I want to start off by saying how grateful I am that I got to do this interview with Charity Shumway, I can't thank you enough!
INTRODUCING CHARITY SHUMWAY!
Charity earned an MFA in creative writing from Oregon State University and a BA in English from Harvard University. Her first novel, Ten Girls to Watch, comes out this July. In 2007, she spent nine months reporting on the 50th Anniversary of Glamour’s “Top Ten College Women” contest, which served as the inspiration for her book. Her writing has appeared in that magazine and has also been published by Fitness, Ladies Home Journal, and Garden Design, among others. She lives with her husband in Brooklyn, New York.
Author Website: http://www.charityshumway.com/
1) What three words best describe TEN GIRLS TO WATCH?
Fiction but true. (By which I mean the book is definitely a novel, not a memoir, but I think for anyone who has ever been young and overwhelmed, or really any age and desperately in need of some guidance and encouragement, the book really captures that experience).
2) One sentence why readers should go and read TEN GIRLS TO WATCH?
Oh man, I don't quite know how to answer this one! I'm going to defer to you. :)
3) Which character or woman from your book do you think you are most like?
I'm quite a bit like Dawn, the novel's narrator. Like her, I really struggled in my first years out of school. I'm hoping, as the years go by, to mature into someone much more like her mentor, Helen, but it hasn't quite happened yet!
4) Are any of the experiences from the book based on someone you know or events that happened in your life?
In the novel, Dawn lands a job working on the 50th anniversary of Charm magazine's "Ten Girls to Watch" contest, tracking down all the contest's past winners. In real life, I had a very similar job, working on the 50th anniversary of Glamour's "Top Ten College Women" contest. While the details of Dawn's experiences and the stories of the women she interviews are all fictional, in real life, the women who won Glamour's contest were just as amazing as the women in the novel.
5) If you could be any book character for a day who would it be and why?
If I could be any character in TEN GIRLS TO WATCH, I'd be Dawn's boss XADI. She always capitalizes her name, but that's just the start of forcefulness. She's smart and great at her job and not at all concerned with niceties. I personally can barely smile at someone without thinking back on it later and wondering if I smiled too much or not enough or was it weird to smile when I did? I'd love to be someone totally and completely above all those kinds of worries for a day.
6) What was the last most AWESOME book you've read?
I just finished THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Greene, and it was terrific. Smart and urgent and honest, the sort of book you'd stay up all night reading, and a total sob-fest, in the best kind of way.
I'm really glad I got to do this interview and I'm grateful to have been able to do it, I recommend that you all go and pick up Charity's new book TEN GIRLS TO WATCH which is coming out in July, you won't regret it!
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