Today at The Ball we have Seré Prince Halverson, who’s getting ready for the paperback release of her debut novel, The Underside of Joy. To celebrate the paperback release of The Underside of Joy on November 27th, book clubs are invited to schedule a Skype visit with Seré and enter the Win a Picnic for Your Book Club drawing. Details will be available on Seré’s website and blog on November 27th or contact her here.
This is an opportunity you do NOT want to miss. Not only is Seré’s book full of heart, it’s also full of amazing food. This is a chance to get some of that for yourself and your book club!
Seré worked as a freelance copywriter and creative director for twenty years while she wrote fiction. She and her husband live in Northern California and have four (almost) grown children. The Underside of Joy is her debut novel. Originally published by Dutton in January 2012, it will be translated into 18 languages. You can find out more about Seré and her novel on her website, blog, and on Facebook.
Thank you for joining us at The Ball today, Seré!
Talk about one book that made an impact on you.
It’s hard to pick one book. I know that one of the first that made a big difference in my life was Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. I read it in fourth grade and was both inspired and devastated by the time I finished. I started keeping a diary. In the back of my bedroom closet there was a pocket door with another hidden closet behind it. I set it up with pillows and blankets and would sit back there and write in my diary, knowing that if the Nazis occupied Hamden, Connecticut in 1970, looking for lapsed Catholics, I’d somehow cram my family into my tiny secret annex. In reading Anne’s story, I lost some of my innocence, but I gained a deeper sense of wonder and gratitude too.
What time of day do you love best?
I’m an early morning person. I usually wake when it’s still dark—a habit that started when my kids were little. I’d get up at 4:30 so I could write before they came pitter-pattering into my room.
My favorite drink is that first cup of coffee with frothy, steamed milk. I take it to my studio and flip on the lights and crank up the heater. I sit in that warm glow in the middle of the darkness, while everyone still sleeps, and I scribble in my journal until I find my way back into the story I’m working on. The day’s wide open and anything’s possible—or at least it feels that way in those earliest hours. Ask me again at four in the afternoon.
Where do you love to be?
I like to travel, but my favorite part of a trip is coming back home. I’m a total homebody.
What talent do you wish you had?
I wish I could sing. Oh, how I wish I could sing. In my next life I’m going to be a singer/songwriter and have long curly hair and impossibly green eyes.
What’s the strangest job you’ve ever had?
I once hung cable guides on doorknobs for a cable company. Not so strange, right? But it was in Alaska. There’s a lot of space between houses in Alaska. And as much as I love dogs, I didn’t meet many who welcomed strangers trespassing on their two-or-three-mile dirt roads, never mind hanging junk mail on their doorknobs. I’d work all day, risking my young life, to hang something like ten cable guides. But the only other job available at the time required dressing up as a red devil and selling fireworks on the side of the road. In comparison, the cable company job seemed like a dream opportunity.
Thank you so much for inviting me to your wonderful ball/blog. I wish all of you the very best as your debuts go out into the world and find their readers.
Seré has generously offered to send a copy of The Underside of Joy within the United States to one commenter! Thank you, Seré!