Did you always know you would write a novel? Why did you finally decide to write one and when?
"I always thought that I’d be a writer—at least since third grade. That was the year I discovered Roald Dahl, and the year my teacher asked us to write short stories about the planets, friendship, and guinea pigs. I built up the courage to try writing novel during my first year of college. While that one will never see the light of day, I’m glad I sat down to write the second one (Brightly Woven)." - Alexandra Bracken, author ofBrightly Woven.
"No - but I always wanted to be a writer. I wrote my first novel about 25 years ago, and it sits (forever) in my files. The title was A Circle of Friends - used since, I believe!" - Janet Fox, author ofFaithful.
"I always suspected I could write a novel but didn't know for sure until I finished the first one (I can't even remember the title!) in 2005. I started it to prove I could and finished it because once I'd started writing, I knew I'd never be able to live without it again." - Michelle Zink, author ofProphecy of Sisters.
"For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be writer except for a short time when I was five and I wanted to be a veterinarian, but I pretty sure that was only because I was so proud that I could spell it. So, yes, I have always wanted to be a writer and I knew that someday I would finally write a novel. Less than two years ago, when I was fifteen years old, I wrote The Fire Stone, the first of a five-book, middle-grade fantasy series called The Reign of the Elements. I wrote the next two books in the series, The Water Stone and The Wind Stone also while I was fifteen. While I was sixteen I wrote the last two books in the series, The Immortality Scroll and The Final Alliance, as well as the first two books of a YA urban fantasy trilogy. I am currently writing the third book of the trilogy. Once I got going, I couldn’t stop!" - Riley Carney, author ofThe Fire Stone.
"I'm not sure I always knew I'd write a novel, but writing in general was something I kept coming back to revisit. I adapted the sixth grade play from my favorite book, Cheaper By the Dozen and I have written several screenplays that are gathering dust in my drawer. My favorite: White Chocolate Mousse Pie. Change of Heart was my first full novel. I started writing it in the Fall of 2006 after seeing a television show where a young girl received a heart transplant. Watching her as she went into the Operating Room, unsure if she was going to live or die, I was haunted by the look on her face and thus, Emmi was born. So I don't know when I really knew I would write a novel, but I certainly kept coming back to it, like an old boyfriend you're never really done flirting with." - Shari Maurer, author ofChange of Heart.
"No. When I first started writing, I wrote chapter books and picture books. I loved reading YA and MG novels, but I didn't think I'd ever write one. But the more I wrote, the more I wanted to try. And I finally decided, what do I have to lose? I Heart You, You Haunt Me was my first published novel, but I wrote three other novels before that. I now call those books my schooling!" - Lisa Schroeder, author ofChasing Brooklyn.
"I didn’t always know I would write a novel. When I was in high school and college, I wrote plays. But my love of young adult literature drove me to fiction, and in early adulthood, I wrote what I now see as a charmingly non-working novel called Too Soon to Tell. I did salvage the characters and world several years later, though, to write my first published book. That gives me hope for future charmingly non-working projects!" - Jessica Leader, author ofNice and Mean.
"I always wrote. It was how I expressed my feelings to my parents: writing notes in crayon, sticking it under their bedroom door and running away in footie-pajamas. I wrote my first full-length book at age 11. Its title was The Eye of the Ancients and it had 365 pages and probably that many characters and subplots. (This was after I discovered I could write on the computer, but before I discovered things like editing, character arcs, or revision.) Over 20 years and a lot of learning later, I have a book deal!" - Dawn Metcalf, author ofSkin & Bones.
"I think I was around 15 or 16 when I decided I wanted to be an author. I’d always dabbled in writing stories, but I do remember making a conscious decision that I would be an author one day. I think the first book I actually finished was called Silver and Starcats, or something like that. It was an animal book about…you guessed it…alien cats." - Julie Kagawa, author of The Iron King.
"I cannot remember a time when I didn’t want to write a novel. I think I knew I would for sure in 1996 when I attended the Antioch Writers’ Workshop. It took more than ten years to get here, but I made it! My first novel, The Tension of Opposites, will be released May 25, 2010." - Kristina McBride, author ofThe Tension of Opposites.
"I've been trying to write novels since I was seven years old, because I was under the impression that authors made a lot of money (only if you're Steph Meyer). The year I turned fourteen I successfully finished my first novel, which I think was called Read My Mind (the title changed often). It wasn't so much that I decided to write a novel, it was that the story just came bursting out of me. I can't not write." - Steph Bowe, author ofGirl Saves Boy.
"I've been writing novels since about fifth grade, though the first novel I finished what called Shadow Kin, a 175,000 word epic fantasy with faeries, elves, and living goddesses. The usual. I was a senior in high school, and yes I tried to get it published. *shudder*" - Tessa Gratton, author ofBlood Magic.
"I didn't, actually! I'd written plays and short stories, so tackling a piece longer than five thousand words seemed like a huge undertaking! Eyes Like Stars started as a short story that just wouldn't stay short (and its title was All Her World's A Stage...)" - Lisa Mantchev, author of the Theatre Illuminataseries.
"Nope. The characters in a published short story wouldn’t let me alone until I wrote Island Sting." - Bonnie Doerr, author of Island Sting.
"No- I was a screenwriter for almost 15 years. I did short fiction as well- emphasis on the short. A novel was too much, too big, too ambitious. But in 2001, I was burned out on screenwriting, and I wondered if I might not be able to find 75,000 words of one story in my head somewhere. Turns out I did- it was a novel called The Weston Boys, which now lives in my drawer. I wrote the book that became Shadowed Summer in 2002- the first book I ever sold. (And I didn't sell that until 2007!)" - Saundra Mitchell, author ofShadowed Summer.
"I've been writing since I was in seventh grade, but I didn't get serious until about four years ago. At first I was just writing a book to share with my friends, sharing it with them by email chapter by chapter. But when it was done, I knew I'd found my passion. I've written about 15 books since then, the first published one being The Naughty List." - Suzanne Young, author ofThe Naughty List.
"My first attempt at a novel came while I was still in high school. I can’t even remember the name, but it was highly derivative (i.e., a ripoff) of Bel Kaufman’s Up the Down Staircase. Another novel that I wrote in high school was called Remember Me; still another was called Nightfall." - Jennifer Hubbard, author of The Secret Year.
Stop by on Tuesday to find what things these authors need close by while writing!
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