Thursday, September 8, 2016

Writers Like Us - Becky Albertalli

So because of this news, this blog series totally got away from me--but I'm back and ready to push the series to 50 interviews. Check them all out here, which include advice and insights from Sara Zarr, A.S. King, and many, many others.

This week, Becky Albertalli stops by to share her writing, publishing, and life advice. She's the author of the hilariously swoony Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and the forthcoming The Upside of Unrequited. You can find her tweeting at @BeckyAlbertalli. Her answers are below in bold.

Becky on Writing
  • I've written two books, and 1.5 have seen the light of day (second one is floating around in bound manuscript form, but it will be released in April of 2017!).
  • My favorite type of scene/character/setting to write: flirty scenes, first kisses, and drunk Simon Spier.
  • No matter how long I've been writing, I still have issues with overusing words – and the specific words change, depending on the character’s voice! My editor always has a few things she wants me to clean up in find/replace. 
  • A typical comment from my critique partner is, “I think it would be okay for this to wrap up less neatly.”
  • The book I wished I wrote is HOUSE OF ORANGE by Lianne Oelke (coming in 2017!)

Becky on Getting Published
  • When I was querying, I felt like I was seventeen. So much yearning and nervousness and hoping to hear from someone.
  • The biggest mistake I ever made querying was nudging agents with an offer over Thanksgiving week. It couldn’t be avoided, and it worked out perfectly, but I feel guilty that there were agents reading during that time!
  • What I love most about my agent is how easy he is to talk to, and how excited he gets about even the little victories for my books.
  • While my book was out on submission, I did not actually expect it to sell. Brooks (agent) sold it in five days. 
  • When I got "The Call," my first thought was that I need to convince Brooks Sherman that I’m about 75% less awkward than I am in real life.
  • When I saw my book sale in Publishers Marketplace, I took a screenshot and sent it to my mom.

Becky on Life Outside Writing
  • If I weren't a writer, I'd probably be a psychologist (I actually am a nonpracticing licensed clinical psychologist).
  • Secretly, I'm terrified of bees.
  • My secret girlfriend/boyfriend is Jim from the Office (but only in an alternate universe where I’m Pam, because I cannot break up my OTP).
  • Sometimes, when no one is around, I wear pajamas all day. Sometimes when everyone is around, I wear pajamas all day, too.

Becky Albertalli is a clinical psychologist who has had the privilege of conducting therapy with dozens of smart, weird, irresistible teenagers. She also served for seven years as co-leader of a support group for gender nonconforming children in Washington, DC. These days, she lives in Atlanta with her husband and two sons, and writes very nerdy contemporary young adult fiction.

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