Wednesday, July 10, 2013

CAROLYN MACKLER: SCBWI Pre-Conference Interview

There are so many reasons I love SCBWI conferences, but one of the best parts of attending has been meeting and hearing from some of my very favorite authors. 

My go-to author as a young reader was Judy Blume. SCBWI full-filled my dream of meeting her. But my writer crush as a young-adult writer (as I started to dip my toes in the YA waters) was (still is) Carolyn Mackler. SCBWI has given me the opportunity to meet her and hear her speak, and this summer I'll get to do it again. Yay!

Carolyn Mackler is the award-winning author of many novels for teens including: the Printz Honor Book THE EARTH, MY BUTT, AND OTHER BIG ROUND THINGS; VEGAN VIRGIN VALENTINE (one of my very favorite books); and her most recent, THE FUTURE OF US, co-written with bestselling author Jay Asher. 

If it isn't enough to have her on this summer's conference faculty, Carolyn was kind enough to answer a few questions before we all gather in a few short weeks. 

Do you have a favorite part of the writing process?
I love finishing a draft of a novel – any draft, really – and finally letting someone read it and see what's been in my head for the past several months.  My husband is always my first reader, and I hover over his shoulder saying, "What part are you reading now?  Did that make you laugh?  Hang on, why are you laughing?  Did that make you cry?"  Finally I force myself to leave the apartment and let him read in peace.

Do you have a favorite piece of advice that was shared with you?
When I first started writing novels, Judy Blume told me that she reads sections out loud to hear how they sound.  This is enormously helpful for me.  I catch so much in the editing process when I read out loud – words I repeated, dialogue that doesn't sound organic.  It's always funny to sit at my desk, reading and gesturing to an empty room.  I wonder what people in neighboring buildings think!

What is your favorite writing fuel?
 Coffee.  I can't imagine writing without coffee.  Coffee, vanilla soy milk, sugar.  That's my vice.

Can you give us any hints about the project you are working on now?
I'm working on a YA novel called EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN.  It's a big one – five teenagers over all four years of high school.  They meet at freshmen orientation and vow to reconvene at graduation.  I'm in revisions now.  It's about 400 pages, so it's a looong process.

I know I can't be the only one anxious to get my hands on that one!

Want even more of Carolyn before the conference? 

Still need to register for the conference? Click HERE to not miss Carolyn and the rest of the amazing faculty. The conference is nearly sold out!

Conference Hashttag: #LA13SCBWI

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