Pam was the Midget. (She isn't really, of course.)


message 11: by Carol (new)

Carol I liKed them all. You are one talented lady.I dabble a little but nothing like you. I was not serious enough,raising a family got in the way.


message 12: by Audrey (new)

Audrey Niffenegger | 61 comments Mod
Meghan wrote: "What is your feeling on the state of writing today? Do you think that there is a writing crisis--or lack of good writing? Or does the next generation of writers excite you?

I read your thoughts ..."


I am actually impressed by the amount of excellent writing that is being produced these days. I think the difficult part is for writers to connect with their potential readers; there are so many things competing for our attention.

Technology is morally neutral; e-books have the potential to be immensely helpful to many readers, and they may end up restructuring the publishing business in a way that makes it very difficult for new authors to find their audiences. Currently, the big books help pay for the discovery of new, untried writers. If writers who have found their audiences decide to self-publish digitally (a la Radiohead) that could start to make it hard for new voices to be chosen and heard above the din (see:the music industry). Or it could be a boon for writers who don't want to have to pass through the gate-keeping of the publishers. We'll find out, because e-books are expanding their readership.

I am not worried about the English language, it is always morphing and bringing new possibilities. And people are always worried that civilisation is going to hell (see: Chaucer). Perhaps that forward/backward movement is what forms the language as we really use it.


message 13: by Lori (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 38 comments Mod
I was recently talking to a writer for the LA Times about the future of reading, and technologies impact on it.

While I like the fact that the internet, and e-books are allowing more people to get their hands on books/writing, I have to admit that nothing will ever replace the feel of a book in my hands, or the smell of an older, time-worn novel.

I can curl up on the couch with a comfy blanket and a book. I can hop into a steaming bath with a book. I can be sitting in the park reading a novel and have someone come up to me and discuss their impressions of it. Not so easy to do those things with a laptop or a cell phone. It just doesn't "fit" as well for me ☺


message 14: by Lori (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 38 comments Mod
Audrey, to go back to the Highgate Cemetery for a moment, you mentioned you were researching its history prior to working there.

What was the purpose of the research? Did anything "creepy" or "unusual" ever happen to you while you were there?


message 15: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Audrey, where do you like to holiday? Do you have trouble trying to decide which books to take with you?

I suffer from the decision personally, what happens if I don't feel like reading what I've taken along with me but something I've left behind? Ah, the dilemma.


message 16: by Lori (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 38 comments Mod
Audrey, I know you will be touring shortly to promote your new novel... Are you comfortable in front of an audiance? What is a normal day like for you when you are working a book tour?


message 17: by Rauf (new)

Rauf Audrey said: I am very enthusiastic about Doctor Who.

Really? Which one's your favorite Doctor?


message 18: by Meghan (new)

Meghan You've published novels, illustrated novels, graphic novels, produced artwork in various mediums, taught at a prestige university, and give cemetary tours. Is there anything else you're hoping to achieve in your lifetime?


message 19: by Audrey (new)

Audrey Niffenegger | 61 comments Mod
Lori wrote: "Audrey, to go back to the Highgate Cemetery for a moment, you mentioned you were researching its history prior to working there.

What was the purpose of the research? Did anything "creepy" or "..."


The research was preliminary to going there, so I would have a better idea of what questions to ask, and some clue about where to begin once I was in the place itself.

I must be very unsusceptible to ghosts, if they do exist, because nothing unusual or creepy has happened to me at Highgate Cemetery.


message 20: by Lori (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 38 comments Mod
Audrey, When looking over your art, I find I most taken with your visions of death. Is that a subject matter that you were always interested in?


message 21: by Audrey (new)

Audrey Niffenegger | 61 comments Mod
Mandy wrote: "Audrey, where do you like to holiday? Do you have trouble trying to decide which books to take with you?

I suffer from the decision personally, what happens if I don't feel like reading what ..."


I like to go to cities, and I usually buy books when I get there because I love to go to bookstores. I take one book with me for the plane ride. Most recently the plane books have included Margaret Atwood's Payback, Miriam Toews' The Flying Troutmans, and now I have the new John Irving for the next plane ride.


message 22: by Audrey (new)

Audrey Niffenegger | 61 comments Mod
Lori wrote: "Audrey, I know you will be touring shortly to promote your new novel... Are you comfortable in front of an audiance? What is a normal day like for you when you are working a book tour?"

I am fine in front of an audience, it isn't too different from teaching. A tour day usually begins with getting up extremely early, catching a plane or a train to the next city on the tour, arriving and being met by a publicist or driver, checking into a hotel. Then often I will visit a few bookstores and sign stock. In the evening is the reading (it is always a relief when I see that yes, people have come to the reading; I never take that for granted). Then dinner, then bed. The hardest part of touring for me is to get enough sleep, so if you meet me and I look a little dazed, that's probably why. ;-)


message 23: by Audrey (new)

Audrey Niffenegger | 61 comments Mod
WHRauf wrote: "Audrey said: I am very enthusiastic about Doctor Who.

Really? Which one's your favorite Doctor?"


I am very lately come to Doctor Who, so David Tennant is my favourite at the moment. But I am planning to delve into Doctors past soon.


message 24: by Audrey (new)

Audrey Niffenegger | 61 comments Mod
Meghan wrote: "You've published novels, illustrated novels, graphic novels, produced artwork in various mediums, taught at a prestige university, and give cemetary tours. Is there anything else you're hoping to a..."

That is a good question, which I don't have a good answer to at the moment. I need to catch up with all the things that have been happening recently. I will have a better idea in the next year or so. Sorry to be so indefinite.


message 25: by Lori (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 38 comments Mod
Audrey, how is the book tour going?

Where are you currently, and what do you do when you are not reading at an event during the tour?


message 26: by Audrey (new)

Audrey Niffenegger | 61 comments Mod
Lori wrote: "Audrey, how is the book tour going?

Where are you currently, and what do you do when you are not reading at an event during the tour?"


Greetings from Dublin! Today was a partial day off, so we went to see the Book of Kells and the Long Library at Trinity College. Tomorrow I am heading back to London, then on to Edinburgh, Manchester and then Cheltenham for the Literary Festival.

One of the fun things about touring is discovering new names when people give me their books to inscribe. Irish names are especially unique and beautiful and difficult to spell. Aisley, Naimh and Siobhan are some that I remember from last night's signing.


message 27: by Lori (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 38 comments Mod
I was friends with a Siobhan in high school. And a Riley too. I agree, the Irish names are very beautiful!


message 28: by Jeane (new)

Jeane Audrey wrote: "Lori wrote: "Audrey, how is the book tour going?

Where are you currently, and what do you do when you are not reading at an event during the tour?"

Greetings from Dublin! Today was a partial day..."


Audrey, isn't the library at Trinity college heaven???!!


message 29: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Audrey, re unique and beautiful names, have you ever found a character's name or inspiration for a character's name for a book you are writing through meeting people whilst out and about, book tours, friends, family, et cetera?


message 30: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) I just received a signed copy of Her Fearful Symmetry today (from the Facebook contest) and I just wanted to say Thank You Audrey! The book looks wonderful. I can't WAIT to read it!

:)


JG (The Introverted Reader) Congrats, Laura!


message 32: by Laura (last edited Oct 15, 2009 04:41AM) (new)

Laura (apenandzen) Thanks JG! I almost don't wanna read this copy for fear of creasing it.


message 33: by Lori (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 38 comments Mod
The inside is so much better than the outside! Not saying the outside is not Gorgeous, but you know what I mean :)


message 34: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) Did you love it Lori? I've been meaning to ask you what you thought of it.


message 35: by Lori (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 38 comments Mod
Laura, oh did I ever! Let's not junk up this thread though about it. PM me if you like as you read, or start a thread in TNBBC to discuss!


back to top

24854

TNBBC Presents-- Audrey Niffenegger Author Q&A

unread topics | mark unread