Today, I’ve got a treat for you; two for the price of one! Mary Crockett and Madelyn Rosenberg, authors of the upcoming DREAM BOY, dropped by today to answer some questions about their process and the book. Enjoy!
When did you start writing?
Madelyn: When I was 10. I was a journalist before I started writing for kids (and still am from time to time) so for my adult life, I’ve always written in some form or another.
Mary: I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing. I’m relatively certain there were a few years in there when I was just drooling on anyone who came close and pooping in my diapers (which even a hipster could not consider “writing”), so let me put it this way: I can’t remember a time when words were not important to me. The first work I fully recall creating was an epic poem about a little girl named Amy and her army of ants that teamed up to save the earth from nuclear disaster. I worked damn hard on that poem. Page upon page of rhyming couplets. That was when I was about 8.
Are you a pantser or a planner?
Madelyn: Pantser. I actually tried one story as a planner, and it’s taking me YEARS to finish. My theory is that because I planned it, I know what’s going to happen so I’m not as hungry to fill in the details. When I write as I normally do — without a plan — I have to keep going because I have to find out what happens next. When Mary and I wrote Dream Boy, we were definitely pantsers the whole way through. But when we started editing the story together, we had to become planners. I’m not sure that fits either of our M.O.’s, but it was necessary.
Can you give us an idea of your writing process?
Madelyn: I tend to let things float around in my head a long time before I start writing. When I do write, my process seems to be: Eat spoonful of Nutella. Write. Take computer on porch. Write. Check Internet. Write. Check Internet. Sometimes I use Mac Freedom, but I’ve also started writing by hand just to get away from the computer in general.
Mary: I let the writing do the thinking for me. I’m down with Madelyn’s Nutella-Internet method too. Though for me, it’s more often the Chocolate-Twitter-Peanut method. Not very productive, but irresistible.
Which authors have influenced your work?
Mary: I was hugely influenced by the poet Fred Chappell as a young writer.
I started writing YA, though, because I started reading YA. In fact, it was Madelyn who turned me on to E. Lockhart’s The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, which may have been the first book of contemporary YA I read.
Since then, I’ve been reading stuff by Kristin Cashore, Lois Lowry, Veronica Roth, Geoff Herbach, Patrick Ness, Rainbow Rowell, Mark Haddon, etc. (And, in the uber-popular realm, of course Suzanne Collins, Stephenie Meyer, and J.K. Rowling). I wouldn’t say these guys influenced my writing exactly, but they certainly showed me that the young adult audience is eager for vibrant, imaginative, and compelling stories.
Madelyn: Maybe it’s easier for me to say who hasn’t: Marcel Proust.
What are you plans/future projects/new releases that we should be aware of?
Madelyn: Next year, look for Dream Boy with Mary, Nanny X, a middle grade, and How to Behave at a Tea Party, a picture book.
Mary: Lots of things in the works, but nothing I’m ready to talk about yet.
Any tips for new writers?
Any tips for old writers?
Madelyn: Write. Take time out to celebrate every single step. Never, ever look at Goodreads.
Mary: Don’t get too comfortable. Write into the crazy. Write into the unknown.
About DREAM BOY:
Annabelle Manning is her high school’s biggest dreamer. And why not, when the only other option is facing the eternal sameness of life in a small, southern town? 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.
About Mary and Madelyn
Mary Crockett likes turtles, licorice, and the Yankees. Madelyn Rosenberg likes cats, avocados, and the Red Sox. Luckily they both like the weirdness of dreams (and each other) enough to write novels together. The friendship has survived 3 moves, 6 kids and countless manuscript revisions. Madelyn (Canary in the Coal Mine) lives in Arlington, Va., just outside of D.C. Mary (A Theory of Everything: Poems) remains in the mountains near Salem, Va.
CONNECT with Mary and Madelyn
Mark DREAM BOY for your “want to read” list on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18478539-dream-boy
Follow Mary on Twitter @marylovesbooks
Follow Madelyn on Twitter @madrosenberg
Check out Mary’s blog: www.marycrockett.com
Check out Madelyn’s blog: www.madelynrosenberg.com
Check out the DREAM BOY Pinterest board: http://www.pinterest.com/madelynruth1/dream-boy/
Pre-order DREAM BOY: http://www.amazon.com/Dream-Boy-Madelyn-Rosenberg/dp/1402295839
Like Mary Crockett on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marycrockettbooks
Like Madelyn Rosenberg books on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/madelynrosenbergbooks
Follow Mary on Tumblr: http://marycrockett.tumblr.com/