Sunday, March 29, 2015

1 Tommy Wallach, author of WE ALL LOOKED UP, on being utterly captivated by an idea

We're thrilled to have Tommy Wallach stop by to tell us more about his debut novel WE ALL LOOKED UP.

Tommy, how long did you work on WE ALL LOOKED UP?

The first draft of WALU came together surprisingly quickly. I was living in a small town in Spain after getting kicked out of England (long story), and I was in the middle of trying to write another book (for adults, actually). I had the idea for WALU, and it utterly captivated me. I sat down just to write down the vague outline of it, so I could work on it when I was finished with the other book, and it totally took over my life. I think I had a finished draft in 3 or 4 months. Then, once the book was picked up by an agent, I worked another 3 months, replacing the faulty second half. At that point, the book went out to publishers. After S&S bought it, they had a lot of thoughts, and I ended up replacing the second half all over again, which probably took another 3-4 months. Then you're looking at another 6 weeks of work doing a few rounds of copy edits over the course of about a year.

What do you hope readers will take away from WE ALL LOOKED UP?

At the risk of sound grandiose, what I hope readers take away from WALU is what people take away from all great books, whatever shelf they're on in the library: a shared experience that deepens their understanding of themselves, the people around them, and their place and role in the universe. Also, a powerful urge to buy me a cupcake.

What are you working on now?

My next book is scheduled to come out about a year after We All Looked Up, though it isn't in any way a sequel. It's called Thanks for the Trouble, and it's a love story that takes place over a single weekend. The protagonist doesn't speak (and I swear I didn't even know about Laurie Halse Anderson's book when I came up with my concept!), and his love interest is two hundred and fifty years old, but she looks like a teenager. It takes a lot from "Let the Right One In," only without vampires. I don't do vampires.


We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach Hardcover
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers Released 3/24/2015

Four high school seniors put their hopes, hearts, and humanity on the line as an asteroid hurtles toward Earth in this contemporary novel. They always say that high school is the best time of your life.

Peter, the star basketball player at his school, is worried “they” might actually be right. Meanwhile Eliza can’t wait to escape Seattle—and her reputation—and perfect-on-paper Anita wonders if admission to Princeton is worth the price of abandoning her real dreams. Andy, for his part, doesn’t understand all the fuss about college and career—the future can wait.

Or can it? Because it turns out the future is hurtling through space with the potential to wipe out life on Earth. As these four seniors—along with the rest of the planet—wait to see what damage an asteroid will cause, they must abandon all thoughts of the future and decide how they’re going to spend what remains of the present.

Purchase We All Looked Up at Amazon Purchase We All Looked Up at IndieBound
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Tommy WallachTommy Wallach is a Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter and novelist. His fiction and nonfiction works have appeared in McSweeney’s, Tin House, Wired, Salon, and other magazines. As a musician, he has put out an EP with Decca Records and performed at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. We All Looked Up is his debut novel. Read, hear, and stalk him at

Note from the formatter: Hello lovely blog readers, I hope you enjoyed this interview! I had the awesome pleasure to read We All Looked Up before it hits the shelves and let me tell you, it's amazing! Keep an eye out for this upcoming release!

Happy reading,

Jocelyn, Martina, Jan, Shelly, Susan, Lisa, and Erin

1 comment:

  1. Go, Tommy! Excited to hear more about your book, and can't wait to read it. :) Here's to lots of cupcakes. :D


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