Caroline Bock is the author of the acclaimed young adult novel LIE, published by St. Martin’s Press in August 2011. Set on Long Island and inspired by true events, LIE is the story of the aftermath of a hate crime, and has been called “unusual and important,” (Kirkus, starred review). She is also a new member of the WNBA New York chapter, having joined in fall, 2011 after researching book titles for her book club. She is also thrilled to be a volunteer reader for the upcoming Great Group Reads in 2012. When not reading literary adult and young adult fiction, she is an adjunct lecturer in the English and Mass Communications departments at The City College of New York. In addition to publishing her first novel, she has written and sold screenplays and creative nonfiction works. Prior to focusing on her writing, she led the marketing and public relations at Bravo and The Independent Film Channel (IFC), and was part of the team that launched IFC. She is a graduate of Syracuse University and the MFA-Fiction program at the City College of New York, where, prior to publication, LIE was honored with the university’s Children’s Book Award. Bock lives on Long Island with her husband, two children, and twenty-two pound cat, Shelton.
Hannah and Erica: Congratulations on recently publishing your new book, LIE, with St. Martin’s Press! Could you tell us a little about the book and how it came to be made?
Caroline: LIE is my first novel, though I always thought I’d be a writer. I just took a 20 year detour into cable television before starting to write. I began LIE in the MFA program at the City College of New York in 2008 after I read about several incidents, including one on Long Island, about teens attacking Hispanics. I thought — how could this happen here? How could this happen in America in the 21st century? I started writing in a fury. I created my own characters, setting and plot. LIE is the story about the aftermath of a hate crime. It’s told from ten distinct first person points of view — five teen, five adult, including three Hispanic. The two main characters, seventeen-year-old Skylar and Sean, girlfriend and best friend of the mastermind behind these weekly sprees in my story, must decide whether to break with their friends and community, tell the truth, or lie. I wrote a first draft in less than three months.
Hannah and Erica: What has been the most exciting or unexpected part of getting your new book published?
Caroline: It’s pretty exciting just to have my first novel published!! But the most exciting part has been the response of readers, especially librarians. School librarians at high schools and young adult librarians in public libraries have embraced LIE, and being someone who loves libraries, this means so much to me!
Hannah and Erica: Do you have any hidden talents?
Caroline: I type over 100 words a minute.
Hannah and Erica: What inspires you creatively, spiritually, or emotionally?
Caroline: What inspires me creatively? Going out into the world. I spend a lot of time in my suburban Long Island basement office writing in a comforting solitude. So I have what I can call ‘inspiration’ days or evenings. For example, I recently spent a whole day with a photographer friend of mine searching out upper Manhattan and the Bronx for graffiti images for her to photograph (I was her driver!), and we ended up in Flushing, Queens having amazing dim sum. I spent another night down on the Bowery — going to the Bowery Poetry Club, drinking Guinness, and then trailing my friend, coincidentally the same one, through two art gallery show openings. Maybe that’s what also inspires me — and renews me spiritually and emotionally — a friend eager to tip me out of the comfort of solitude.
Hannah and Erica: What is your favorite word?
Caroline: Curious. I often start thoughts or sentences in my head with: I’m curious about… This often leads me to strange places, sidetracks me, and surprises me.
More about Caroline Bock can be found at her website www.carolinebock.com.