Jacqueline Green, author of the Truth or Dare series, and my YA Fangirling compatriot for saying “Tag – you’re it!” to me for this author/illustrator blog tour.
Without further ado, here are my answers:
What am I currently working on?
I actually have several works-in-progress at the moment, but today in particular, I’m working on a revision of a book I’m particularly excited about called Faceless, which will publish next fall. Faceless is the story of a girl named Maisie Winters who is in a terrible accident – as a result of which, she needs a face transplant. Researching this book has been fascinating. Fewer than 30 face transplants have ever been performed (most of them partial), and there are only a handful of hospitals in the country that are equipped to do them at all. And as interesting and almost out of this world as the science behind this story is, I still feel like it’s relatable somehow – because it’s also just the story of a girl trying to figure out who she is, and who she wants to be.
Why do I write/illustrate what I write/illustrate?
Now that writing is my full-time job, I definitely approach it that way – as a job. I have deadlines to meet, responsibilities to fulfill, stories to tell. But I only ever got to this point because for a long time before, I was just that person who was always writing. I had notebooks filled with short stories as a little kid and a diary I hid in my sock drawer. I had file after file of essays and tall tales throughout high school and I took every single writing class I could fit into my schedule at college. So (cliché though it may be), I guess the answer to why to I write is that it’s just kind of what I do, what I’ve always done, what I can’t stop doing.
How does my individual writing/illustrating process work?
So far, my process has been different for every book I’ve written. I wrote my first few books while I was still working a different full-time job, so I wrote the books in fits and starts, on evenings and weekends and the occasional vacation day or summer Friday. I didn’t outline, but I did write tons of notes – I would say that my first book was probably the most made-up-as-I-went-along of any of my books. I had a detailed outline for my fourth book, Second Star, and a very very rough outline for my fifth – Faceless, which I’m currently revising. I feel like I learn something different about how to write a book with each book that I write, and I kind of like that I have different approaches for each. So far, all of my stories have been so different, and the voices so varied, that it seems appropriate that writing each of them has been such a different experience.