I recently wrote about the book, 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher and guesses of guesses what? He's agreed to do a Q&A with me for this very special blog of mine!
Thank you Jay, for giving me this awesome oppertunity and I all my lovely readers really and absolutely completely totally love it!
* When did you first start to write?
I've enjoyed writing my entire life. From elementary school to high school, whenever I had to do a creative writing project, I tried to think outside the box and expand on the assignment. Usually, that meant doing extra work...but it was fun! Sometimes teachers did give me a lower grade because I didn't follow their narrow and restricting rules, but then sometimes I got bonus points.
*Did you always want to be an author?
Ever since my first semester in college, yes. I actually enrolled in college thinking I would become an elementary school teacher, but I took a class called Children's Literature Appreciation and everything changed. For my final project, I wrote the text to two picture books. From then on, my goal was to become a published author.
* What was your first job?
McDonald's. I was in high school and I hated it. Whenever I go to a fast food restaurant (which is more often than I should), I always treat the employees with respect because I know how thankless those jobs can be.
*Are you writing anything at the moment?
I always have a few things going at any time. Right now, I've got two teen novels, a mid-grade, and two screenplays in various stages.
*How long did it take you to write 13 Reasons Why?
From when I came up with the idea to when I finished a solid draft, it took me three years. But during those years, it wasn't the only manuscript I was working on. At one point, I don't think I worked on it for six months. Had Thirteen Reasons Why been the only novel I worked on, I'm not sure how long it would've taken me,
*What inspires you?
Too many things! I'm constantly jotting down notes for new books. I wish one idea would hit me at a time, with no new ideas coming into my head until I've completed that first idea. But every new idea seems more exciting, which makes it hard to keep momentum going on whatever I should be working on.
*What do you think about your novel being made into a film?
I'm nothing but excited. It feels like a miracle that everyone involved at this stage shares a very similar vision. It's absolutely a movie being made by fans of the book.
*What are your favourite books?
My favorite book is Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. That's followed very closely by There's A Boy in the Girl's Bathroom by Louis Sachar.
*Did you use an agent to get 13 Reasons Why published?
I did. Because of some awards the manuscript won before it got published, I could've sold it without an agent. But I never would've found the absolute perfect publisher without her, and she's been extremely valuable from a business perspective.
*What tips can you give to aspiring authors?
Join a critique group to improve your craft, and write as honestly as possible. Especially when writing a book about serious issues, it can be difficult to write honestly. I kept thinking to myself, "But my grandma's going to read this!" I had to make sure I stayed focused on a teen audience the entire time. That's who I wanted to write it for. Thankfully, both of my grandmas also liked the book!
*What is the main reason you wrote 13 Reasons Why?
Even though there were several things I was trying to say with the book, the main reason I wrote it was because the idea intrigued me. The idea came with the premise fully formed, and it gave me the chills. That day, I wrote about the first ten pages. I'd never written anything for teens before, or anything that wasn't humorous, so it was definitely unusual for me. But it intrigued me so much, that I had to keep writing.
*Describe one of your characters in a sentence...
Tyler Down is a lot like Brian Krakow from My So-Called Life.
Keep reading, writing and being inspired!