Wednesday, February 9, 2011

16 WOW Wednesday: E. Lockhart

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 I think the thing for unpublished writers to do is to study the craft of writers they admire.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...

Ruby Oliver is in love. Or it would be love, if Noel, her real live boyfriend, would call her back. But Noel seems to have turned into a pod-robot lobotomy patient, and Ruby can’t figure out why.

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?

Happy reading,
The Ladies of ACP


  1. Great interview.That would be so helpful to be able to bounce your ideas off your editor before starting a project. Great advice for debut writers.

  2. I love what you said about making your editors want stuff by the way you tell the story. I think we can get caught up in thinking about trends or what might be popular and forget that the most important thing is the story.

  3. It's great that she doesn't follow trends. It's best to write what you feel.

  4. Wonderful interview. I'd love to win this, too (you always have the best interviews and giveaways! You also keep my amazon cart filled, ha!)

  5. What a great array of interesting books and unique characters! (I mean, whoa--a piglet head in the fridge and eating nothing but Cheetos? Brilliant.)

    Thanks for the great interview. I don't write for trends either (though I'm not published); it's too difficult to chase the fads and what's "hot."

  6. Excellent interview! And thanks, Emily, for the great debut author advice. My students love your books. :-)

  7. Rachel's right: you always have great interviews and giveaways. Love the advice on writing routine.

  8. The fact that your take your audience into account when your writing is really great.

  9. I love to hear about writer's processes. I love that she treats her writing time like any other job and focuses on the story and how she wants to tell it.

  10. Great interview! I love E's books, so it's cool to hear about how she approaches her writing routine. : )

  11. What a great interview. I love that she doesn't write for trends.

  12. Thanks for the interview. I haven't been treating my writing like a job, and that's probably my problem.

    I'd like to read about Ruby.

  13. It's nice to know even the pros procrastinate -- hee. I absolutely love Lockhart's books. Great interview, ladies!

  14. Loved the interview! Thank you for posting this.

    Also, I just saw E. Lockhart read from the new Ruby Oliver book and it's hilarious! Now I'm dying to read it.

  15. Great interview! I love E. Lockhart. I was at the same reading as Gabriela (above) and am excited to read this book! :)


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