Pump Up Your Book Chats with Abby Luby

Author Interviews, Featured — By on February 7, 2012 at 6:39 am

About Abby Luby

Abby LubbyAbby Luby is a freelance journalist who, for over ten years, has covered nuclear power, particularly issues surrounding the Indian Point nuclear power plant in New York. Her articles have appeared in The New York Daily News, The Villager, The Westchester Guardian, The Real Deal, SolveClimateNews, The North County News and the Record Review. She also writes for the Poughkeepsie Journal, The Stamford Advocate/Greenwich Time, Valley Table Magazine, Roll Magazine, Hearst publications HealthyLivingCT, Living@HomeCT covering news, art, food and health. She teaches writing and literature at Marist College.

To find out more about Abby visit http://www.abbylu.com

To find out more about Nuclear Romance visit http://nuclearromance.wordpress.com

The Interview

Thank you for this interview, Abby. Do you remember writing stories as a child or did the writing bug come later? Do you remember your first published piece?

A: I wrote some stories as a child when I was nine or ten, but mostly wrote poetry. I kept a journal/diary, but the entries were intermittent. The writing bug came years after I graduated college and wrote a guest column in a local newspaper about the impracticality of the area’s evacuation plant. At the time, I had a young son in a school not too far from the aging power plant and wrote about my concerns.

What do you consider the most frustrating side of becoming a published author and what has been the most rewarding?

A: Being published is, in-and-of-itself, most rewarding; realizing the completion of a novel that has been in your head for years and finally seeing it out there for people to read. Most frustrating is getting the word out after you are published. In the case of Nuclear Romance, a novel that deals with living in the shadow of an aging nuclear power plant, there is a constant need to keep updated on nuclear news, especially the ongoing aftermath of last year’s the Fukushima catastrophe, which bears great relevance in the book’s story.

Are you married or single and how do you combine the writing life with home life? Do you have support?

A: I am divorced with one son who is 20 and in college. I am an active journalist for publications in Westchester County, New York, an area immediately north of New York City. I teach writing and literature at two area colleges. My income is from both teaching and writing articles.

What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing? Where do you like to vacation? Can you tell us briefly about this?

A: I am a semi-professional cellist and like to play chamber music. Hiking is a great source of fun and enjoyment. The best vacation place on this planet is Costa Rica. Last year I went there for a month and really got to know the diverse landscape from the volcanic mountains to the dazzling coast and beaches. The people are mostly poor but friendly; the art scene is thriving.

If you could be anywhere in the world for one hour right now, where would that place be and why?

A: Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Who is your biggest fan?

A: My father and step mother. A few former lovers.

Where’s your favorite place to write at home?

A: My work space overlooks a lake just outside my back door; the lake is my muse and superb for contemplation. Also a beach, if I happen to be near one.

Do you have any pets?

A: Yes. A 15 year old buff cocker spaniel called Katie

Tell us a secret no one else knows.

A: I like burnt popcorn

What’s on your to do list today?

A: Writing up this interview, posting an excerpt from Nuclear Romance on my WordPress blog, practicing cello, stacking wood, shoveling snow, writing an article about a jazz group.

Now I’ve got a couple of fun questions for you. If Tom Hanks, in the movie Cast Away, unearthed a copy of your book, how would that help him find a way off the island?

A: If Nuclear Romance were not an ebook, Hanks could string the pages together and tie the “kite” to a tree to hopefully attract attention.

You have a chance to appear on the hit talent show for authors, American Book Idol, with judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, Kara Dioguardi and the newest addition, Ellen DeGeneres, to determine whether your book will make it to Hollywood and become a big screenplay where you’d make millions of dollars. What would impress them more – your book cover, an excerpt or your author photo – and why?

A: An excerpt of the evacuation scene where a pregnant teacher escapes her 5th grade students in school, only to get stuck in a massive traffic jam and goes into labor; where, simultaneously parents (according to real evacuation plans) are forbidden to get their kids from school, become hysterical and storm the police barricading the school.

You just got word that your book has received the 2010 NY Times Bestselling Book Award and you have to attend the ceremony to give an acceptance speech. Anyone who’s anyone will be there and it’s your shot for stardom. What would you say and who would you thank?

A: I would thank my family, friends and nuclear experts in the field who either read countless drafts and gave me valid feedback, or helped me add credibility to my book. Since the protagonist in Nuclear Romance is a journalist and there is a secondary journalist character, I would praise today’s environmental and science journalists who work hard to understand the complexities of the nuclear industry and the science behind nuclear power. I would talk about the numerous organizations and grassroots groups who work tirelessly to close dangerous nuclear power plants in this country and all over the world.

I understand that you are touring with Pump Up Your Book Promotion in February, 2012 via a virtual book tour. Can you tell us all why you chose a virtual book tour to promote your book online?

A: The virtual book tour can effectively and expediently reach a wide audience of people who may enjoy this type of “message” book. Also, Pump Up is likely to appeal to eBook readers.

Thank you for this interview, Abby, Good luck on your virtual book tour!

A: Thank you very much.

About Nuclear Romance

Nuclear RomanceIn Nuclear Romance, a debut novel by New York journalist and writer Abby Luby, the tragic death of a 7-year old girl – after swimming at a beach across from a nuclear power plant – sets off a chain of events that involve a sports journalist, an anti-nuclear activist, a grieving mother and her son.A young woman reporter falls prey to a callous plant executive whose job depends on keeping the multi-billion dollar nuclear corporation viable. Set in the US Northeast, the terrifying story that unravels the cause of the girl’s death coincides with growing local anti-nuclear sentiment. The tension escalates after highly radioactive steam escapes from the plant, forcing a mass evacuation.

This novel grips readers’ imaginations with the tension and fear that surround many of today’s nuclear power plants, especially powerful in the aftermath ofJapan’s recent and still unfolding nuclear disaster.

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