Monday, August 11, 2008
Interview with Alyson Noël!
I know, I know, I haven't blogged in a while! But I've been so, so, so busy writing, and also, the library near my house is closed for a year, so going to the other one is kind of hard, considering I can't get there by myself. It sucks, I know. Anyway, I have an interview with the amazing Alyson Noël, author of Faking 19, Art Geeks and Prom Queens, Laguna Cove, Kiss & Blog, Saving Zoe, First Kiss (Then Tell)- an anthology, Cruel Summer, and the upcoming Evermore series, out in 2009. She's an extremely talented author, and I've read the first three books I mentioned and they were excellent. So here's the interview!
Why did you start writing?
I started writing really bad poetry that thankfully, no one will ever read, back in seventh grade. I was going through a very turbulent time dealing with junior high, my parent’s divorce, etc. and writing was a good way for me to deal with my feelings. Then later, in my high school AP English class, I used to hand in short stories instead of the critical essays my teacher assigned (don’t try this at home!). And I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful teacher (shout out to Mr. Sawaya!) who graded them as though I’d written the assignment. Then after graduation, I somehow switched from actual writing to talking about writing, until 9/11 happened and I was working as a flight attendant in NYC, and I knew that from that day on, my job would never be the same, so I figured it was as good a time as any to go after my dream--- and I’m so glad I did!
Who/What inspired your stories?
Most of my stories are inspired from my own life. In my senior year of high school I was sort of lost—just like Alex in my debut novel, FAKING 19. And like Rio, in ART GEEKS AND PROM QUEENS, I know what it’s like to be the new girl and have everyone hate you. SAVING ZOE came after a period of intense grief when I lost three people I loved in five short months and was faced with the serious illness of two others, and like Colby in CRUEL SUMMER, I lived in Greece too, Mykonos actually, for seven years!
Did you always want to be an author?
Well, first I wanted to be a mermaid, and then a princess, but after I read my first Judy Blume book, ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET, I knew I wanted to try to write like that too. Even though I’d always been an avid reader, Judy Blume’s books were the first I could directly relate too. They felt like they were written just for me, and my friend’s and all of the things we were going through. I was lucky enough to meet her last year, and I’m happy to report she’s as awesome as I hoped she’d be!
Could you see yourself doing anything else?
Well, I could see it, though I don’t like it! I’ve had so many jobs before this- babysitter, department store sales clerk, administrative assistant, office manager, tour guide, jewelry designer/T-shirt painter, flight attendant . . .but this is the only one where they actually pay me to make stuff up. And the fact that I get to do it in my sweatpants and slippers makes it pure heaven!
Is it difficult to write stories about fields of which you know nothing?
Actually, I really enjoy the research part—learning something new is one of the best perks! For my new paranormal series, EVERMORE, (coming Feb. 2009), I took a three-day seminar with world-renowned psychic/medium James Van Praagh. And though I myself didn’t see any dead people, I was completely amazed by a lot of the other exercises he put us through, and I learned a ton of stuff that helped with the book!
How time consuming is it?
Very. No, scratch that. Extremely. Seriously. But I love what I do so I am not complaining!
Do you feel it’s rewarding?
Absolutely! Writing young adult is the coolest experience ever! I get so many e-mails from teens saying they used to hate to read until they read one of my books, and for me, there are no sweeter words than that!
I was so surprised when I saw this email, I didn't think I'd ever get an interview with someone as awesome as her! And I know the pictures are out of order, but I couldn't do anything about it.
Posted by Valentina Bore at 11:32 PM