Sunday, May 10, 2015

Link: at Huff Post Books

A few highlights:

1. On the word "pretty"
Even though when I was a teenager I understood that it was great to be smart and talented and funny and brave, I was the most anxious about being pretty. I felt its importance really early on, and I took it on as a kind of goal. In some ways the word pretty is a little like the word love -- it only has the meaning we assign to it. There isn't a definitive pretty, but we act as if there is. I still feel the echoes of my concern with prettiness, it still feels like a large and important word to me, but in writing this book I hoped to dismantle it a bit -- for myself and for readers. I'd like to strip it of its importance, so that we can focus on all the other great things we can be. But for now, if I'm entirely honest, it's still a word that haunts me. 

2. On writing for teens vs. writing for adults
For now, I like writing from a teen perspective since I have some distance from that time in my life and the distance frees me up to write honestly and emotionally. But aside from that personal preference, I think the strategies and craft and emotional energy it takes to write a book remains the same. I am writing about teenagers, but mostly I'm writing about people. Teens are all reading adult novels in school, so there's no reason to write differently for them. The benefit of YA is that it is more squarely about things they might be experiencing and is taking their interior lives seriously. But in terms of craft or intent, I don't think there's a difference.


iLuvReadingTooMuch said...

Seriously love her answers! I have this one waiting for me on my shelf– I’m definitely looking forward to it after reading this :D

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