Interview With Maddy Lederman: Author of Edna In the Desert

Posted 14 May, 2014 by Paige in Giveaways, Interviews / 0 Comments

Hello Maddy, thank you so much for agreeing to this interview! One of my favorite things about being a book blogger is getting to learn more about amazing authors like yourself. Why don’t you start off by introducing yourself and telling potential readers something they might find interesting about you? 

Hi, Paige. Thanks for having me on your blog, (and for calling me amazing!). 
Something interesting about me? Hmm…
Besides writing, I work in the art department for films and TV shows. Recent projects include Noah and The Amazing Spiderman 2. I enjoy it because there’s a lot of storytelling in it. So much about a character is conveyed through their surroundings.

1.) I always like to ask this, and I’m sure you’ve heard it before but I’ll ask anyways: Have you always wanted to be an author? What inspired you to become an author?

Being an author was the first thing I wanted to be! In school, I had an assignment to write an ending for The Lady or The Tiger? (a short story famous for this final question, quite a cliffhanger). I loved doing that. I wish I could find it. I wrote it on yellow, lined paper. 

2.) I must say, I loved Edna in the Desert. I really liked how you see a lot of growth in her throughout the story. What inspired you to write a book like this in particular?

I’m so glad you loved Edna In The Desert! 
I was inspired by a couple of things. Constant smart phone use is one of them. Everyone seems to be more and more absorbed in their phones, and I think it’s affecting our relationships. 
Spending a lot of time in the Mojave Desert also inspired me. There’s something calming about this mysterious landscape, and I wanted to share that feeling with people who’ve never been there, or can’t visit long enough for it to really sink in.  
I wrote for a local magazine in the desert and, on an unrelated topic, I interviewed a couple who lived like Edna’s grandparents, with no cell service, Internet or TV. I wondered how a modern, city kid would handle that environment, and it sparked the idea for my story.

3.) What was your favorite part about your journey to publishing your book? Least favorite?

Favorite part: I met a lot of writers and people who work in publishing at conferences. I made new friends, and I was surprised at how much support I got from total strangers who were intrigued by the premise of my book. 
Least favorite part: I really needed that friendly support, because the submission process is draining. There are not enough publishers for all the great books that must be out there.

4.) What are some of your favorite books and authors? If you’re anything like me you don’t have just one! 

No, I do not! I won’t bombard your blog with the entire list, but if you want to peg me: 
I love Jane Austen, her wit is such a delight. I feel the same way about Dorothy Parker and Kurt Vonnegut. And how can you leave out: Shakespeare, Ernest Hemmingway, Mark Twain, J.D. Salinger, Raymond Carver, Anton Chekhov, George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, and more recently, Douglas Adams, Suzanne Collins, John Green, Tina Fey…?

I like romantic challenges, family relationships, social satire, survival, dystopia/science fiction and comedy. I really love a story that has them all! I like to think Edna In The Desert touches on most of these, except for the sci-fi component (although being without a cell phone is like being stuck on another planet for Edna).

5.) What do you like to do in your down time? Any hobbies? 

Writing and work keep me busy, but my hobby is studying French. I also love doing puzzles. They’re actually similar in that I enjoy learning something new and making connections. 

6.) Do you like to listen to music while you write or do you prefer silence? Maybe a little bit of both?

I prefer silence because if I’m listening to music, that’s where my train of thought goes.

7.) How would you say you structure your writing time? Do you stick with a schedule or sort of go with the flow?

Working on a film or TV show can be too demanding to keep a writing schedule, but because it’s freelance, I can spend chunks of time writing between jobs. When I’m in writing mode, I find it’s best to start early in the morning, and I keep going until mid-afternoon. Then I do yoga or go for a walk in the park.

8.) What would you say was the hardest part of writing Edna in the Desert?

Edna takes an emotional journey, and it’s very internal. I was initially daunted by how I might make this story interesting. I imagine I succeeded because people have said they couldn’t stop reading and were dying to know what happens next. Cool!

9.) If you had any superpower in the world, what would it be?

I think reading minds would be interesting, I’m so curious about people. I’d also like to be invisible when I felt like it and to travel through time at will, especially when I think of the perfect thing to say ten minutes later.

10.) Which person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why? What would you say to them?

I’d like to meet Shakespeare and ask him if he really wrote all that, and if he did, what does he attribute his incredible imagination to? And does he think he could do much more with a computer? (Talk about structuring your writing time!)

11.) Thank you again for agreeing to this interview! Is there anything else you’d like to tell potential readers? 

Thank you so much for having me!
I’d like to let your readers know that Edna In The Desert was recently added to an English Honors 9 Required Summer Reading List at Carle Place High School in New York (good thing for the students, it’s a short book!). 
And I’d like to encourage all readers (age 11 and up) to read Edna In The Desert. 
Small presses like mine don’t have a big advertising budget, but it’s important that they continue to bring a richer variety of books to the public. 
Edna In The Desert is available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes,, a lot of places! 
Please feel free to share your thoughts with me at my website:

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