- Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
It all started with an assignment I got in sixth grade to create a book about myself. In it, I announced that in ten years I’d be a published author. Right around my 22nd birthday, I found that book. Had I become an author? Nope. So, I decided that it was totally feasible to accomplish my kid dreams, and I went for it.
I checked out a guidebook on how to be published for dummies (this isn’t a joke). Then, I followed its advice. I joined a writing group, started going to conferences, honed my craft by taking on an internship with an editing company (because I thought there was no better way to learn to write than to learn how to tell others how to write), and built connections. A friend of mine got a publishing contract with a company, and she recommended me. And that’s how I broke into to the wild business of publishing!
Before having all my little babies, I lived in a school bus with my husband. My husband tore out all the seats, and we got to work remaking the inside of it into a little home.We had a bedroom, a little kitchenette, a bathroom, and a living room. We even had a giant tub in the bathroom that fit the two of us and a full-sized couch.
While living in a school bus may sound like luxury (haha), I wasn’t the biggest fan, so I highly recommend not jumping on that bandwagon. I won’t get into the gritty details, but let’s just say that a lot of basic like electricity and heating struggled to work, and, even though we were renting a piece of land, we looked sketchy sitting there. The cops may have showed up at our house a few times in the middle of the night. But, it ended up well enough because when we moved into a real house it felt like a luxury!
- Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
The two female protagonists are me, which is weird to say because they’re foils of each other, but it’s true. I’m a crazy perfectionist like Kokab. There have been times in my life when I’ve been so obsessed with being a good person that I couldn’t really function. There’s a part of me that really feels that rigidity and confusion about customs, and I definitely sometimes feel like social things can take a second to click. But then, there’s this other side of me that is all Ags, super excited and exuberant about things, with high energy and happiness.
The male protagonist Carter, is kind of just a mesh up of my husband and also what I think the ideal guy is.
- What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I think I most enjoyed the process of working on it with others. I have an amazing critique group, and it was so fun to brainstorm with them and then steal their ideas that they had for my book and look like a total genius. Looking like a genius is great fun.
- Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Ags is really obsessed with the humanities, so it was really fun to go out and learn about a plethora of different paintings, and stories, and ballet, and such.
Yes, I did theater in high school, so that’d be a blast. My favorite character to play would be Anna though. Anna is really overdramatic and wild and does whatever she wants, and that’d be an exciting character to play.
One of my favorite parts of the book is Kokab and Carter’s first date (spoiler, sorry..not sorry). It’s just so cute and awkward and real. I feel like it’s how a real first date goes with two teenagers who are crushing on each other.
Well, this book was originally a completely different story so half of the ensemble of characters, most of the scenes, and the overall storyline. The theme stayed the same though, so that’s good.
- The advice they would give new writers?
Join a really good writing group. They will teach you how to write. Go to conferences. Use the conferences to learn but also to meet people. Making friends with people who are authors will help you break-in yourself.
- What makes a good story?
To me, it’s what I come out with. A good story is one that inspires or uplifts me or makes me question things. I only have so many hours in a day, so I want to come out better than I went in before I read it.