Thursday, November 11, 2010

Stephanie Perkins on Talk Back Thursday

Stephanie Perkins is the author of ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, slated for release on December 2nd. In her spare time she does exciting things like dye her hair blue and fantasize about HBM’s (Hot British Males)!


Welcome to Talk Back Thursdays. Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed. Congratulations on the upcoming publication of ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS. Tell us a little bit about it.

Thank you, Claire Dawn! It's an honor to be here. ANNA is about finding true love in the City of Light. (Finding true love with . . . a totally hot boy with a French name and an English accent!) Here's the official description:

Anna was looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris — until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all . . . including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss? Stephanie Perkins keeps the romantic tension crackling and the attraction high in a debut guaranteed to make toes tingle and hearts melt.

And Étienne’s accent? Is there a particular HBM you hear when you think of him?

HA! There is, but the information is top secret. I'd much rather have my reader think of their *own* Étienne.

So, you started this book on nano (wrimo)? I’m always thrilled to discover fellow –er- nanners?-um. Tell us a bit about your writing process.

Yes, I did! That's cool that you do it, too! My daily process varies, depending on what stage of a project I'm in (first draft, revising, editing, etc). But I'm a night owl, so I usually begin work at about 10 or 11 pm and work until sunrise. Unless I get distracted by Twitter. Or email. Or a cool video on YouTube. Then I'm doomed for the rest of the night.

My long-term writing process is, well, long! I start with the 50k NaNo draft in November, let it stew for a few months, and then I rewrite the entire thing slowly over a period of several months. This period involves a LOT of research, and my novel usually bulks up to about twice the size. And then I begin my next draft, which is my favorite part of writing—stripping out the unnecessary parts, building up the better parts, making it prettier. After this one, I begin showing it to my critique partners, and then I do a few more drafts. Then my agent sees it. Then I do another draft. Then my editor sees it. MANY more drafts follow that!

I'm a slow writer. And I'm very nitpicky and rarely satisfied. If I didn't have deadlines, I'd never stop editing.

We’ve heard from the “I randomly met my agent in Starbucks “ to “I’ve been hammering away at this industry for 12 years” stories. What was your road to publication like? What’s your relationship with your agent like? And why is your hair blue?

(A) My road to publication was . . . exhausting. Wonderful! But exhausting. Things began happening much faster for me once I took writing seriously as a FULL-TIME JOB, and accepted that a lot of yucky things come with FULL-TIME JOBS (like responsibility, a huge commitment of time, and a loss of leisure activities). A full, detailed breakdown of my specific journey with ANNA is available in the second half of this blog post.

(B) My agent is Kate Schafer Testerman, aka Daphne Unfeasible. I discovered her as most writers do, through her best friend/client, YA writer Maureen Johnson. Kate was my dream agent for years—the ONLY agent, as far as I was concerned!—and it's a joy to be represented by her. She works hard, and she plays hard. I love that in a person.

(C) I don't really know, to be honest. Blue isn't even my favorite color! I'd just always liked the *idea* of blue hair. I've had it for over two years now, and I'll probably have it for about two more. It's become a part of me. I don't even notice it when I look in the mirror!

So, what’s up next for Stephanie Perkins?

Next fall, my publisher (Dutton) will release LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR. It's a companion novel to ANNA which means that it has some character and story overlap, but it's not a direct sequel. It's made to stand alone. It's not set in Paris, but it is another romantic comedy!

Many of us here at Points of Claire-ification dream of some day being where you are. Any advice for aspiring writers?

The first several years of writing are hard for EVERYONE. It takes a long time to be good enough for publication, and the only way you'll get there is by practicing. Write daily. Being published is an achievable goal, but it only comes with hard work. Work isn't easy, and it's not often fun. But the reward? Pretty freaking amazing.

Thank you for visiting with us, Stephanie and good luck with the book.

Thanks again for having me! I always love seeing your name in my blog comments!


Still swooning from the comment love! But seriously guys, add this to your TBR lists. It looks soooo awesome! I can’t wait. Do the scream of t. Do the scream of t. Also, swing by and help Steph celebrate the recent sale of the third companion novel, Isla and the Happily Ever After.

Oh, and because I loves you so muchy! I'm giving away


Just leave a comment to be entered.


KO said...

Stephanie-- your hair rocks. Claire Dawn, thanks for the interview-- really cool! It's nice to see someone who has "made it" and also hear that it's about hard work!!! very inspiring! sorry, too many exclamation points!!!

Lydia Sharp said...

Also a fan of the hair. And British accents. Great interview!

Sarah Enni said...

I am looking forward to this book so much I actually DREAMED about it. WOW. This was an awesome interview Claire, Steph is so fun to read about!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for the interview. I've heard so many good things about this book. Great advice to write daily and expect it to be hard work. Good luck Steph with your book.

Brooke said...

I've heard such spectacular things about this book, and I can't wait to get my hands on it. This was a great interview. I adore Stephanie and follow her blog, too.

Aleeza said...

hey, where'd my comment disappear!? well, anyway, it was about how awesome i think steph is. the blogger and the author (though i havent read her work yet--i still know ill love it when i do :D). really nice interview claire!