Thursday, February 13, 2014

Interview with Mary Crockett

Today is your lucky day, Blogville! Yep: today is like a thousand Christmases feeding you chocolates in bed. What makes today so special? Well. I'm posting my recent interview with the adorable Mary Crockett, coauthor of DREAM BOY. And you get to read it.

For reals.


Check it out:

What inspired you to write DREAM BOY?

I've always been a little obsessed with dreams. I mean, how does it happen that we tell ourselves stories when we sleep? It's a remarkable thing—especially when those dreams have so much to tell us about our who we are and what we fear or want or believe.

To me, the interplay our dream-selves and waking-selves is fascinating. It seemed like it'd be a fun subject for a novel.

Can you tell us a little bit about your heroine?

Thanks, Marci, for giving me the chance to profess publicly for the first time that I absolutely LOVE Annabelle Manning. She's such a quirky girl, such a dreamer. I love how she looks at the world. She's an artist, so she notices things that other people wouldn't, but she doesn't say much out loud. Most of her thoughts are never verbalized through dialog. She might say, “yeah,” out loud and leave it at that—but meanwhile, while she's thinking a half dozen pretty cool things. I really enjoyed being in her head.

She'd get irked with me sometimes. I'm a poet in my other life and I love the ring of pretty words, so I'd try to get her something fancy to come out of her mouth. But she'd just stop me cold. It wasn't her, and she wasn't going to go there.

What drew you into the young adult genre?

It's pretty simple. I love teenagers. Maybe it's just their hormones kicking in for the first time, but they seem so alive. So full of ideas and drama and questioning and emotion and self-discovery and rebellion and outrageousness and humor and fun. Oh, and they're so smart. As smart as any adult, but they're not all “been there, done that” because they haven't been there, and they haven't done that. So much is happening to them for the first time—and that “firstness” makes it all so much more important and fresh and real.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I'd tell myself to pay attention to my gut feelings. To trust them. Usually in life when I've gotten into trouble, I've been ignoring my instincts.

And I'd tell myself to hold onto that olive green army surplus jacket. It was really cute and my daughter would probably love it.

Oh, and I'd keep taking education classes, even if they were boring. That time, I was trusting my gut, but my gut was lazy.

Do you ever get writer's block? Any tips to get past it?

Having Madelyn Rosenberg as my co-author for Dream Boy helped a ton with writer's block. When I got stuck, I'd send it to her and it would come back in a day or so with a whole new scene! That was the best! 

Now I'm writing on my own, and it's so much harder. I'm pretty slow. Sometimes I can't entirely tell the difference between writers block and my normal snail's pace.

When I finally do realize, however, that I have had time to work on a project and I still haven't gotten anything done, I might try a couple of things:

  1. I reread the piece from the beginning—editing as I go. Sometimes that can help get me moving again.
  2. I read something else. The kind of book I might want to write. I let myself escape from my own words by reading someone else's story.
  3. I drink coffee. Usually I only let myself drink coffee when I start getting a migraine, so I am a much perkier version of myself with a bit of caffeine.
  4. Sometimes the fact that I'm going to be interrupted (generally by one of my children) keeps me from going to that DEEP PLACE where you have to go to push yourself forward in a story. When that happens, I get some child care and go to the library and sit in a little room and tell myself I don't have to make sense, I don't even have to be AWARE of what I'm writing, but I am not leaving until I get 500 (or 1000 if I'm feeling spunky) words of something.


DREAM BOY is due out July 1, 2014, by way of Sourcebooks Fire---just around the corner!  Here's its GORGEOUS cover and a little blurb about the story:

Annabelle Manning feels like she’s doing time at her high school in Chilton, Virginia. She has her friends at her lunchtime table of nobodies: Serena, Talon, and geeky, reliable Will. What she doesn’t have are possibilities. Or a date for Homecoming. Things get more interesting at night, when she spends time with the boy of her dreams. But the blue-eyed boy with the fairytale smile is just that—a dream. Until the Friday afternoon he walks into her chemistry class.
Will doesn’t trust him. Talon suspects he’s an alien. Serena is pretty sure it’s all one big case of deja vu. While Annabelle doesn't know what to think, she's willing to believe that the charming Martin Zirkle may just be her dream come true. But as Annabelle discovers the truth behind dreams—where they come from and what they mean—she is forced to face a dark reality she had not expected. More than just Martin has arrived in Chilton. As Annabelle learns, when dreams come true, so do nightmares.

Awesome, right?  I seriously can't wait for this to come out!!

Here's a bit more about Mary, who apparently is also rather skilled at featuring in adorably cute pictures while not even looking at the camera:

A native of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, Mary grew up as the youngest of six children in a family of misfits. She has worked as everything from a history museum director to a toilet seat hand model. In her other life, she's an award-winning poet, professional eavesdropper, and the person who wipes runny noses. If you tweet at her (@MaryLovesBooks), chances are that she'll tweet back.

Lastly: Mary is everywhere! Check out her links (FYI you must see her website. Amazeballs).


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