The Revealing of Tanya Egan Gibson

The Revealing of Tanya Egan Gibson

Tanya Egan Gibson debuted with her first novel, How to Buy a Love of Reading, in May, 2009 to the following praise:

“Brimming with literary allusions, commentary on the rich and famous, and the necessary ingredients for a successful novel, Gibson’s ingenious debut succeeds on many levels.” __Booklist

The book was released in paperback late last month and here’s a brief synopsis:

Literary references abound in Tanya Egan Gibson’s debut novel, How to Buy a Love of Reading. Filled with social commentary and dark humor, the book features a young woman, Carley, who has never read a book she liked, so her parents hire a novelist to write a book just for her. This novel-in-a-novel as well as Gibson’s clever depiction of Carley’s own life and social circle brim with wit and intelligence.

How to Buy a Love of Reading explores the power of books in our lives.

Intrigued? The Divining Wand has scheduled a presentation/review of How to Buy a Love of Reading for Tuesday, September 7, 2010, however — as is the custom — let’s first meet the author through her “official” bio:

Tanya Egan Gibson’s debut novel, HOW TO BUY A LOVE OF READING, was published by Dutton in May 2009. An alum of Squaw Valley Community of Writers, she is mother to a five-year-old girl who produces countless construction-paper “books” that she insists Mommy “get published” and a two-year-old boy who thinks books are for throwing (though he also has Goodnight Moon memorized), and wife to the most patient man in the universe.

Now it’s time for Tanya to speak for herself by revealing:

Q: How would you describe your life in 8 words?
A: Love-filled tangle of children, husband, and stories.

Q: What is your motto or maxim?
A: “Don’t think, just do.”

Q: How would you describe perfect happiness?
A: Seeing the love in my children’s eyes when they do something sweet and random, like stroke my cheek with a chubby little hand.

Q: What’s your greatest fear?
A: Anything bad happening to my husband or children.

Q: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A: Any warm beach, watching waves crash.

Q: With whom in history do you most identify?
A: Despite my best efforts, I can’t come up with an answer for this one. Best I can do is tell you who fascinates me: F. Scott Fitzgerald. I’ve read so many biographies about him, Zoe, and their contemporaries.

Q: Which living person do you most admire?
A: Joss Whedon (creator of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, DOLLHOUSE, et. al.)

Q: What are your most overused words or phrases?
A: “Actually,” and “Welcome to my world”

Q: If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A: I’d love to know how to sew and design clothing.

Q: What is your greatest achievement?
A: Motherhood. It’s by the far the hardest but most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. That my children are kind, gentle little people makes me unbelievably happy.

Q: What’s your greatest flaw?
A: I’m inclined to want to question/change rules.

Q: What’s your best quality?
A: I’m passionate about everything important to me–my family, my friends, my writing, everyone else’s writing.

Q: What do you regret most?
A: I can’t ignore mean people.

Q: If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A: I’d think it could be fun to be The Statue of Liberty for a while. The things she must see! (I figure her giant eyes give her the ability to see everything in lower Manhattan, not to mention all those folks on the ferries.)

Q: What trait is most noticeable about you?
A: I’m physically demonstrative and don’t like to “blend.” I hug. I talk with my hands. I wear clothing that can verge on costume-y: leather trench coats, shiny things, etc. I own a skirt trimmed with feathers.

Q: Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A: Are you going to think I’m a total sap if I say Mr. Darcy? Oh, I don’t care. Mr. Darcy it is.

Q: Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A: Spike, from BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. Wait, did I need to pick someone from a book? I hope not.

Q: If you could meet any athlete, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A: Johnny Weir, a U.S. figure skater known for his big personality and sometimes eccentric behavior and costumes. I’d tell him how much I respect his being true to himself.

Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?
A: Bad manners. I don’t mean using the wrong fork or putting your elbows on the table. I mean people being pushy, inconsiderate, or rude.

Q: What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A: Reading.

Q: What’s your fantasy profession?
A: I’d love to be an Imagineer (a person who design rides and attractions for theme parks).

Q: What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A: Kindness, independent thinking, humor.

Q: If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A: Cheese! CheddarSwissHavartiiMuensterBrieManchegoHumboltFogMozzarellaFetaBleuSt.AndreJack! I love all cheese!

Q: What are your 5 favorite songs?
A: As of today: “Stepping Out” (Joe Jackson), “Lifetime Piling Up” (Talking Heads), “Every Breath You Take” (Sting), “Don’t You Forget About Me” (Simple Minds), “Bring Me To Life” (Evanescence)

Q: What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A: After trying and trying, I really can’t winnow it down to fewer than six! Please forgive my inability to comply with directions. (This particular weakness is related to my answer to the “Greatest Flaw” question above.)

Here are the 6: Bel Canto (Ann Patchett), The Confessions of Max Tivoli (Andrew Sean Greer), The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald), Slaughterhouse-Five (Kurt Vonnegut), Waterland (Graham Swift), The Keep (Jennifer Egan).

Embodying the three personal qualities most important to her — kindness, independent thinking, humor –, Tanya Egan Gibson also possesses a passionate nature that’s difficult to resist. Discover that for yourself by becoming a follower on Twitter and her friend on Facebook.

* * * * *

Book Giveaway: This week Kate Ledger has graciously offered two “signed” copies of Remedies to the winners of a random drawing from comments left on this specific post, Kate Ledger and Remedies. A comment left on any other post during the week will not be eligible. The deadline for this contest is tonight at 7:00 p.m. EDT and the winners will be announced here in tomorrow’s post. IF you do enter, please return tomorrow to possibly claim your book.

4 thoughts on “The Revealing of Tanya Egan Gibson

  1. I can’t for more info from Tanya, she sounds like someone I would be friends with if we lived in the same neighborhood…especially the Joe Jackson reference. Who other than me, an old lady from the ’80s would love Joe Jackson???

    Oh, and I’m going to read How to Buy a Love of Reading.

  2. ““Don’t think, just do.””

    Right on! Whenever I’m really worked up about something (in my life or in my stories) I find it’s usually because I’m thinking about it too much. o_O

    And haha, LOVE the Statue of Liberty answer. How original!

  3. I keep hearing about this book – I need to check it out. It sounds fascinating.

    A skirt trimmed with feathers. Now that sounds awesome! Are they peacock feathers?

    Bel Canto is one of the best books I’ve ever read.

  4. Suzanne, I *love* Joe Jackson, and listened to his CDs on auto-repeat while I was writing HTBALOR. Ah, the 80’s–part of me has never left them!

    Kristan, when I was a teacher I encountered a lot of students who made the same mistake I often make–mistaking *thinking* about getting work done (especially writing) for actually doing it. It’s so easy to convince oneself that once it’s all straight in one’s head, it’ll be easy to just sit down and do. But I’ve realized that for me, actually starting to *do* something is the best way. Revision is for later.

    Keetha, I am just (and forever) in love with Bel Canto. I adore what it says about human nature–about our wish to create family and community in any circumstances and our ability to care about strangers. Oh, and the feathers are white–I’m not sure what kind they are. It’s a white summer skirt with a removable lining that’s trimmed on the bottom with feathers. It makes me feel avian. Kind of.

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