Woefield Poultry Collective, Part Deux

So, not only did I get to review a neat book that I quite enjoyed, I was fortunate enough to be able to do a short Q&A with the author, Susan Juby. I should likely have expected the answers to be as funny as they are!

What made you decide to switch from young adult fiction to adult?

There was no grand plan, really. I just wanted to write a story about some people trying to rehabilitate a derelict farm and that called for older characters. I did squeeze in one eleven-year-old!

Do you plan to try out any other genres?

I’m currently embroiled in an attempt to write a YA sci-fi story. Heaven help us.

How much of the main character, Prudence, reflects yourself? Clearly, there is at least one parallel!

Prudence, like me, longs to live a sustainable life. And, like me, she’s got few skills to make that happen. Lucky for her, I didn’t bestow her with my modest work ethic and energy levels. Where I’m fond of giving up nice and early, she doesn’t know the meaning of can’t. (Which reminds me of that Mitch Hedburg joke about contractions: “I saw a lady on T.V. She was born without arms. Literally, she was born with her hands attached to her shoulders… and that was sad, but then they said, “Lola does not know the meaning of the word ‘can’t.'” And that to me was kinda worse in a way. Not only does she not have arms, but she doesn’t understand simple contractions. It’s very simple, Lola, you just take two words, you put them together, then you take out the middle letter, you put a comma in there and you raise it up!”)

As someone who cares very much about where her food comes from, I can identify with Prudence’s desire to do the right thing; however, I can also identify with the other characters who see her naiveté as being fairly absurd. Which do you more strongly feels represents your point of view?

I am very sincere in my desire to be responsible in my approach to sustainable food and environment. The fact that I’m often unsuccessful in my efforts is the source of some of the comic tension in the novel. At the moment I have to satisfy myself with admiring other people’s results. For instance, our next door neighbors make their own cheese, grow their own mushrooms and have a marvelous garden. Sometimes when I look at my garden, located only a few feet away, I wonder if I’m living in some sort of parallel universe of incompetence. It’s funny.

What authors influence you the most?

J.D. Salinger, Nick Hornby, Stella Gibbons, were three who influenced this book.

And if you could sit down and interview any author, alive or dead, who would it be?

Richard Price, author of Clockers and Lush Life. I love his writing and his interviews are the most fascinating I’ve ever heard.


~ by foodNURD on March 16, 2011.

One Response to “Woefield Poultry Collective, Part Deux”

  1. […] Carolyn at Failing the Rorschach Test chats with Susan Juby (and asks which character represents her POV the best) […]

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