Saturday, January 6, 2018

0 Cecil Castellucci, author of DON'T COSPLAY WITH MY HEART, on rejected books opening new doors

We're excited to have Cecil Castellucci stop by to share more about her latest novel, DON'T COSPLAY WITH MY HEART.

Cecil, what book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

I always love to give a little love to other authors and books. I’d say One Con Glory by Sarah Kuhn and also her new Heroine Complex Series. Also, I’d try Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern. Geekerlla by Ashley Poston. The Secret Loves of Geek Girls edited by Hope Nicholson. The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs. And Boy Proof, by me!

How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?

The thing about writing and publication is there are no two roads to publication that go the same way. I now have 15 books out. They vary in age range, from picture books to middle grade to Young Adult. I also write comic books. Currently I have a series on DC Comics called SHADE, THE CHANGING GIRL. All told it took me about seven years before I sold my first book. And I had written three books that had gotten rejected before I sold the fourth novel that I had written. It was a process. But every single book that got rejected opened new doors for me. I think that it takes about ten years to get taken seriously in any art field. You have to keep your head down and do your work. Write. Write. Write. Don’t get discouraged. At some point, if you keep putting it out there, you find the right editor and the right house.

Was there an AHA! moment along your road to publication where something suddenly sank in and you felt you had the key to writing a novel? What was it?

I think the moment that I realized that I had a lot of stories to tell and that I didn’t have to be precious about what was going into one book. That I could use things that I had to chuck from one story down the line. And that doing what was best for the story was the most important thing. It’s hard. You have to kill a lot of darlings. But hopefully you have a long career and you can use all your cool ideas somewhere. That was very freeing.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I like to write my favorite parts first. That way I keep myself engaged and interested. I always make a playlist for every book that I write. It’s an easy way to slide right into the right frame of mind. I work both at home and at a coffee shop. It kind of depends where in the process I am. I like to write first drafts and face the blank page at home. But I like to revise out in the world, in a cafe with the flow of life kind of bubbling in.

What are you working on now?

Right now I am working on the third book in The Plain Janes series. It’s a graphic novel about an all girl art group that came out ten years ago and Jim Rugg (the artist) and I just got the rights back. I’m so excited about writing it that I pinch myself. It’s going to out in 2019.


Don't Cosplay with My Heart
by Cecil Castellucci
Scholastic Press
Released 1/2/2018

When Edan Kupferman dresses up like her favorite character, Gargantua, she feels tall and powerful. That's important right now, because her family is a mess, her best friend is gone for the summer, her crush is confusing, and Edan's feeling small and not sure which end is up.
When Edan's cosplaying, she can be angry, loud, and not the good girl everyone thinks she is. And when she's at conventions, she feels like she's found her own Team Tomorrow. But when her personal life starts to spiral out of control, Edan has to figure out whether she needs a sidekick, or if she has the strength to be the hero of her own story.

Purchase Don't Cosplay with My Heart at Amazon
Purchase Don't Cosplay with My Heart at IndieBound
View Don't Cosplay with My Heart on Goodreads


Cecil Castellucci is the author of books and graphic novels for young adults including Boy Proof, The Plain Janes, Soupy Leaves Home, The Year of the Beasts, Tin Star, and the Eisner nominated Odd Duck. In 2015 she co-authored Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure. Out in 2018 is Don’t Cosplay With My Heart. She is currently writing Shade, The Changing Girl, an ongoing comic on Gerard Way’s Young Animal imprint at DC Comics. Her short stories and short comics have been published in Strange Horizons,, Womanthology, Star Trek: Waypoint and Vertigo SFX: Slam! She is the Children’s Correspondence Coordinator for The Rumpus, a two time Macdowell Fellow and the founding YA Editor at the LA Review of Books. She lives in Los Angeles.

Have you had a chance to read DON'T COSPLAY WITH MY HEART yet? Have you used things you cut from one story in a different story? Do you write your favorite parts first? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

Jocelyn, Halli, Martina, Charlotte, Anisaa, Erin, Susan, Shelly, Kelly, Laura, Emily, and Lori Ann

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