Wednesday, February 9, 2011
We're ecstatic to have the fabulous E. Lockhart dropping by to answer a few questions today. Emily is the author of three Ruby Oliver books: The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, and The Treasure Map of Boys — plus a fourth, Real Live Boyfriends, which just released in December. Her other books include Fly on the Wall, Dramarama, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks and How to Be Bad. You can check out her website, her blog, or follow her on Twitter.
Psss... Don't miss the chance to win one of four ARCs being given away of Emily's newest book Real Live Boyfriends at the bottom of the post!
What routines do you find helpful for you to stay actively writing?
I treat writing like a job. I go to work, sit down, procrastinate a little bit -- then make myself do it. Sometimes I fail. I try for 500 words a day at the start of a project, and more later on -- up to 2000 words a day if I am in the swing of it.
As a published writer, do you feel pressure to balance your creative writing license with what the audience wants? If so, how do you balance the two?
I need to keep working, so when I am first conceiving a project I might think about what my editors are interested in -- I'll talk to them about ideas I have and get their thoughts. But once I am writing, I don't feel that pressure. I try to write the best, most truthful story I can. I do think about whether my story is clear and my jokes are funny. In that sense, I certainly think about my audience. But I don't think about what they want. I don't think they really know. I am in charge! I make them want stuff by the way I tell the story, I think. That's what storytellers do.
What advice would you offer writers to build their platform before they become published?
I am not sure what building a platform is, honestly. I think the thing for unpublished writers to do is to study the craft of writers they admire. When I started writing fiction I took apart books I loved -- how was this writer building suspense? How was he introducing characters? Was he doing cut-aways? How was he handling exposition?
How much do trends influence your writing?
Not at all. I was lucky enough to write a book for teenagers when the boom in YA literature began -- in that sense, a trend has influenced my career tremendously. I am lucky to be writing adult-friendly teen books at a time when more and more adults are picking up YA. But I don't evaluate trends and try to write to them. That might kill me.
Thanks, Emily! Now, for a giveaway! Four lucky readers will win copies of Emily's brand new book, Real Live Boyfriends. Here's a taste of this scruptious book from Goodreads...
Not only is her romantic life a shambles:
Her dad is eating nothing but Cheetos,
Her mother’s got a piglet head in the refrigerator,
Hutch has gone to Paris to play baguette air guitar,
Gideon shows up shirtless,
And the pygmy goat Robespierre is no help whatsoever.
Will Ruby ever control her panic attacks?
Will she ever understand boys?
Will she ever stop making lists?
(No to that last one.)
Roo has lost most of her friends. She's lost her true love, more than once. She's lost her grandmother, her job, her reputation, and possibly her mind. But she's never lost her sense of humor. The Ruby Oliver books are the record of her survival.
Entry is easy. Simply fill out the form below and leave a comment on this post. The contest is open to US residents and winners will be announced on Saturday! What are you waiting for?
The Ladies of ACP