Sarvenaz, what was your inspiration for writing THREE DAY SUMMER?
I’ve always been very enamored of the ‘60s as a decade. The 25th anniversary of the Woodstock Music Festival happened over the summer that I was 12 and I remember both MTV and VH1 were showing lots of documentaries on the subject (as well as putting together an anniversary concert with contemporary artists). I had very little interest in the contemporary music of the time, to be honest, but I loved all of the old footage and Behind the Musics that had anything to do with the original festival. That always stuck with me and, years later, I also happened to stop by the Woodstock museum at the Bethel Center for the Arts (the site of the original festival) on what was the 40th anniversary. I realized then that my enthusiasm for what I had always perceived to be the optimistic vibe of the festival hadn’t waned at all.
At some point, it occurred to me that barring getting my hands on a TARDIS or a Time Turner, there was only one way I could attend this festival that had so captured my imagination: and that was to write a story that took place at it!
What did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?
I find that I often write to explore: whether it’s a character or a situation or, in this case, a historical event that I have thought a lot about. This book encompassed a lot of firsts for me. It was my first historical novel. It was my first time writing YA. It was my first time writing dual POVs and it was my first time writing from the POV of a boy as well as a girl. And all those firsts really helped me to learn and grow as a writer, which is always an important part of the process for me.
What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?
I’m an outliner for sure. When I’m working on a project, I tend to try to write every day if I can, even if it’s just for 20 minutes. I have a full-time job, so my writing time is usually when I get home from work, and I tend to schedule myself out on a scene-by-scene basis. So I try to outline or write one scene a day (depending on where I am in the process). I do write linearly and I do my best to not get too hung up on how the first draft is sounding. For me, it’s much more important to just get the first draft out (because I find it the most difficult) and then work on fine-tuning it in subsequent edits.
I usually don’t listen to music while I work, but Three Day Summer was definitely the one exception to this rule! I put on a lot of the sets from the Woodstock festival, especially as I outlined, and a lot of what I heard ended up making its way into sensory details within the manuscript.
What are you working on now?
My next book is called The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love. It’s a contemporary YA based on my love of John Hughes movies and my general geekiness. I call it my comic con rom-com and it was pitched as Pretty in Pink goes to comic con.
It’s basically about a lovelorn nerd who decides to profess his love to his best friend at the biggest event of their social calendar. Only, of course, nothing goes exactly to plan. It’s been a lot of fun to write and it actually ended up, once again, being from a male POV so I think I used some of my newfound skills from Three Day Summer on it! It’s slated for Summer 2016 from Simon & Schuster BFYR.
ABOUT THE BOOKThree Day Summer by Sarvenaz Tash
Hardcover Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Boy meets girl...at the most amazing concert the world has ever seen.
Michael is unsure about most things. Go to college? Enlist in the military? Break up with his girlfriend? All big question marks. He is living for the moment and all he wants is a few days at the biggest concert of the summer.
Cora lives in the town hosting the music festival. She's volunteering in the medical tent. She's like that, always the good girl. But there is something in the air at this concert and suddenly Cora finds herself wanting to push her own boundaries.
When Michael and Cora meet, sparks fly, hearts race, and all the things songs are written about come true. And all the while, three days of the most epic summer await them...
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ABOUT THE AUTHORSarvenaz Tash was born in Tehran, Iran and grew up on Long Island, NY. She received her BFA in Film and Television from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. This means she got to spend most of college running around and making movies (it was a lot of fun). She has dabbled in all sorts of writing including screenwriting, copywriting, and professional tweeting. She currently lives in her favorite borough of her favorite city.
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