Friday, May 7, 2010

Author Uncovered: Nina Malkin (Author Interview)

Hi guys! Today, in honor of the release of the paperback copy of Swoon, I have Nina Malkin here today for an interview! She's uber cool and fun to talk to! And of course, she wrote the totally kick-ass Swoon...which will literally make you swoon! It even won the coveted Holy Grail Award on TUBL! Check out my review over here!


The premise of SWOON is quite unique. How did the idea bloom?
The concept of a contemporary girl who gets possessed by the spirit of a boy from another time had been bobbing around for a while. Then I got burned, screwed, beat down and smacked around big-time—I had betrayal on the brain and that’s when the story gelled. As Dice, SWOON’s heroine, says when she learns how badly she’s been used: “What’s the worst possible lie? A betrayal.”

What do you personally think about revenge?
I’ve had some seriously satisfying payback fantasies, but never enacted them. I suspect that if I did I’d feel as bad as with the original betrayal. You know how your mother tells you not to stoop to someone’s level? Revenge is a pretty low stoop.

What was the message that you tried to get across to your readers with SWOON?
Oh, the usual: Hypocrisy sucks. Sacrifice hurts. Revenge is crazy. Love rules. Whatever doesn’t kill you makes your stranger…stronger, too.

Why did you choose to incorporate that feeling of being different from many of the people in SWOON? I’ve lived in 6 different countries, so I know how I can empathize with Dice =)
Whoa, six different countries? No wonder you love books so much! They’re portable friends. It’s interesting when a narrator is a “fish out of water” like Dice, since her perspective on what she witnesses and experiences is very sharp and strange and close to the bone. Personally I often feel like an outsider, even in familiar situations among people I know—which can be even weirder than new girl status—so the “being different” thing comes naturally.

Who is your favorite character from SWOON?
Sinclair Youngblood Powers—AKA Sin—is not merely my favorite character from SWOON but one of my favorite people ever. I’ve never met anyone else quite like him. He’s bad—so very, very bad—but he’s not an archetype. He’s complicated, conflicted—an evil villain but also a noble hero. The line “What do you do when the boy of your dreams is too bad to be true?” sums up why he’s so attractive and intriguing to me.

Why did you integrate the concept of Sin being some sort of paranormal being?
Good question, Reggie, but it assumes that I decided Sin should be a certain way. That’s not how it works for me. I don’t invent characters; I meet them in my mind, and they tell me their stories. They are who they are. They continually surprise me, which is so much fun!

Which character do you resonate most with in SWOON?
That would be Dice. I’ve had three novels and one novella published—and I won’t cop to how many I’ve half-written that weren’t published—but Dice is the only girl I’ve felt such a strong kinship with. We share a similar perspective on life, we find the same things funny and are both bemused by human nature.

What would you have done if you were in Dice’s place?
There’s a lot of action in SWOON, and Dice often has to think fast and go with her gut. But she’s smart and levelheaded, and she wants to do right by everyone, as opposed to the selfish thing. Her motivation is noble, so I hope I’d be able to make decisions the way she does.

How did you think of the characters’ names? Like Sin and Dice?
I had a preconceived notion that people in wealthy, preppy places called each other by their last names. The truncated nicknames—Pen, Dice, Marsh, Doll, Brie—are an extension of that. And come on, who could resist a guy named Sin?

How did the title SWOON come to be?
I love the word. It’s onomatopoetic, it sounds like what it is—swoooooon!—the state you’re in when you’re overcome by love, lust, passion, obsession.

The cover is really cool and creative! Did you have any input in it?
For all my other books, I’ve had varying degrees of input on the covers, and I wasn’t in love with any of them. So when my editor emailed me a jpeg of a cover mock-up the designer was playing with for SWOON, I as skeptical. Soon as I opened it, I was like: That is hot!!! I was so excited.

What’s the most interesting thing a reader has ever said to you?
On the SWOON page of my website,, you’ll find the Love Advice With Sin & Dice section, where readers come for romantic counsel from the characters—and we’ve received some incredibly intense questions. The most twisted love triangles, some real-life Romeo and Juliet scenarios, and let’s not forget the girl who’s madly in love with her cousin. Love Advice With Sin & Dice gets tons of mail, so I guess those guys know what they’re talking about! Readers are especially interested in Sin’s answers, so they can get a guy’s perspective on their conundrums.

Book you've faked reading:
Ha! Great question! I wouldn’t say I’ve faked reading; let’s just say I bought them with the best intentions only haven’t gotten around to Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina or Joyce’s Ulysses yet. But here’s a true confession: Back in the day when I was a music journo and record companies sent me CDs to review (yup, CDs — I did say “back in the day,” right?), I kept a lot of records that I really didn’t “get” but knew were considered “cool.” I’m talking seriously atonal stuff, and slow-as-molasses music we used to call valium rock. I wanted it in my collection in case any of the cool kids came by!

Book you've bought for the cover:
Anything with a cat on it.

Book you’re an evangelist for:
I beat people over the head with my copy of Flannery O’Connor’s The Complete Stories. Something always goes horribly, horribly wrong—you can taste it about halfway through, and you race to the climax even though you know it’s going to be tragic. That said, she’s also pretty hilarious—reference the novel The Violent Bear It Away—but it’s the stories that I reread regularly. She died so young, it’s so unfair to her fans, but luckily her stuff holds up to repeated reading.

Anything else you'd like to add?
Thanks so much for having me! It’s readers and bloggers like you, dear Reggie, who make writers like me. SWOON ON!

Thanks Nina! Now go out to your local bookstore and grab a paperback copy of Swoon! It's a great book for a great price!
my signature


Shy May 7, 2010 at 8:40 PM  

Great interview, Reggie! Nina sure sounds like a funny person to talk with and I especially love her answer on "Books you've faked reading". I never imagine ones actually get CDs for review, honestly. Yet the idea sure sounds cool!

host May 7, 2010 at 9:01 PM  

Love the interview! It's very funny and Swwon sounds like a great story.
And Nina, you should read Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina - it's was the book that made me read all the other books because it's one great love story and I always try to find more of it in other stories.

Unknown May 7, 2010 at 9:53 PM  

WHY OH WHY is this book still sitting on my shelves unread? I dont know - I keep asking myself this question! WONDERFUL interview! I NEED to read this book!

Anonymous,  May 7, 2010 at 9:53 PM  

HeHe, I can't say I blame Nina for not reading Anna Karenina, it doesn't exactly look like scintillating stuffs LOL ... I have to say, though, Android Karenina sounds GREAT, far more interesting :D

I read Swoon some time last year and absolutely loved it, AAH Sin!!! I loved the end of the book ... bbbut was also sad in a way ... because it's the perfect ending and there might not be a sequel (I read the part on Nina's website where she's having the conversation with Sin about writing a sequel, LOL, it was pretty funny ... it shows how much she loves her characters :)

Speech Delay Mamma May 7, 2010 at 10:30 PM  

This book sounds amazing. Can't wait to read it! Great interview.

Lale May 7, 2010 at 10:32 PM  

I love the name 'Dice'- it's one I haven't heard before. And the author photograph is beautiful :)

Kim May 7, 2010 at 11:10 PM  

I love cats too so I'm surprised my bookshelf isn't covered with books about cats. :)
Cool interview.

Alice May 8, 2010 at 12:36 AM  

I've read this book already, and I absolutely loved it! I'm going to reread it again though so I can review it (:

BrigidsBlest May 8, 2010 at 12:44 AM  

This book sounds awesome; I'm looking forward to reading it.

Anonymous,  May 8, 2010 at 12:47 AM  

Great interview. I like the question about Sin being a paranormal being. Interesting idea. I'll have to check out this book.

Bookie May 8, 2010 at 1:33 AM  

Sin sounds like my type of bad boy. Complicated and HOT. Great interview. Swoon sounds like a good read.

Anne May 8, 2010 at 1:47 AM  

I just read the Swoon review, and it looked amazing! And now reading this just makes me want to read Swoon even more! Haha.

Dani May 8, 2010 at 2:21 AM  

ohh, i want to readi it, it sounds amazing...

Alex Bennett from Electrifying Reviews May 8, 2010 at 4:10 AM  

I didn't know it was in pb! I will definitely get it now!

Unknown May 8, 2010 at 5:26 AM  

Are you thinking about writing another book based on the Swoon

Unknown May 8, 2010 at 5:26 AM  

Are you thinking about writing another book based on the Swoon

SiNn May 8, 2010 at 8:15 AM  

awesome interview ur work s new to me i havent had the pleasure but ur book sounds awesome and i agree ur photograph is beautiful

Rebecca May 8, 2010 at 9:12 AM  

This interview is awesome. I agree, who wouldn't love a guy named Sin.

angie May 8, 2010 at 9:31 AM  

Great interview! I love the names she used. It would make it very interesting to meet a guy named Sin. Curiosity about him would probably get the best of me:)

Kirsten May 8, 2010 at 9:37 AM  

I loved the interview ;) nina sounds like a nice person and i can't wait to read Swoon ;)


Amber Skye May 8, 2010 at 11:22 AM  

Great interview! This book looks wonderful :)

skyla11377 May 8, 2010 at 1:33 PM  

Awesome Interview, I Love The Names Of The Character's In Swoon. This Book Sounds Like A Must Read And Is Definitely Going On My To Be Read Pile.

buddyt May 8, 2010 at 3:53 PM  

Sat "swoon" and I immediatly tend to to think of a historical heroine in a long dress with the back of her hand pressed to her forehead slipping down in a faint !

Oh well, different strokes for different folks.

Carol T

Unknown May 8, 2010 at 4:13 PM  

Awesome interview! Nina must really love cats :

Aik May 8, 2010 at 9:34 PM  

This interview makes me want to read SWOON even more! I love the concept of the story!

Nina May 8, 2010 at 10:32 PM  

Great interview! I love that we have our name in common, nina! :) I agree with revenge, it's LOW. :)

Sarah May 8, 2010 at 11:58 PM  

Great interview Reggie - I enjoyed reading Nina's answers & I can't wait to read Swoon! :o)

Anonymous,  May 9, 2010 at 12:05 AM  

Great q&a, sounds like you two hit it off nicely =]

<3 Kissmylit

Anonymous,  May 9, 2010 at 2:19 AM  

Great interview. She sounds like a great person. I know what you mean about Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, Nina, I gave up on that one!

Anonymous,  May 9, 2010 at 6:29 AM  

I wanna read Swoon so much *-*
Nina seems to be a cute person

Sharli May 9, 2010 at 10:24 AM  

Loved how she describes the word swoon! It really is a cool word xD
And I'l have to check out Love Advice with Sin & Dice, it sounds fun!

Great interview! I can't wait to read Swoon!

Sena May 9, 2010 at 2:08 PM  

Great interview! And I'm one of those that like to imagine about revenge, but wouldn't actually act on it cos it's just not nice :P

Kasumi May 10, 2010 at 5:48 AM  

It is a great interview and she sells her book very well (the sinopsis wasn´t so good). BTW is the color of her eyes real?

bookaholic May 11, 2010 at 2:46 AM  

With all the other lovely things Nina said in her interview I totally heart this line-Hypocrisy sucks. Sacrifice hurts. Revenge is crazy. Love rules.
She is so cool!!

Sara May 11, 2010 at 8:54 AM  

I love the name SIN! He's pretty much the ultimate bad boy... in fact, I was afraid that he was going to be COMPLETELY bad! I'm glad there ended up being some good! :)

Thanks for the interview!

donnas May 11, 2010 at 12:05 PM  

Great interview. I really enjoyed it. You had really good questions. Thanks for taking the time and sharing!!

Fi-chan May 12, 2010 at 11:05 PM  

wait... sin used dice?!?!?! ok nevermind. BTW the questions you set for author interviews are great!

Bookish in a Box May 12, 2010 at 11:26 PM  

"Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stranger" That's great! It's interesting to finally read about an author that doesn't plan her characters; she lets them collaborate. Awesome!

Rae Reads May 13, 2010 at 12:50 PM  

Wow, wicked interview. Great questions.

EVA SB May 14, 2010 at 2:00 PM  

Cool interview and I'm pleased to discover another fan of onomatopoetic words.

Anlu May 15, 2010 at 1:19 AM  

I love the interview! Nina seems to be a intersenting & lovely person :)

Anonymous,  May 15, 2010 at 4:29 AM  

Hmm. I've never read Flannery O'Connor's The Complete Stories. I'll have to look into it!

andrea b May 17, 2010 at 7:28 AM  

like the recommendation for Flannery O'Connor's The Complete Stories... that book sounds interesting. the interview gave some more info about Sin and he sounds like quite the character...

Mary not so Contrary May 19, 2010 at 11:44 PM  

Great interview! Stinks though that some of the ideas for the books came from her own personal heartache. But Nina sounds super nice and really down to earth. You've lived in 6 countries Reggie? Holy Moly!! I bet you have some cool stories to tell.

Hannah S. May 20, 2010 at 6:30 AM  

I've seen SWOON a lot (both online and off) and I think I'll pick that up now... Thanks!
Love, Hannah

J May 21, 2010 at 9:49 PM  

WOw! I can so much relate to this:
I’ve had some seriously satisfying payback fantasies, but never enacted them!

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