Today, YA Writer Wednesday interviews Lizzie Friend, author of POOR LITTLE DEAD GIRLS
Find Lizzie online, here:
Welcome to YA Writer Wednesdays, Lizzie! What’s your book about?
POOR LITTLE DEAD GIRLS is about a girl who transfers from public school in Portland to her late mother’s alma mater, a ritzy prep school in DC, on a once-in-a-lifetime, couldn’t-possibly-turn-it-down scholarship. She falls in with a group of old money blue bloods and starts to realize that their wealth and power may not have been entirely accidental. There are creepy rituals, long-standing conspiracies, steamy trysts, and lots of designer gowns.
What inspired you to write it?
I’ve wanted to write a novel for about as long as I can remember, but I remember the exact moment when I decided to give it an actual shot. After that, of course, I waited at least two more years, spending hours on Sunday mornings starting and restarting outlines, or thinking romantically about how I was going to write without actually doing any actual writing.
After a solid year or so more of my dad pestering me constantly every time we talked on the phone (I swear I still hear, “Did you start your book yet?” whenever the phone rings), I finally just…started. I told myself to write worrying about what book I should write, or what book might sell, and just wrote whatever sounded like the most fun. I wrote a book I’d want to read on a beach somewhere, or on the couch with an Irish coffee when it’s -10 outside and the streets have been white for months. I took at all of my favorite plot elements–insulated, atmospheric environments; gothic villains, melodramatic conspiracies, indulgent love stories, and snarky bitches–and combined them together in a way that was as fun to write as I hope it is to read. About six months later I had the first draft ofPoor Little Dead Girls.
When is your book coming out?
The book launches in November, 2013.
Pre-order POOR LITTLE DEAD GIRLS, here:
Do you write from an outline or are you a “pantser”?
I’m an obsessive outliner. The first thing I do after getting an idea is start outlining, and I keep it going throughout the writing process. I’m constantly updating it, though, and the final outline looks nothing like the original. I didn’t really believe other authors when they told me this early on because it sounds so conveniently romantic and writer-y, but the plot does have a way of taking on a mind of its own. Once you’re in full swing with a manuscript, the act of writing feels a lot like reading. The scenes play out in your head the same way, and you have more control over what’s happening, but not by much.
Who’s your favorite author? What is it about his or her writing that has made you a fan?
Favorite author is such an impossible question, but the author I’m most excited about right now is Gillian Flynn. She writes such intelligent, truly surprising mysteries with unbelievably nasty female characters, which is much more of a compliment than it sounds. She’s an author that high-brow types like to criticize because she got so much hype for Gone Girl, but I don’t think she gets enough credit for her craft. She’s the only author I’ve ever read that can evoke truly visceral reactions from me on a regular bases, and she’s incredibly good at letting a plot unfold while keeping a reader guessing. For anyone who hasn’t read it, I recommend taking a look at the “For Readers” essay on her site, as it articulates what’s so great about her more than I ever could.
Are you a full-time writer or do you have a “day job”? What do you do in your “day job”?
I do have a day job that I love, though it’s definitely in a whole different world from YA fiction. I’m an analyst at a market research and consulting firm, and I cover the global restaurant industry for companies like fast food and coffee shop chains. I track trends in the industry, break down financial filings and publish insights and recommendations on everything from street food in Thailand to cafe culture in the UAE. I’m also a part-time grad student working my way towards a masters in analytics at Northwestern.
Why YA as opposed to some other genre?
I wasn’t a big reader of YA before I started researching it for my book, but I think it’s an incredibly worthwhile category and the resurgence that has happened in the post-Twilight years is really exciting. As one Grantland writer put it here, young adult novels strip away some of the noise that’s so common in adult novels and focuses on the core tenets of what storytelling is really about. Because of this, people like to think of YA as easier to write, but that’s not the case at all. Sure some things are streamlined, because you don’t have to deal with the banal details of adult life (jobs, bills, mortgages) but you also don’t have room for error. YA novels are shorter and tighter, and you don’t have time to mess around. I also feel like I’m at a point in my life where I can look back on the teenage experience with a certain level of clarity, but I need a bit more life experience and distance before I’ll be able to do the same for the adult years.
Who’s your agent? Take this opportunity to brag on him/her if you’d like!
My agent is the wonderful and talented Lauren MacLeod of the Strothman Agency. Couldn’t be happier, couldn’t recommend her more. Find out more about her submission guidelines and preferences here and here.
Thanks for joining us for YA Writer Wednesdays, Lizzie! Best of luck with POOR LITTLE DEAD GIRLS!
I am thrilled to be buried in words lately. My baby writing career is rolling over and babbling and sometimes spitting up all over me. There are firsts on the writing front for me around every corner. I’ve had the golden opportunity to work with YA Bound Blog Tours this month. They are amazing. Professional. Upbeat. Fun. Thanks to their efforts I now have 45 stops in one week on the official DECEIVED blog tour. It was very exciting to see that come together and now I have a *few* promo posts to write and some giveaways to secure. Meanwhile, I’m in the whole blog tour mindset and I was thinking….I want to set up a tour too, but my tour will feature the glorious trailers made for me by brilliant Kent State University students.
Two industrious students, Brittany Blair and Matt Petrunak accepted my begging plea for help and have donated their time, skills, sweat and even their friends to my cause. Who does that??? Besides these completely angelic beings? And that brown eyed beauty in Matt’s trailer? Cynthia. *sighs* She’s such a delight. Truly.
So, this is how I want this to play out. *Imagines a world of unicorns and rainbows….under attack by The Reaper* No. Not really, but that is interesting *taps chin*
Leave me a comment here if you’re interested in hosting the trailers on your blog. I’ll get the link, art, blurb and excerpt to you asap and we’ll launch the trailer tour in September. Blog hosts/hostesses receive a PDF of DECEIVED and my undying gratitude. *Full disclosure: the market value isn’t awesome but won’t you feel great about helping a fellow word nerd?* Commenters on your blogs who leave a comment about either trailer are entered to win a prize package — which I’m working up under cover of night and a cloak of invisibility.
Okay. That’s my spiel. Who’s in?
I’m in the edit/promo/revision stage of chaos these days, and I am failing at blogging. Then I got this great idea. It just came to me like *poof*. An excerpt. Yes. Let’s do this! So, I pulled a little sneak-peek-snippet from DECEIVED to share. Deceived is a YA suspense releasing in September from Merit Press. I hope you like to be teased!
DECEIVED by Julie Anne Lindsey
“Are you okay?” He looked much more dramatic than before. His eyes were too wide, perhaps with relief. The subdued expressions I’d grown used to had flared into what looked like barely tamped emotion.
“Yes. I was disemboweling pumpkins with a bunch of faculty and random citizens. You went to hunt a killer.” I suppressed the urge to laugh again. My nerves were stretched to the brink.
“I’m fine. You’re safe. We’re good.” He leaned across me and I completely stopped breathing. Pulling my seat belt back across my torso, he smiled.
“Thank you,” I whispered.
“It’s my job.”
The words were flat. My heart fell. “Your job.”
I turned my face away from him. The car didn’t move. I jumped when he touched my chin with one long finger.
“Chasing murderers is my job, Elle.” He narrowed his eyes when I turned to him. “Protecting you is much more than that. I told you. You’ve made it personal.” His voice grew tender. His expression tightened. “Even after you’ve gone to school in the fall and set up a new life for yourself, I’ll still be protecting you. Do you understand?” His eyes smoldered. My heart swelled at the words.
He shifted into gear, and we were gone.
Writing for Harlequin Superromance …
by Harlequin Author Rachel Brimble
Copyright © 2013 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
2013 has been a banner year for me and we’re only halfway through! In August, my fourth and final book of the year will be published and then I can take a little breather…I have been writing romance since 2005, steadily chipping away and learning my craft over the last eight years. Each book I’ve had published and each editor I’ve worked with has taught me something to take forward into the next project. I have had no formal education or tuition for my writing, but have enrolled in many online courses and made lots of invaluable friends to help me on my journey.
All the rejections (there have been MANY!) and disappointments, frustrations and tears were all made worthwhile during 2012 when my dream of writing for Harlequin came true. I wrote Finding Justice from the heart and of course, hoped and prayed an editor would love it as much as I did. However, nobody could have prepared me for the shock of receiving an email from my agent saying Harlequin loved the book but would I consider some minor revisions?
Would I?? Hot damn, yes! I set to work and made the relevant changes that I immediately accepted and understood made the book stronger. These done, I sent them back and three weeks later, I was offered a contract. Woohoo!
Since sending Finding Justice out into the big, wide world, the setting became very dear to me and I soon realized I wasn’t ready to let Templeton Cove belong to just one book. Would Harlequin consider more books set in the same fictional UK seaside town? There was only one way to find out. I feverishly wrote a sequel and A Man Like Him was accepted by my Harlequin editor six months later.
The cast of characters continues to grow and with each book I write in the series, more and more potential stories evolve from the secondary characters that leap into my imagination. I am thrilled to say in May this year, Harlequin offered me a further three-book contract, which means Templeton Cove will continue to flourish. Book three in the series, What Belongs To Her will be published in March 2014.
I often get asked what the secret is to breaking into Harlequin and as I struggle (and serious struggle!) with book four right now, I sometimes wonder myself how I did it, lol! The only aspect I am one hundred percent sure of is the Harlequin brand thrives on emotion. Emotion, emotion, emotion! Make sure the reader can feel what’s going on inside every character on every page and I’m pretty confident you’ll hook an editor. Good luck!
Rachel’s latest release is Finding Justice. Here is the blurb and buy links:
Copyright © 2013 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Old friends, new secrets
Sergeant Cat Forrester lives by her own set of rules. When her childhood friend is murdered, Cat’s world is thrown into chaos. Especially because Jay Garrett-a man from her past-is a suspect, and he needs her help to prove he’s innocent. After all they once shared, how can she say no?
The attraction flares between them, and getting involved with a suspect is a huge risk. But the more time Cat spends with Jay, the stronger the tug on her heart. He is the same caring, irresistible man she remembers. Yet she can’t let her emotions interfere with the case—solving it is top priority. But as she digs deeper, she discovers Jay has secrets that may jeopardize any possible future together.
Book Depository UK
Rachel lives with her husband and two young daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. In 2012, she sold two books to Harlequin Superromance. She also writes Victorian romance for Kensington–her debut was released in April 2013.
She has just recently signed a further three-book contract with Harlequin Superromance, continuing her ongoing series set in the fictional UK seaside town of Templeton Cove.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family and beloved black Lab, Max. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England…although she hopes a dream visit to Canada might just change her mind!
She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!
Find Rachel on the Web: