OBS  interviews guru Katlyn had the opportunity to touch base with Judith Graves. Judith’s new book Under My Skin comes out March 27th, make sure to order your copy ASAP.

How & why did you become a writer? Was it difficult to get your first book published?

How and why? Oh, that’s a strange mix of circumstance. 😉 I went from songwriter to flash fiction writer (short, short stories) to writing novels. I had this one werewolf story that I couldn’t give up on (despite many rejections). Eventually I landed a very cool contract with a newbie publisher, Leap Books, and I’m happy to say it’s been a blast ever since.

Why did you choose to write YA?

YA is an exciting world. There’s such a stellar list of titles to choose from compared to when I was a teen. I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

Who are your biggest inspirations as a writer?

My family. If they hadn’t encouraged me to write/sing, hadn’t supported my dreams, I wouldn’t have had the guts to try.

How involved are you with your community and fans? Do you feel that affects your success?

I wouldn’t say I have fans…lol…but there are a lot of amazingly supportive YA bloggers, authors, and book lovers that I’ve made connections with through various social networking sites: Twitter, Facebook, my blogs, etc. I value each and every one. As a writer living in a fairly remote community, the majority of my bookish contacts are with people I’ve never met, but would sorely miss if my Net connection dies (which it tends to do at -30C).

I noticed on your website you offer to visit schools and libraries to talk about books, do you find that children respond well to this idea?

I do. And so do the adults who organize the events. Especially in rural areas like mine, where writers are few and readers are many. I love talking about books – mine or any of the mucho awesome titles out in the world. Shameless plug time…you can’t beat the fabu new titles from the Class of 2k10 (www.classof2k10.com). And those authors do visits too!

How important is reading in your daily life?

It’s like breathing. Actually, I read books like my aunt Shirley smokes cigarettes. I’ve got one going in every room in the house. (That’s a good thing for me. Not so much for my aunt’s lungs!)

Do you continue to write and sing music?

You betcha. I had to set music aside for a while to give fiction writing my full attention. But songwriting will always be my first love. I may have put down my guitar (no more long band rehearsals, traveling to gigs, set up/tear down) but I still jam with friends and write new tunes.

Which is your favorite classic Vampire book and do you have a more modern favorite too?

Dracula is one hell of a story. I recently read the Bloodline series by Kate Cary and enjoyed the modern take on Stoker’s tale.

What is your favorite Vampire TV series and/or movie?

TV series: Buffy the Vampire Slayer / Trueblood

Movie: The Lost Boys, Fright Night (such fun!), 30 Days of Night. I have to get my werewolves in… I adore the American Werewolf in London and then the whole Ginger Snaps trilogy is amazing (and Canadian!).

Do you incorporate music while you are writing? If so, can you name songs/artists that inspire you?

Yup! Music makes my world go around. 😉 I find new music to love on a daily basis, but for Under My Skin (UMS), I did listen to a few key tunes for inspiration:

– “Dark Come Soon” – Tegan & Sara
– “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” – Cage the Elephant
– “I Will Follow You Into The Dark” – Death Cab for Cutie
– “Secret Heart” – Ron Sexsmith

Visit Judith’s site here. Many thanks to Judith Graves for taking the time to do an interview with OBS, it’s much appreciated.