Interviewer:

Did you always want to write?

Bambola:

Ever since I was a young girl I loved coming up with stories. I would sit around with my friends and we would see who could make up the scariest or most interesting story. So I guess that was the root. First oral storytelling, then the desire to put it on paper.

Interviewer:

How long have you been writing?

Bambola:

It seems like forever. Years and years. My first attempt was a novel when I was in eighth grade. But I just didn't have the staying power. A novel is a long-term commitment. As an eighth grader, I didn't have the discipline. Fourteen year-olds have a tendency toward instant gratification. After that, I did a slew of short stories, more for practice than pleasure. I never enjoyed writing short stories, not like I love writing novels.

Interviewer:

Were any of these short stories every published?

Bambola:

No, never. But I don't regret writing them. It was a tremendous exercise and taught me a lot. I was able, within the short framework of a story, to experiment with characters, dialogue etc. Later, I was able to apply these lessons to writing my novel.

Interviewer:

It certainly seems like a long time in coming. I mean, from eighth grade to now.

Bambola:

Yes, but that's because for many years I never wrote at all. I was too busy raising a family.

Interviewer:

Do you feel like you missed out. All those years of not writing?

Bambola:

Absolutely not. My family is very important to me and those were wonderful and precious years. Now I can fully pursue my writing, and I'm doing so.

Interviewer:

What authors do you like?

Bambola:

A variety and for a variety of reasons. I admire the talent of Sylvia Plath, Ken Kesey, and Edward Albee. And of course there's Charles Dickens, Thomas Costain, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, just to mention a few. I'm currently enjoying Maeve Binchy and Jan Karon.

Interviewer:

What book has influenced you most?

Bambola:

Without question, the Bible. It is the most incredible book ever written.

Interviewer:

What about writing itself? Do you wait for inspiration or is your approach more disciplined?

Bambola:

To me, writing is very disciplined. I try to sit down every day for a specific amount of time. It requires concentration and effort. There are those rare, wonderful moments when inspiration takes over and words coming pouring, no flowing out. But most of the time it's just plain hard work. The real secret of writing, though, is rewriting, rewriting, and then rewriting some more.

Interviewer:

Do you still use a typewriter or have you moved into the modern age?

Bambola:

Years ago, I started out using a typewriter, but now everything is done on computer. There is no comparison. Working on a computer saves literally weeks and weeks because of the cut and paste abilities. I just can't imagine using anything else. That would be like me gathering fire wood and cooking my dinner on a camp fire every night instead of turning on my electric stove.

Interviewer:

Do you enjoy hearing from your readers or interacting with them through e-mail?

Bambola:

Yes, both. I love hearing from readers, whether through snail mail or e-mail. I enjoy their reactions and input and even just the notes that say, "hello."