March 22, 2009

Interview with Deborah Lytton

Deborah Lytton's first novel just came out on March 19. JANE IN BLOOM is, pretty obviously, a coming-of-age story. It's also the first of the Class of 2k9 I'm featuring, but be aware there are many more in that group to come. So let's celebrate Deborah's success in getting published!


1. Your first book, JANE IN BLOOM, comes out this month. I watched Oscar interviews last night, so I have to steal one of their questions: what is your ratio of excited to terrified? Any other emotions in the mix?

More excited than terrified, I think. I can’t wait to take my little girls to the bookstore and show them my book on the shelf. And I have to admit, there is still a part of me that doesn’t quite believe this is happening. I’ve held the advance copy in my hands, so I know it’s real, but still…

2. Why do you think people will enjoy your novel?

I think a really good read is one that takes you on an emotional journey and leaves you satisfied at the end that the character you have traveled with has ended up in the right place. In this book, I take the reader through so many emotions, and I believe at the end, that Jane is right where she needs to be.

3. In your book, Jane's older sister dies of an eating disorder. What interested you about eating disorders? What kind of research did you do?

I focused on eating disorders because they are so prevalent in our society and the girls (and boys) afflicted are getting younger and younger. I wanted to address this subject for a middle grade audience. I researched the subject by reading first-hand accounts, books on eating disorders and consulted a pediatrician and pediatric nurse practitioner. But as the book is for a younger audience, I kept specific details to a minimum.

4. When did you begin to blossom? Were you an early bloomer or a wallflower?

I truly don’t think I blossomed until I became a mother. That’s when I finally came into my own. I think I was both an early bloomer and a wallflower. As a working child actress, I was mature because I was working on film sets with mostly adults and was expected to know my lines and hit my marks. But at the same time, I was shy with peers. So there is a part of me that is definitely a wallflower.

5. On your 2k9 page there's a recipe for Ethel's famous mac n' cheese. Your recipe calls for breadcrumbs, mustard, and paprika, which surprised me a little. Is the dish a little spicy? What are some of your favorite dishes?

This recipe is actually a variation on my dad’s “famous” mac n’ cheese. He’s been making it for years. It sounds spicier than it tastes—it’s really kid-friendly. I’m big on comfort foods. But my favorite dishes usually involve chocolate. And I love to bake cookies, cakes, cupcakes. If there’s sugar in it, I’m happy.

Book Cover

6. I like the JANE IN BLOOM cover. It's a bright color and the title treatment is easy to read. What did you think when you first saw it?

I’m glad you like it. I like it, too. Jeanine Henderson is the designer. When I first saw it, I was thrilled. I thought the cover completely captured the heart of the story, in color and in theme. It’s really perfect.

7. Do you plan to become a full-time author? What things do you like to do besides write?

My goal is to become a full-time author. It’s a dream come true to be on that path.

I love spending time with my daughters more than anything—we’re usually dancing and singing. My favorite hobby is photography. I’ve been shooting pictures since I was a little girl, and I really enjoy seeing the world through a camera lens. I also love reading and watching movies.

8. What is the most important thing you learned in school? Outside of school?

That is a hard question to answer because there are so many valuable things I learned in school. But the first thing that comes to mind is an incredible English teacher I had in middle school who taught me how to punctuate sentences with rules I use to this day. She was also the first teacher to introduce me to real literature. The most important thing I learned outside of school I learned on film sets—and this was the ability to be creative within a schedule, to deliver a performance. This translates to writing, as writers have so many deadlines to meet, and we have to deliver.

9. How do people react when you tell them you have a book coming out?

People are really excited to hear about the book. They want to know where they can buy it and what it’s about. They are really supportive.

10. With all the flower metaphors in your blurb and the rose on the cover, do you have a favorite kind of flower? Why?

I love daisies. When you look at a daisy, it smiles back at you. What could be better than that?


So what about ya'll? Are you wallflowers or bloomed? I think I'm a bloomed, but with a wallflower sort of personality.

And one very lucky person will get a signed copy, hot off the presses, of JANE IN BLOOM. You know the drill: follow the rules.


  1. Impressed with the line-up. That is a lot of work.

    Would have enjoyed hearing a little more detail about the main character and why younger girls are developing this disorder.

  2. I loved my English teacher too! They have more influence on young impressionable writers than they realize!


  3. Wow, it must be a big step going from actress to author! Both such exciting jobs!

  4. I really like the cover too! Aww - now I want some mac & cheese ;) I love daisies too! :)

  5. that mac n cheese sounds fantastic and I am definitely not a wallflower.

    sports dot erikalynn at gmail dot com

  6. My english teacher is who steered me towards getting a journalism degree. Enjoyed the interview

    msboatgal at aol dot com

  7. Oh, I love the questions you ask. So awesome. And I didn't know what this book was about before, but I'm quite curious now...eating disorders are affecting people really young now. I posted something about that in regards to Wintergirls on my blog, and in the second video, I believe...Emma Rigby (an actress) talks about hearing that a six year old was anorexic! How awful!

    please enter me.
    i'm already a follower. :)


  8. I was a late bloomer, but never a wallflower.

    The cover reminds of candy everytime I see it!

  9. This sounds like a very interesting book, and it sounds silly, but I love the cover!


  10. I'm a very late bloomer but not sure if that makes me a wallflower :-)

  11. I teach. I hope I have made an impact on at least a few of my students!


  12. Please include me in your giveaway.

  13. All the English teachers I've had have been awesome! Some are so great at inspiring students and getting them to think. I've gotten some of my best ideas from English class discussions.

    The cover of Jane in Bloom is beautiful! I love that it's a rose!

  14. There are a couple girls in town who definitely look like they have an eating disorder. No one could possibly be that thin and/or gaunt naturally.

  15. I have to say English teachers have alot of influence on young people. I had a wonderful, memorable one who encouraged me love books and Bob Dylan's music & lyrics. That was many years ago. Look forward to reading your book.

    espressogurl at hotmail dot com

  16. I will admit that I am still mostly a wallflower, but I am working on blooming and achieving self-actualization!

    Thanks for the giveaway :)

  17. Gotta love mac and cheese!

  18. I so love the cover for this book.

  19. Wow, that cover is so pretty! =)

    Hmmmm sounds like a yummy mac n cheese recipe. I also love comfort food...

  20. Okay so I think I might need to try out that recipe. Mac n cheese is my favorite food.

    I would love to win a signed copy of Jane In Bloom. The link for the contest is in the sidebar of my blog!

  21. I'm a wallflower that can be a little bloomful when the mood suits her, does that make any sense? I think sometimes I can come across as "bloomed" but I consider myself a wallflower.

    I agree! The cover is really pretty :)

  22. By the way, I am a follower!


  23. The cover looks pretty cool :) Looks like a great book also!
    I'm a follower, too. And putting this contests in my Contests sidebar at my blog!



  24. Is it open to international readers too?

    if so then sign me up,
    blodeuedd1 (at) gmail (dot) com

    I think I am somewhat of a wallflower, but others can mistake me for bloomed

  25. I'm waiting for blooming, it has to be a very nice feeling*

    I would love to read this book, it sounds really good and the cover is very pretty!

    +1 I'm a follower
    +1 Link in my sidebar

  26. Happy birthday?


  27. Congratulations on becoming published for your first time! That's great! "Jane in Bloom" looks like it will be a really neat book!

    I follow!
    I posted a link on my sidebar for this post here (copy and paste together):


  28. Hmm..I'm not a wallflower exactly but I'm not quite bloomed either.

    I'm a follower.

  29. I think the idea of a book addressing eating disorders aimed at a middle grade audience is great. Sadly a lot of things are becoming problems earlier and earlier now and we only seem to address them later, when the problem's there and not before.

  30. great contest! Daisys are my favorite flower too!

  31. I look forward to reading this. I'm glad the story has a focus on the middle school age. I feel this is the time where girls become more conscious of the weight issue. I remember my how my lunch diet evolved in an unhealthy way from this point through high school.


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