What size should I make that caramel frappuccino?
Would you like fries with that?
Yes, I would always like fries with that! A very wise person* once said, “While unhealthy, fries are life.”
What are your plans for today?
Um, this is getting weird now…why do you want to know?
But really…What’s Happening?
Rarely anything, Twitter! But if there is, I’ll tell you in 280 characters!
Okay, clearly my most frequently asked questions are particularly unglamorous and unrelated to anything important. Here are some Questions To Interesting Things That I am Rarely Ever Asked:
Who are your favorite writers?
This varies from day to day. Naming my favorites of anything is an actual source of anxiety (what if I leave something out? why did I say that was my favorite when it was more like top 5? etc), but some of the writers whose work I enjoy immensely are: Sarah Dessen, Jandy Nelson, Toni Morrison, Melina Marchetti, John Green, Jenny Han, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Sara Zarr, Stephanie Perkins, Khaled Hosseini, Suzanne Collins, Roald Dahl, C.S. Lewis, Francine Rivers, Mindy Kaling and Nora Ephron. This list is already obnoxiously long so I’ll stop there, but there are many, many more.
What are some recent reads you’ve enjoyed?
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, Popular by Maya Van Wagenen, Wonder by R.J. Palacio, Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling, Open by Andre Agassi, Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon and Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson.
Do you have any writing advice?
So none of this is going to be earth-shattering or new to most writers, but I swear by five things:
- Read a lot. Read widely. Read things you love. Read things you don’t.
- Write a lot. Write for fun, write things only you will ever see, write novel-length things and short things and silly things and serious things. Write mind-numbingly bad first drafts and slightly better second drafts and slightly better third drafts. Don’t be afraid to try or fail or revise.
- Listen to smart advice from really smart people. There are lots of amazing authors all over the interwebs who have plenty of tips for everything from querying to synopses to plotting. Authors Veronica Roth and Susan Dennard both have fantastic advice and resources for writers. I am also a big fan of Bird by Bird by Anne Lammott.
- Do what works for you, when it works for you. Nobody’s process is the same as anyone else’s, so don’t be afraid to try things. That being said, there is no “wrong” way to write – there are plotters and pantsers, people who write daily, people who don’t, people who work on multiple projects at once and people who don’t. The “when it works for you” part has probably been the most important for me. I am sometimes a pantser, sometimes a plotter. I usually don’t write every day but sometimes I have. I usually need quiet when I write but occasionally I have needed music. Just like there are rules that don’t always work for everyone, there are rules that won’t always work for you. Don’t pigeon-hole yourself. It’s okay to vary things up, to work the same way every time or to feel like you’re just making it up as you go along. Having a “process” is overrated, anyway 🙂
- Just do it. (Please don’t sue me, Nike!) This is pretty self-explanatory, but basically you need to show up and write and keep doing it until you get to The End. Sometimes this is the hardest part of all, but often it’s also the most rewarding.
Who is your agent?
My agent is the delightful Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary.
Can we be friends?
Absolutely! Especially if you’re a fellow book lover 🙂
*I am this person. Let’s just go with it.