Thursday, April 28, 2011

Alyson Noel Interview

1. Your novels really deal with teenage pain and they seem so real, what's your secret?
The teenage years make for such a defining time in our lives, which is one of the reasons I love writing about them. It’s a time filled with so many great moments, painful moments, first-time moments, and attempts to define ourselves and our place in the world—it’s just ripe for storytelling! I often steal from my own life to create my characters and their stories, and having had a pretty tough adolescence I draw a lot on those memories and how it felt to experience the things that I did, then I try to parlay those feeling into my books.

2. How did the IMMORTALS Series come about?
THE IMMORTALS was also born from a painful experience, namely grief. Five years ago I lost three people I loved in five months and shortly after that I nearly lost my husband to leukemia (he’s in full remission now). Going through that time of intense grief and fear got me thinking a lot about life and death, mortality and immortality, and the ties that bind us to our loved ones long after they’re gone, and Ever and Damen’s story was born from there.
At the time, I was under contract to write SAVING ZOË and CRUEL SUMMER (both books that explore grief and change in their own way), but I was so driven to write Ever and Damen’s story that I worked on it as a side project whenever I could carve out a little time for it, and eventually sold it to my publisher as well. The funny thing is, it wasn’t until I reached the end of EVERMORE that I realized it needed to be a series, and it was somewhere in the middle of writing BLUE MOON that I knew exactly how the series would end—now it’s just a matter of getting there!

3. For me, getting accepted by a publisher means a lot. How was your publishing experience? Hard or easy? Has it become easier with publishing the IMMORTALS?
Looking back and listening to other’s stories—I think my publishing experience was both hard and easy!
Hard because I had no idea what I was doing, I didn’t know any other writers, and back in late 2001 when I first started to get serious about my writing, there wasn’t near as much info on the Internet as there is now. So, basically, I made every single newbie mistake you can think of (and more!), though I did take a lot of online writing classes, read a lot of writing books, and slowly started to figure it out.
Easy because I was led to my first agent via a fellow writer (the talented Susanne Dunlap) from one of those writing classes, and when he told me to read STORY by Robert McKee to get a handle on my structure and plot problems, it all clicked into place, and some months after, we sold my debut novel, FAKING 19, to St. Martin’s Press and I’ve been writing for them ever since.
I’m under contract with St. Martin’s now for a total of 21 books (including my new, just announced, upcoming YA series, THE SOUL SEEKERS)—11 of those are published, 3 are in production, 1 I’m writing now, and the rest are still to be written. I feel really lucky to work with such a great editor and to have such a great publishing team behind me—it really feels like home to me!

4. What is the one place you wish you could go to?
Oh, I love to travel, and while I’ve traveled a lot (I was a flight attendant before I became a writer) there are so many places left to explore—though I would really like to visit Summerland—without having to die to get there of course!

5.What are your hobbies?
I don’t really have any hobbies per se, but when I’m not writing I enjoy reading, traveling, going to movies, the beach, visiting with friends, art museums, fancy dinners with my husband . . . the usual things!

6. What are some things people don't really know about you?

Hmmm, let’s see . . . That I have a thing for shoes, yet pretty much live in my slippers—that I love to sing along to my favorite classic rock songs while I’m driving my car—and that I really do prefer frozen yogurt to ice-cream!

Thanks so much for the interview, Ana!!

You're so welcome Alyson!

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