Okay, first, I have to admit I squealed when I got your reply. Also, this is my first interview, so feel free to smack me if I do something wrong!
Oh, you are cute! (*blush*)
Q1: I know you’ve been asked when and how you started to write but I’d like to know what inspired you to start writing fiction and kept you going?
I'd been talking about writing for a while. My husband was in graduate school and we had a very young baby, meaning I was bored and lonely. We went on a date where he made me pick out a notebook and said, "There. Now you HAVE to write."
I wrote my first book in that notebook, but I don't think I really fell in love with writing until I started writing YA. Writing YA was so addictive and fun from the very start that I'll never do anything else!
Q2: I know the readers (and authors) of this blog would love to know what your book is about, could you tell us about it?
Paranormalcy is about a sixteen-year-old girl, Evie, who works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency. Turns out all of those supernatural creatures of lore do, in fact, exist, and it's her job to find them and make sure the rest of the normal world is blissfully oblivious to the rather active paranormal one. But working full time is a lonely life, and Evie would like a taste of normal. Just a little one. And that new kid in Containment is awfully cute...
Too bad something is stalking and killing paranormals across the globe and it's up to her to figure it all out before everything special in the world is gone. Sometimes work can be such a drag.
Q3: Did you ever have to face ridicule for writing teen fiction? If so, how did you deal with it?
You know, I've never faced any ridicule at all. Maybe because I don't expect it. I hate the idea that YA and children's writers write for those ages because they can't write for adults. I write YA because I want to, not because it's a back-up plan. In a lot of ways I think it's more challenging than writing for adults, since teens are incredibly unforgiving readers. I've plowed through a lot of "adult" books that I didn't enjoy just because I felt like I should read them. No teenager is going to finish a book just because she feels like she ought to! In my opinion YA has some of the best writing out there (and I'm very humbled to be part of this group, and certainly not saying mine is the best, although you are welcome to think so when you readParanormalcy), because the stories have to be engaging and the writing has to be honest. Once again, no teenager is going to say, "Well, the story was dead dull, but the writing was so lyrical!"
Ahem. Perhaps I should get off my soapbox now. To sum up: Nope. Writing for teenagers ROCKS. It's fun, it's challenging, and there's nothing I'd rather be doing.
Q4: We all know writing has highs and lows, so what was your favorite and your least favorite part of writing PARANORMALCY?
My favorite part was first-drafting. I actually wrote the whole thing (originally clocking in at 82,000 words) in three weeks. Once I got Evie's voice in my head, I couldn't stop! It was a blast to write, and I think that really comes through.
My least favorite part was deciding to invest everything I had in it. I wrote it while another manuscript was on submission. When that submission was a bust, we decided to reevaluate. I had to pick between four manuscripts--all of which I loved--and decide which I felt was best. It was really, really stressful, but once I picked Paranormalcy, I felt great about things. And obviously it was the right choice!
Q5: How are you dealing with juggling real life, online and writing obligations?
My apartment is very, very messy.
Seriously though, I'm not very good at balancing, and I've had a few "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA" moments. (I'm thinking of copyrighting that term, what do you think?) (I think that's a great idea. You could make bucket-loads of money!) I've ended up focusing on the online things I enjoy--Twitter and Blogger--and not worrying too much about the rest of them.
I've had to let a few "real life" things fall by the wayside (coughcoughdishescoughcough), but I'm working on it with the help of my very supportive husband.
Q6: How different is your life now, compared to how it was before you got “The Call” from Michelle Wolfson? Is there more work involved or is pretty much the same amount as before?
I'd say there's definitely more work involved. Just little things--answering emails, worrying a bit more about blog posts, and of course much more editing and writing work. But I'd always written and blogged a lot anyway, so it's really just the detail things that have piled up. (Like, uh, responding to interviews a week or two late. Sorry, Mireyah.) (Not a problem! I'm just happy you spared the time! *squeee*)
There is, however, a lot more to be excited about, which makes the detail stuff way more fun!
Q7: How shocked/excited/flabbergasted/insert miscellaneous reaction here were you when Ms. Wolfson told you that she’d sold PARANORMALCY to HarperTeen?
I sat down on the floor and just laughed. And laughed. And laughed. It still feels a bit surreal!
Q8: And because I have to ask, how is Laptop dealing with your success?
I think Laptop's having some jealousy issues, since he knows I'll be getting a new laptop as soon as my first check comes. He insists he's relieved to retire with dignity and what little is left of his keyboard, but I secretly suspect he'll miss being tapped on day in and day out. He's been burning my legs with increasing frequency lately, poor passive aggressive little machine.
Thanks so much! I really appreciate you taking the time to do this! *G*
Didn't I tell you she was awesome? Now, all her wonderful links are at the top ("go click!") and I fully recommend following her blog!