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Thursday, March 31, 2011

More Author Insight: Writing under wraps

  Have you ever hidden something you’ve written from a family member? Why? 

"As I've been writing since kindergarten, my entire family has always known that at any given time I was toiling away at one literary opus or another. But most of my family members, including my mother, hadn't read any of it until they received ARCs for Wither. Years after my father's death, I found out that he used to read my school essays when I left them in the printer, which gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. I kept my stories to myself because my early writings were as intimate as diary entries to me, and not meant to be shared." - Lauren Destefano, author of Wither. 

 "I'd say no.  I have a great family and a great family life. I don't use my writing to work out any "issues" I have with my family, so I have no reason to hide it from them.  I was slightly embarrassed when I found out that my mom was showing all her friends my book prior to actually reading it.  When she finally did read it and realized she'd been showing her friends a book full of penis jokes, she admitted to be a little red in the face.  But she never apologized for me. I could write anything and my family would support me." - Shaun David Hutchinson, author of The Deathday Letter.

"No." - Andrea Cremer, author of Nightshade

"If something's hidden from a family member, it probably means that it's hidden from the entire world. I have files upon files of story ideas, snippets, failed paragraphs, etc. on my computer, but they will never see the light of day. Ever." - Robin Benway, author of The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June

"Nope, but my mom once asked me if I’d consider using a pen name for my adult paranormal romance books (the ones with the graphic sex scenes). I declined. (My mom, to show her support of my writing, came to an erotic reading I participated in. My mom rocks. :)" - Jackie Kessler, author of Rage

"Not actively hidden, no, but sometimes I've kept quiet about something I was working on because it was really personal to me." - Cynthia Hand, author of Unearthly.

"Nope." - Judith Graves, author of Under My Skin.

"They wish. Some of that early stuff was awful." - Rae Carson, author of The Girl of Fire and Thorns.

"For a long time I didn’t let anyone in my family read my writing, so you could say that until last year, I hid everything I’d written from my family. It’s always been such a private thing for me—until it wasn’t anymore, and I had to let the secrecy go." - Veronica Roth, author of Divergent

"Yes, one short story I wrote. I was worried about showing my dad because it touched on a hurtful part of our family history and I was worried it would hurt him that I'd turned it into fantasy. He LOVED it." - Myra McEntire, author of Hourglass.


"Other than some bad fanfic in high school, no! And I only hid that because it was probably kinda porny. ;)" - Rachel Hawkins, author of Demonglass

"Well, my nine-year-old cousin asked me if he could read my book…and it’s too mature for him, so I had to say no. Actually, that’s not true—I told him he’d have to ask his parents :) But other than that? No. I’m exceptionally close with my family—even my 87 year-old grandfather has read my book—he even gave me feedback before I had my agent. And after reading my novel, my grandmother has become a huge YA fan. She’s Team Jem (of Clockwork Angel fame), by the way, and recently read The DUFF by Kody Keplinger and loved it." - Michelle Hodkin, author of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.

"I stopped showing my newspaper columns pre-publication to my now ex-husband, because his method of criticism usually resulted in me crying in the bathroom. It was easier to let him read them in the paper like everyone else." - Sarah Darer Littman, author of Life, After.

 "All the time. My journals and my private domain. Back off, people." - Mitali Perkins, author of Bamboo People.

"No. I used to be embarrassed, but not now. People read my work at their own risk." - Dia Reeves, author of Slice of Cherry.

"In high school I wrote a short story for a class assignment that was based on a true story.  I didn’t realize that the teacher selected some of the stories for entry in a contest being held by the school newspaper.  When I found out my piece had won, and was going to be printed in the paper, I didn’t want anyone to know I’d written it.  I’m hazy as to why, but it had something to do with it being a 'nonfiction' piece and I think I’d made up some of the details?  Or maybe I hadn’t, and I didn’t want anyone to know the truth!  I don’t remember.  But I do recall that I changed my name to Alexandra Hamilton—an oh-so-clever play on the name of Alexander Hamilton, who I much admired at the time.  For some other unknown reason.  Anyway, point is somebody changed it back to my real name before the story appeared in the paper, so my attempt at hiding it didn’t pan out.  Which is basically par for the course." - Emily Wing Smith, author of The Way He Lived.

"Not necessarily hidden, but I’m still not sure that my daughter’s boyfriend realizes there’s an entire scenario in Desires of the Dead that’s based on something my daughter did to him (Hint: it’s something Chelsea makes her new boyfriend do in the book).  I thought it was hilarious so I incorporated it in the story.  He’ll know soon enough, I suppose!" - Kimberly Derting, author of Desires of the Dead.

"Nope!" - Kristi Cook, author of Haven.

"I write a lot of personal self-indulgent crap that I don’t share with anyone, but I don’t go through the trouble of hiding it.  People would either get bored pretty quickly, or not be able to read my handwriting." - Holly Hoxter, author of The Snowball Effect.

Come back Tuesday to find out what is the most interesting thing the authors have learned about themselves on their journeys as writers!

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