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Book / Young Adult
I can't remember a time in my life when I wasn't obsessed with books. My mom used to read my sister and me a chapter of a book out loud every morning before school while we were eating breakfast - The Westing Game, Ramona the Pest, Watership Down. In school, I was always getting yelled at for reading in class when I should have been memorizing the state capitals or labeling South American countries on a map. (To be perfectly honest, I still have no idea which one is Paraguay and which is Uruguay -- but I can tell you the plot of every Judy Blume novel ever written.)
I took a bunch of literature classes in college, but always got behind, because after reading the assigned book, I would want to read everything else by that author. After devouring Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise, there was no way I could skip Gatsby or Tender is the Night to move on to Hemingway with the rest of the class. But as much as I loved books, it never occurred to me that I could actually write one. Instead I wrote screenplays and TV pilots and sketch comedy scenes.
But a couple years ago, I had a job as a script coordinator on a TV show where there was practically nothing for me to do, so I had eight hours a day free to work on my own writing. I was going through a bad breakup at the time, and one morning I ran into my ex-boyfriend at Starbucks. He was holding hands with a new girl, and it made me so angry that when I got to work, I sat down and made up a story about him coming to a painful, grisly, humiliating, entirely-satisfying end. Writing it made me feel better, and the friends I showed it to thought it was really funny and wanted to read more. So the next day I write another story about him, then another and another, and before I knew it, I was completely over my heartache, I had a couple hundred pages, and my first novel was born. That book never was published (which is probably for the best -- the last thing I needed was to have to see him every day in court while he was suing me for defamation of character!) but it made me realize if I could write that book, I could write another.
So I started working on my novel, POP!, and two years later, it was published by Razorbill Books. And as great as it felt to sell a novel, what really makes me happy is imagining that there's a girl out there somewhere this very minute who is so caught up in the characters and story I created that she's about to be yelled at by her teacher for reading my book, when she's supposed to be labeling Argentina and Brazil and Paraguay on a map.
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