Friday, April 10, 2009

An Interview with Melissa Kantor

1. How did you first get the idea for The Breakup Bible?

I actually got the idea from my editor and friend, who watched me go through a LOT of breakups. She and I were having lunch and talking about my plans for my next book (I'd just scrapped an idea I'd been working on for a while). I REALLY owe her--by the time I left the lunch, I had an idea, by the time I got on the subway, I'd thought of a title, and by the time I was home, I had a plot. The book really seemed to write itself.

2. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Write a book you would want to read.

3. Who are some of your favorite Young Adult authors?

If we're talking Old School, my favorites are Norma Klein first and then Judy Blume. More recently, I just finished "The Hunger Games" and LOOOOVED it. Wow! And I love Rachel Cohn's "Gingerbread" and there's a book called "Dairy Queen" that I couldn't put down. And I devoured the Twilight series. Yum.

4. When did you first know you wanted to become a writer?

Even as a kid I wanted to write--I loved creative writing time in school. Though I later pursued other interests (in college I majored in political science and I went on to become an English teacher), I never stopped writing stories in my head.

5. Why did you choose to write YA Fiction?

Helen (my friend/editor with the idea for The Breakup Bible) was editing YA fiction and she was on me for years to write a YA novel. Now that I've written a few, I cannot imagine writing for adults. I think the lives of even the most average teenagers are just so intense. It's hard to duplicate that in the adult world. Like, if a grownup worked with someone she used to go out with and couldn't deal, I'd tell her to look for another job. But what can you do if you're a teenager and your ex-boyfriend is a fellow editor of the school paper--look for another school? If only.

6. What was it like finding out your first book was going to be published?

OMG!!! I was beyond psyched.

7. Do you have a special place where you do all of your writing?

It used to be cocobar in Park Slope, but now it's a cafe near my new house in Brooklyn.

8. Did you have any say on what the cover of The Breakup Bible looked like? Do you like it? If you could, would you change it?

I love it--I think the designers at Hyperion are so cool. There was an earlier cover that I didn't like, but they changed it. I know some people think it's too pink, but I like that the cover of the real book mimics the cover of Dr. Emerson's book.

9. If you could have any other profession, besides being an author, what would you choose to be?

Well, I'm an English teacher and I think that's the other greatest job in the universe.

10. Is there anything you would like to add?

I have a new book coming out in May called "Girlfriend Material." Look for chapter one on my website, soon. And keep your eyes open for "Invisible I," which is Book One of The Amanda Project.

I would like to say thanks to Melissa Kantor for doing this lovely interview with me.

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