Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Warm Welcome to Maddy Lederman

It's with real pleasure that I welcome Maddy Lederman to our blog today! Read on to find out more about Maddy.

Is there a story behind your book Edna In The Desert?
I’ve spent a lot of time in the Mojave Desert and the idea for Edna In The Desert started out as a short story. I kept seeing this family of four in a car on a desert highway. Cars can be pressure cookers for intense situations (I’m working on a collection of micro-stories that take place in cars). In this story, a spoiled, Los Angeles thirteen year-old finds out she’s going to be left in the desert with her grandparents for the summer. Her grandparents are like people I had interviewed for a local magazine. They had no cell phone service or Internet, and they lived in the middle of nowhere. It was so remote, I wondered how a modern, city kid could stand it. Eventually I read Edna In The Desert at a spoken word event in Joshua Tree, CA, called Desert Stories. Afterward, the short story version was published in The Sun Runner, a magazine about California deserts. So many people wanted to know what was going to happen to Edna, it inspired me to write the book!

Love it when that happens! What started you on your writing journey? 
For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved getting lost in great stories, but what started writing for me was an assignment to make up an ending for The Lady or The Tiger in fourth grade. I had a great time with that. I wish I could find it. I wrote it on yellow, lined paper.

Has some place you have traveled inspired something in your writing?
Yes, the Mojave Desert! There is something about its open sky and mysterious landscape that has a calming and centering effect. I wanted to share this feeling with my readers.

I understand. The southwestern states are special to me likewise. What distracts you from writing the easiest?
Being hungry!

What kind of books do you enjoy reading? 
I like romance, family relationships, social satire, survival, dystopia/science fiction and comedy. I really love a story that has them all! I like to think Edna In The Desert does, except for the sci-fi component (although being without a cell phone, Internet or TV is like being stuck on another planet for Edna).

Who are your favorite writers?
Here’s an incomplete list of writers I love, not necessesarily in this order, but this is the order I thought of them in, so it might be significant: Jane Austen, Dorothy Parker, Kurt Vonnegut, Shakespeare, Charlotte Brontë, Ernest Hemmingway, Mark Twain, J.D. Salinger, Raymond Carver, Anton Chekhov, George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Douglas Adams, Suzanne Collins, Tina Fey.

Some great choices. Which character in Edna In The Desert most interested you while you wrote? Why? 

Definitely Edna. Many of my friend’s kids don’t even look up from their phones to say hello, and I wonder where this is taking us socially. I wanted to create a believable, spiritual awakening in a modern, selfish, technology-addicted teen. In many cultures, thirteen is an age of transitioning into adulthood. I tried to capture this time in a girl’s life when she starts to see certain realities: what death really means, what love really means, and that the adults around her, specifically her grandparents, were young once themselves, and have challenges of their own aside from keeping her happy.

I should say. Haven't read the book yet, but she sounds fascinating and real. What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I’ve done many quirky things, a lot of them in the desert! I took a “sound bath” at The Integratron. I hiked up a mountain in 110 degrees on a first date and eventually married the guy. My job in film and TV creates endless quirky opportunities, for example, covering Adam West, TV’s Batman, in creamed corn. We met years later in Palm Springs and laughed about it.

What makes you smile?
Any kitten will do it. Giving me chocolate also works.

Thanks, Maddy, for joining us!

To buy the book, go here:





About Maddy:
Edna In The Desert is Maddy Lederman’s first novel, and she’s working on its sequel. Other writing has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Los Angeles Times and The Sun Runner, a magazine about California deserts. Maddy has an M.F.A. in Theater from Brooklyn College. She works in the art department for films and TV shows, recently on Darren Aronofsky's Noah and The Amazing Spiderman 2. She’s a native New Yorker who loves to travel, hike, drive, go out to eat and be in the desert.

Connect with Maddy here:

Maddy is giving away a copy of Edna in the Desert. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.
To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

Happy Reading!
Caroline  Brown


Jackie McNutt said...

Edna In The Desert looks like an interesting story. I love the concept of generational differences and interaction.
As a grandparent I am curious how this story unfolds.
So nice to learn of Maddy's book.
Thank you

Linda Kish said...

I'm a native Californian and I am so not a desert person. When I have to go to Joshua Tree it's like pulling teeth to me. I'm fine when I get there visiting family but just the thought of going makes me cringe.

I do love when young people spend time with grandparents and learn about them and their pasts. Some of my son's best memories are of his grandma, grandpa and pop-pop.

The book sounds wnodeful. I'd love to read it. I hope I get lucky.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Hello Carole. Thanks for hosting Maddy. Her book has to be a good one. Hello Maddy. Can't imagine living on a desert.Too many spiders and bugs living there. I would be scared. But, at least have to talk to grandparents since on electronics. I really hate the way the members of too many families on their cell phones or games. I'm glad it wasn't like that when I was growing up and not for my kids, except TV and regular phone. And, they weren't allowed on there much. Was much slower pace even then. Some of best memories is of my family all together at the table and sharing our happenings of the day. And, just talking or playing games as a family. Please put my name in for a chance to win this book.
Maxie Anderson mac262(at)me(dot)com

sm said...

It's such a good idea to write about a girl living in the middle of nowhere and how she meets a boy. Sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Maddy Lederman said...

I'm glad so many readers are finding this idea interesting. It's great to hear your thoughts!

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