Blog Tour organized by Fierce Reads.
See the full schedule HERE.
Spinning is out today!
In celebration, I am thrilled to be interviewing author Tillie Walden as part of the blog tour! Spinning is a lovely, introspective memoir about Tillie's experiences growing up in the world of figure skating and, ultimately, finding her own path forward.
by Tillie Walden
Read: August 30, 2017
Published: September 12, 2017 by Roaring Brook Press
Source: Copy from Publisher (TY!)
Category: YA, Graphic Memoir, Ice Skating, Coming of Age
Book Description: Figure skating was Tillie Walden’s life. She woke before dawn for morning lessons, went straight to group practice after school, and spent weekends competing in glitter and tights. It was a central piece of her identity, her safe haven from the stress of school, bullies, and family. But as Tillie's interests evolve, from her growing passion for art to a first love realized with a new girlfriend, she begins to question how the close-minded world of figure skating fits in.
Poignant and captivating, this powerful graphic memoir captures what it's like to come of age, come out, and come to terms with leaving behind everything you used to know.
Five Question Interview with author Tillie Walden
Question 1: You’ve said that Spinning is about ice-skating, and that’s clear right from the cover. But you’ve also said it’s so much more complex than that - that it’s really about sharing a feeling. How would you describe your book solely as a series of feelings?
Tillie Walden: Woah! Cool question. Huh. In a way it’s about feelings coming to the surface. For most of the book I feel like a lot of the emotions sit in the background, like loneliness, or insecurity. And slowly confidence and real desire and hope come to the surface. Honestly this question is diving pretty deep, I’m going to have to think about this one!
Question 2: Much of this story covers your time as a competitive ice-skater. What do you miss most about your years in the sport? What do you miss least? These can be small or big things.
Tillie Walden: I miss the speed. So much. Skating fast is just so fun. I loved those two minutes when I was on the ice before everyone else. Before my coach, before the other girls, before the wave of everything I despised. There was no pressure, and I could use skate fast. What do I miss the least... Oh god, the competitions! I don’t miss those for a second. My least favorite part was the 30 or so seconds when you were competing and standing still in the middle of the ice, waiting for your music to come on. The audience and the judges were ALL staring you down, and it was dead quiet. All you could hear was your own heartbeat, and I could practically taste my own fear. I will never miss that.
Question 3: I always find writing processes to be fascinating, and I am even more interested in your process because this is a graphic-memoir and I’m not as familiar with what goes into creating either of those types of books. Did you start with a written outline/narrative and then add the images, or vice versa? Do you have a lot of deleted scenes/panels in a graphic memoir? Did you find it to be a natural process to create a story out of your life, or did you spend a lot of time conceptualizing how to make it a story? I’d love to get some behind the scenes details about your process.
Tillie Walden: I started with a very basic outline, and from there I started drawing short scenes that piqued my interest. When I had a big enough collection of random short scenes, I arranged them in a way that felt right and built that narrative off of that. There actually are a fair number of ‘deleted scenes’ from that early stage. I didn’t really take a long time conceptualizing it all though. I have the tendency to just jump right in and start drawing. I rarely take the time to ponder, I’m much more interested in taking action, and in a way I think the narrative reflects that.
Question 4: If you could tell your younger self one thing from your now self, what would it be?
Tillie Walden: Oh that’s fun. Hmm, I would probably tell myself that I have control. That I can change my world, that I have more power than I realize. And that I’m loved, and to always remember that.
Question 5: Would you rather wear the same outfit every day for the rest of your life, or eat the same meal?
Tillie Walden: Wow, SO easy. I would wear the same outfit every day in a heartbeat. I’m a fan of uniforms. Clothes really don’t interest me, it honestly sounds so much easier to just wear the same thing every day.
Thank you so much for answering my questions Tillie! I love that the last question was so easy for you. I can never answer the clothes/food one! I'm always changing my answer.
About the Author
Tillie Walden is a two-time Ignatz Award–winning cartoonist from Austin, Texas. Born in 1996, she is a recent graduate from the Center for Cartoon Studies, a comics school in Vermont. Her comics include The End of Summer and I Love This Part, an Eisner Award nominee.