Happy Holidays, Misfiteers! I hope you're all closing out 2013 with a bang!
Over here on the YAMF blog, we have a feature on the last Friday of the month: Interview With A Misfit. It's kind of like Interview with the Vampire, only we have our friendly Misfit Bot instead of Christian Slater to interview us.
So without further ado, hello, Misfit Bot! Thanks for having me!
Hi, Misfit Jenny! Tell us about you and what you're working on!
I am still riding the high from the release of my debut, THE ART OF FALLING, available now from Bloomsbury Spark! It's been a crazy week, but I'm thrilled with the response my book is getting. I mean, people are reading it! And liking it! Between that and the holidays, it's been very hard to sit still and write, but I am working on a follow up to FALLING set in the same high school. It's about a skater girl with a past she wants to forget and a boy with hemophilia hoping for a future. They're totally adorable and sitting at 43k right now. I'm hoping to finish by New Years! Then I just - like last night - started plotting my next contemp. Abby, a supporting in character in both my other contemps, is finally getting a starring role! Amid that, I have two or three fantasies of various stripes calling my attention. So, I'm writing. A lot. And juggling kids, day job, and husband. Whew!
Your YAMisfits nickname is The Art Nerd. What'd you do to earn that one?
Well, I'm not skilled enough to call myself an artist, but I geek out over art. Art museums are some of my favorite places on earth. I love knowing the stories behind great works of art. I took a ton of art history classes in college and still read books like MODERN ART AND THE DEATH OF A CULTURE for fun.
How do you find your pep on a Monday, or any other day when writing is tough?
I write anyway. Sometimes it's a slog, but with two little kids, I can't always wait for the muse to strike. When it does and I'm not at my computer, I type notes on my phone using Evernote. I wrote about 1/3 of FALLING on my phone!
What's your favorite writing tip?
Write for yourself. Let go of your expectations and your plans and just write from your heart. I queried and edited and revised my first serious MS for two or three years before setting it aside. I tried to write something I thought could sell, but it's still half finished. I sat down to write FALLING just for fun. I wrote it for me, never expecting to do anything with it. But thanks to my fellow Misfits, I submitted it to a few contests, it got picked up by Bloomsbury, and the rest is history! Never write to trends or because you think you can meet anyone else's expectations. Write what you love because you love it.
What bands do you go geeky for, both when writing or just relaxing?
I am such a music geek! When I was 15, I got to shake hands with Lars from Rancid and was actually rendered speechless! These days I listen to a lot of The Classic Crime, Further Seems Forever, Sleeping At Last, Jimmy Eat World, Bloc Party, White Lies, and AFI. I'm a sucker for a killer bass line. I don't always get to listen while I write, since my kids are usually napping, but any time I'm in the car or just hanging around the house, I have to have music!
What's your ideal kind of casual Friday?
Sleeping in late, lots of coffee and staying in my pajamas all day.
Who's your dream interview subject for YAMisfits?
I would love to interview Stephanie Perkins! She reinvigorated my love for contemp with quirky characters I could relate to and dreamy settings I could drool over.
What are some of the best books you've read recently, and which ones are you looking forward to?
I adored STARRY NIGHTS by Daisy Whitney. The other Bloomsbury Spark books have been awesome, though I admit I've only ready 4/6 thanks to the holidays. THE SOUND OF US by Ashley Poston was a delightful, dream beach read. POSITIVELY MINE by Christine Duval was a refreshing NA. THE SECRET OF ISOBEL KEY by Jen McConnel is a creepy, atmospheric look at historical Scotland. UNTIL WE END by Frankie Brown is a fast paced, sexy, post-apocalyptic adventure. I also read TWO by fellow Misfit Leigh Ann Kopans - FINALLY - and can't wait for SOLVING FOR EX to release. I'm also looking forward to the other Misfit books releasing in 2014 - BEHIND THE SCENES by Dahlia Adler, ASK AGAIN LATER by Francesca Zappia, BETWEEN by Megan Whitmer and THE ELITE by Maggie Hall. It's going to be a busy year!
Thank you, Misfit Botm for having me, and thank you, dear readers, for reading!
Have a question for Jenny? Leave it in the comments!