Friday, June 11, 2010
FRIDAY FREESTYLE: Interview With Alyson Noel!
Our fabulous AE Rought conducted an interview with Alyson Noel, author of The Immortals Series and other amazing YA novels!
Here’s an icebreaker: Vanilla or chocolate? Or is there another frozen treat you can’t live without?
Vanilla frozen yogurt from Golden Spoon is one of my all-time favorite treats!
Now, down to business:
How long have you been writing? Was it always a passion or was it a craft you slowly grew to love?
After reading my first Judy Blume book, Are You There, God? It’s me, Margaret, at age twelve, I decided I wanted to be a writer. So I started writing really bad poetry about my parent’s divorce and all the changes I was going through, and then in my high school AP English class I took to turning in short stories instead of the essays my teacher assigned. Later, as an adult, I took various writing classes through the years, where I eventually wrote my debut novel, Faking 19. But while reading and writing were always a passion of mine, it wasn’t until I began to seriously seek publication that I started exploring the craft side of it.
Any insider tips for stress-release after a grueling day of writing, editing, or waiting for news?
Meditating, reading, TV watching, Jacuzzi soaking, and/or couch lounging—are my usual “go to” cures!
Can you tell us a little about your writing process? How long does it take you to write a novel?
My first novel, FAKING 19, took 15 years to write! Mostly because I dabbled at it only now and then and really had no idea what I was doing. I had the voice down pretty firm, but had no idea what to do with the character, so, basically, she spent a lot of time wandering around and thinking deep thoughts until I read STORY by Robert McKee and figured out how to turn all that non-action into an actual plot! I’m also a big fan of SAVE THE CAT by Blake Snyder, and I begin every book using his “15 Beats” as an outline. Now, that I’ve finally figured out my process, I can usually finish a book in a matter of months.
And, for fun:
Team Werewolf or Team Vampire?
Team Immortal! J
Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin?
I know I’m about to embarrass myself in a very big way, but I had no idea what any of those words even meant. So, I turned to Google and learned it refers to the world of Harry Potter, which means I’ve just outted myself as the only remaining person in the world who has yet to read this series! (Hangs head in shame)
Believe in love at first sight?
I didn’t, until I experienced it for myself! Now I’m a big believer.
Back to business:
Any writing advice for aspiring authors?
Read as much as you can because the books you like and the books you don’t like all have something to teach you! Also, be prepared for what a tough, subjective business this is and do not let the inevitable rejections stop you from going after your dream. The road to publication requires drive, determination, persistence, and, of course, talent. But there are loads of talented people who gave up—the ones who make it are the ones who keep on keeping on, no matter what. And don’t forget that it only takes one “yes!” to get you where you want to go!
I’ve read the entire Immortals series, and cannot wait for Dark Flame! (6/22 people, and available for pre-order) You have an amazing voice for the YA genre, how did you find your style?
Thank you so much, I really appreciate that! With my first book, FAKING 19, I didn’t intentionally set out to write YA. It was more like I had a story to tell that just so happened to have a teenaged protagonist. But when my next story idea also featured a teen, I realized that this is the voice I naturally gravitate toward. No matter how many birthdays I accumulate, I never really feel like an adult. I always sort of feel like a teen who somehow ended up with a mortgage, credit cards, and a husband! Though it feels like such a privilege to write for teens, I couldn’t ask for a more kind, warm, enthusiastic, and generous group of readers!
I know you have Night Star coming out this fall. When do you think we might see an excerpt?
As soon as it’s revised and edited and copy edited you will see an excerpt—probably sometime this fall.
Do you have any other works you’d like to share with us, a hint of the Riley series, perhaps?
I have to admit that I’m especially excited about The Riley Series. When the idea was broached, I jumped at the chance. I’d had so much fun with her in Evermore that she ended up getting a much bigger role than I’d planned. But later, when it came time to write the first book, Radiance (in stores 08.31.10) I had a moment of panic. I’m so used to writing teens, I wasn’t sure that I could write a twelve year old. But then I reminded myself that I didn’t have to write a twelve year old per se, I only had to write Riley. And once I began to inhabit her character, the story took off, and it was one of the most fun and exhilarating writing experiences I’ve ever had!
And one last question for our Oasis readers: You're stranded on a desert oasis...what one book would you want with you?
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle—I’d like to make the most of my spare, Zen environment!
Thank you SO much to Alyson for answering our questions. Don't forget to check out her website and follow her on Twitter! Oh, and buy her books of course :)