If Ruby Wright could have her way, her dad would never have met and married her stepmother Willow, her best friend George would be more than a friend, and her mom would still be alive. Ruby knows wishes can't come true; some things just can't be undone. Then she discovers a tree in the middle of an Ohio cornfield with a wormhole to nine alternative realities.
Suddenly, Ruby can access completely different realities, each containing variations of her life—if things had gone differently at key moments. The windshield wiper missing her mother’s throat…her big brother surviving his ill-fated birth…her father never having met Willow. Her ideal world—one with everything and everyone she wants most—could be within reach. But is there such a thing as a perfect world? What is Ruby willing to give up to find out?
The Book Monsters are excited to welcome Cristin Bishara, author of Relativity. And stay tuned after the interview for a special giveaway!
Describe RELATIVITY in five words or less.
Fast-paced and thought-provoking.
What has your road to publications been like?
My road had many stop signs and detours! Here’s a quick look at how it played out:
1) After I wrote RELATIVITY, it took fifteen months of querying before I signed with my agent, Minju Chang at BookStop Literary.
2) Before submitting to publishers, Minju asked me to rewrite the ending (it was pretty bleak) and consider a few other revisions. This took about four months.
3) Literally, just days after handing the final manuscript off to her, I had a baby! (You can skip this step if you choose.)
4) Minju sold the book within three months.
5) The contract was negotiated and signed, we changed the title, I added a chapter and revised some more, the cover art was created, and the manuscript went through the proofreading process. All of this added another 23 months before RELATIVITY finally landed in bookstores on September 10, 2013.
So not even counting the many, many months it took me to write the book, this adds up to more than 3 ½ years. Hopefully the process will go a bit faster the next time around!
What was the research process for RELATIVITY like for you?
I read books and magazine articles about string theory, listened to podcasts and, most importantly, I watched Brian Greene’s NOVA series called “The Elegant Universe.” Trust me, I’m not a physics genius. I majored in English and have an M.F.A. in poetry, so I stuck with non-technical research and broad ideas. While I did my very best to be accurate and keep the science as factual as possible (within the context of this being a piece of fiction), there’s no way I could begin to explain the math behind string theory. So please don’t ask that question next!
What book are you currently reading?
Oh, good. Not a math question. I’m reading The Seer of Shadows by Avi. Maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but I’ve never read Avi, and I saw it on a bargain table for $2.50 so I grabbed it. I’m on page 95 and so far I’m enjoying it.
What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Here’s my question: How do you juggle writing and being a mom?
There’s been a lot of crap going around the Internet lately about women having to choose between working and having children, and it’s really starting to irritate me. In one article, the writer assumes that “working” means that you’re in a corporate pressure cooker, clocking 60+ hours per week. This is stressful and difficult for anyone, not just for women who have children. I think this is more of a statement about the insanity of the American workweek, and not necessarily about balancing a reasonable career and motherhood. There have also been articles that suggest that you have to choose specifically between writing and having children. One woman suggested that writers must lead a peaceful and quiet life, and that with noisy kids you’ll be denied your required meditative state. Get a grip. Life is loud. You can write in spite of it and because of it. Sometimes chaos generates ideas, while silence smothers them. It bothers me that these negative articles might discourage the next great author from trying. She might want to sit down and write while her baby is napping. How dare you dissuade her?
And your special code word is….
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