We're pleased to have Jennifer Mathieu with us to talk about her new novel, MOXIE.
Without giving too much away, there are two scenes in particular that were the hardest but the most fun to write, and both involved having a large number of girls meeting up to be together and find strength in one another. They were really joyful, exuberant scenes and I kept thinking about how much I would have loved to have read them when I was 16. Other tricky scenes were the scenes between Vivian and her mom. I wanted to get that relationship just right. It's a good relationship, but it's going through some growing pains in this book.
How long did you work on MOXIE?
It took me about six months to write the draft and then about another six months to revise and copy edit. This one went very smoothly. It was a charmed project from the beginning!
What did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?
This book taught me how important feminism has been in my life. How being a feminist has improved my working life as well as my relationship with my husband and son. It also made me realize how important it is for me to help spread the message of gender equality to young women and men, too. Writing MOXIE also reminded me of how much I love to write and create new characters, too. It was such a fun book from start to finish.
What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?
I write at night after a long day of teaching high school and being with my family. I usually write in my dining room with the lights dimmed and music playing. For MOXIE I listened to (no surprise here!) a lot of Riot Grrrl music. Some Saturdays I will take the time to go to a coffee shop down the street and get work done there, but I always find myself a bit distracted in those environments, so I usually stick to the dining room. :-)
ABOUT THE BOOKMoxie
by Jennifer Mathieu
Roaring Brook Press
An unlikely teenager starts a feminist revolution at a small-town Texan high school in the new novel from Jennifer Matheiu, author of The Truth About Alice.
MOXIE GIRLS FIGHT BACK!
Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with a school administration at her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes, hallway harassment, and gross comments from guys during class. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.
Viv's mom was a tough-as-nails, punk rock Riot Grrrl in the '90s, and now Viv takes a page from her mother's past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She's just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. As Viv forges friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.
Moxie is a book about high school life that will make you wanna riot!
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ABOUT THE AUTHORYoung adult author Jennifer Mathieu (pronounced Muh-two, but if you speak French you can pronounce it better than that. Sadly, she don’t speak French.) She is a writer and English teacher who lives in Texas with her family. A native of the East Coast and a former journalist, she enjoys writing contemporary young adult fiction that treats teenagers like real people. She loves to eat and hates to cook. For more fun facts visit her website.
Have you had a chance to read MOXIE yet? Our characters can teach us surprising things about ourselves - what have you learned when writing a new character? Have you written a project that was charmed from the start?
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