Thursday, October 25, 2012

Young Adult Author Profile: Ruth Tenzer Feldman

Please join us this Thursday, October 25 (tonight!), for an evening of new young adult literature! Four authors, three local and one formerly local, will be reading from and discussing their newest books. This interview with Ruth Tenzer Feldman, author of Blue Thread, is the last of the author profiles I've been posting on the blog this month.

For more details about the event, see our website or the Facebook event page.

1) How would you describe your writing?
The marketing folks at Ooligan Press would say that my writing is primarily nonfiction and historical fiction/fantasy for young adults. The editor of ODYSSEY magazine sees my writing as mainly about health and science. My writer's critique group describes my writing as nuanced and passionate. But I'd describe my writing as the process in which I strive to churn a gazillion emotions and ideas into a good read.

2) How does writing fit into your everyday life?
Right now I'm madly revising another historical fiction/fantasy manuscript that is a companion book to Blue Thread. Writing fits into nearly every available moment.

3) What authors and/or poets inspire you?
That's a long list! I read a wide range of young adult books, and draw inspiration from so many authors. Where do I start? OK. Here are a few: Paolo Bacigalupi (Ship Breaker), Vera Brosgol (Anya's Ghost—a graphic novel), John Green (The Fault in Our Stars), Ransome Riggs (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children), Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke and Bone), and Tim Wynne-Jones (Blink & Caution). I also seek sustenance and guidance from back to the classic authors: Ursula Le Guin, Mark Twain, Flannery O'Connor.

4) What part does the community of Philadelphia play in your life and your writing?
I went to college in Philadelphia, and lived and worked in the city for a while. Traits from real people in the city's Department of Licenses and Inspections (my first job out of college) still show up in my characters. My husband is Philly-born and bred. Philadelphia also gave me a very real, walk-the-streets sense of American history.

5) What is the last book you have read that you enjoyed? Tell our Big Blue Marble community a little about it.
I recently devoured The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater. It's my kind of fiction, with just enough fantasy to tickle your brain. On an island off the coast of England, sometime in the 20th century, a guy we adore (Sean Kendrick) competes against a girl we adore (Puck Connolly) in a dangerous horse race. We want both of them to win, but only one can be first across the finish line. Did I mention that they love each other? And that the horses are flesh-eating "kelpies" from the sea?

Ruth Tenzer Feldman is an award-winning author of books and articles, mainly for children and young adults. She has been an attorney, editor, research analyst, ticket seller, and keypunch operator. Her 10 nonfiction books focus on history and biography, while her articles range from leeches to Einstein’s refrigerator. Blue Thread (Ooligan Press, 2012), historical fiction/fantasy for young adults, entwines the struggles of two teen girls living 3,000 years apart. Ruth lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband, dog, and innumerable dust mites.

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