Sunday, July 18, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
(While we're on the subject of reviews, sorry for my lack thereof- that's going to change, I promise :))
Thanks so much to Yvonne Prinz, author of the fantastic book The Vinyl Princess (my review here), for this interview!
A short bio of Yvonne: Yvonne and her husband own the largest indie record store in the world, Ameoba Records, in California. The Vinyl Princess is her first YA novel, and she also has a middle grade series about a girl named Claire, who is always getting into trouble. She also has a new book coming out in December, "All You Get is Me," which Prinz describes as a modern-day "To Kill A Mocking Bird".
So, here's the interview:
1. Were you anything like Allie when you were growing up?
I was very much like Allie, I worked in a record store in Canada when I was sixteen and I absolutely lived for music.
2. Did you listen to a lot of music while you were writing? If so, what?
I did, actually. Usually I find it too distracting but I wanted the energy of the music to inform my writing. I listened to Joe Strummer, Billy Bragg, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, David Bowie, really, all the music that appears in the book was sitting next to me as I wrote.
3. What inspired you to write The Vinyl Princess?
Owning a record store did. I felt like it's an unexplored culture for a lot of people, sad, because it's been so scaled back and wonderful because it brings out the most interesting people. I set out to re-create what I'd seen every day working at Amoeba in Berkeley.
4. Tell us about your amazing record store, Amoeba Records.
We started as a sort of mom and pop kind of place in Berkeley 1990 but it just sort of took off. Now we have a big store on Haight Street in SF and an even bigger store in LA on Sunset Blvd. We do free live shows all the time and we cater to the collectors as well as the people who didn't grow up with record stores. Each store has it's own personality.
5. How and when did you start collecting records, and how many do you own?
I was hooked when my Dad brought home Abby Road when I was a kid. I started collecting then but I left that collection when I moved from Canada to California so I had to start over. I've never actually counted my records but my collection has morphed with my husband's and we must have thousands.
6. What song best describes you?
That changes daily. Right now it's "The First Day of My Life" by Bright Eyes.
7. In the book, Allie puts an Elvis Costello quote on her blog, about how the mp3 has "dismantled" the record. Is that how you feel about digital downloading, and what's your opinion on the future of vinyl and indie record stores?
Well, I think we all have to accept that downloading is here to stay. I'm excited to see that turntables are now readily available at your local Target store. I sure didn't predict that, and young kids are embracing vinyl! Man, that does my heart good. I think we can all agree that nothing compares to breaking the seal on a new vinyl record and spinning it for your friends to hear. The stores are fast disappearing but long live Amoeba!
8. Are you working on any other books right now?
I have a new book coming out in December called "All You Get Is Me". It's a sort of a "To Kill A Mockingbird" for these times with Mexican Migrant Farmworkers at it's center.
9. Will the be a sequel to The Vinyl Princess?
People seem to want one but who knows? Where would I take Allie next? If you can think of somewhere, let me know.
Thanks again to Yvonne Prinz!
Her new book: All You Get is Me