Robin Brande is the author of the young adult novel, Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature (review here) and the upcoming book, Fat Cat, to be released this coming fall. She's one of the nicest authors I've met so far, and her answers to my questions are quite awesome. Enjoy!
This or that:
Rain or shine?
Shine, for sure. I don’t know how people live under gray skies or where it’s cold all the time. Brrr.
iPod or mp3 player?
iPod, and I only just got it a few months ago as a gift from my best friend because she was sick of me not having one!
Movies or TV?
Hm, that’s a tough one. I’m going to go with movies, but there are certain TV shows I love, too--Lost, Top Chef, Project Runway, and Masterpiece Classic in particular.
City or country?
Country, please. Love the mountains, the streams, big tall pine trees—very relaxing to be around.
Mountains or beaches?
See above. I’ve never been a fan of beaches because I’m a pasty-skinned girl who either freckles or burns. Also, I’ve never been quite comfortable around the ocean since seeing Jaws when I was a young girl. You understand.
Dots or stripes?
Never thought of this! Um, stripes? More uniform and easy on the eyes.
Dogs or cats?
DOGS!!!!!! My mother wouldn’t let me have pets when I was a kid, so I always had an imaginary dog (do not laugh). That dog was awesome. He’d always bark at my piano teacher when she was being mean to me. Of course, she couldn’t hear him . . .
Now that I’m an adult I’ve had a series of dogs, and they make me happier than I can say. My dog right now is a big black Lab named Bear—a dog some people might recognize from my novel Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature.
Cooking or eating out?
I love to bake—breads, cookies, etc.—but I’m not real big on making the main course. So I have a few places I love to go for takeout—Ethiopian and Vietnamese food in particular. Otherwise I’ll just whip up some bean burros at home. I keep it pretty simple.
Coffee or tea?
Coffee, and Starbucks in particular. My day doesn’t really start until I’ve got some of that in me.
Books or magazines?
Books. I need to stop subscribing to so many magazines, because I never keep up with them and they just pile up around the house. But they’re great for taking along when you know you’ll have to wait someplace. But mostly it’s books. I have multiple ones going at the same time, and read them at different parts of the day—I have a coffee book, a lunch book, a bedtime book, and usually also a book I’m reading for research for my next novel. Some days it’s a little hard to keep all the plots straight in my brain, but at least this way I get to read most of the books I’m dying to dive into.
It’s a tie: The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling, and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Both are just masterpieces.
Changing Hands bookstore in Tempe, AZ
Lord of the Rings (technically three movies, but they’re all my favorites)
megcabot.com. She’s so funny, and posts such hilarious stuff.
Going to a movie alone in the middle of the day. It’s one of the perks of being a writer!
Candle 79 in New York City
Have you ever:
Gotten a tattoo?
Never. So many hygiene issues my mother beat into my head—I’m lucky I’m able to take showers in hotel rooms without wearing sandals.
Stayed up for the midnight release of a movie or book?
Yes—the second Lord of the Rings movie, The Two Towers.
Disliked your job?
Oh, yes. I used to be a trial lawyer. We’ll just leave it at that.
Cried during a movie?
Uh, when do I not cry? I’m the biggest blubberer I know. I have to fight hard not to make sounds.
No, thank you. Having a big brother has cured me of wanting to make a public spectacle of myself—plenty of ridicule at home.
If you were on a desert island, what 5 things would you bring with you?
A lighter, lighter fluid, matches, flint (for lighting fires—see a concern here?), and a solar still for converting salt water to regular water. As long as I had fire and water, I could figure out the rest.
What’s on the list of things you have to do during your life?
Learn to drive stick shift (I know, one of these days), swim with dolphins (despite my Jaws paranoia), visit New Zealand (mostly to look at the places where they filmed Lord of the Rings), write a book or screenplay that gets made into a movie (I’d like to do this more than once), and read all the books I’ve ever wanted to read (that list keeps growing faster than I can keep up with it).
If you could have one super power what would it be?
Invisibility. Definitely. Okay, or maybe flying. Both if you’re being generous.
What’s your perfect music playlist?
Bits of John Mayer, Michael McDonald, Chaka Khan, Kenny Loggins, the Beach Boys, the BeeGees—lots of old school, mellow music. Perfect for playing in the background while I write.
What’s the one food you could eat day after day and not get sick of? Salsa. It’s like part of my bloodstream.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
New Zealand. I really want to see the beautiful country they used for Lord of the Rings.
What moment in history do you wish you could’ve experienced? What a great, but hard, question! I can’t even answer it, it’s so hard. The choices are endless. Sorry to cop out, but you just busted my brain.
What does your dream library look like?
A big, deep couch where I can read/nap with my dog on one end; every wall covered by floor to ceiling bookshelves filled with everything I should read, want to read, will want to read (it replenishes itself every month with the best books that just came out). I would also have a spare brain and several spare sets of eyes in there so I could actually read everything I need to read in this one lifetime. It just seems impossible.
When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head first?
New releases in the adult section, then I head straight to young adult.
If everyone had to read one book, what would you have it be?
Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness by the ancient philosopher Epictetus.
Thank you so much Robin! And you should all definitely read Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature - it's the perfect summer read.