Guest blog: Nancy Werlin

Today I have a very special blog post: an interview with YA author Nancy Werlin. Nancy is the author of many acclaimed YA novels, including a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award, Rules of Survival and one of my personal favorites, The Killer’s Cousin. Her most recent novel, Impossible, was chosen as School Library Journal Best Book of 2008, a Booklist Editor’s Choice for 2008, and a Kirkus Reviews Best YA book of 2008. I’ve been lucky to hear Nancy speak at conferences and further pleased and honored to meet her.

Do you have any writing rituals (time of day, place, food you eat, music you listen to)?

I seem to pick up a different routine every few years. Nowadays I like writing at a cafe. There’s a place called Peacuddy’s a short walk from where I live, and I’m also fond of Panera Bread. A writing day in the cafe begins in the morning with a large coffee, and then I order lunch (soup and salad are best), and if I’m still there around three, it’s time for a latte and possibly a treat.

I need to begin writing in the morning in order to think well. Since I fit writing in alongside a regular job (as a technical writer for a software company, three days a week), I don’t write every day. I actually get pretty angry when I hear some writers say that you’re not really a writer and are not really committed unless you write every day.

What is one question you wish an interviewer would ask you?

Ask me about love! (And you didn’t ask me to answer my own question, Alisa — so I won’t, not really. I doubt I could answer in a straightforward way, in an interview-ish answer sort of way, anyway.) But love is what I’m working on, these days, in my writing. My last novel, Impossible, was about love and family. My next, Extraordinary (due out in September, 2010) is about love and friendship. And soon I’ll get started on the new work, in which I want to think about love and forgiveness . . .

And faeries. There have to be faeries. I don’t really know why faeries feel so right to me these days, but they do.

Name a book or author who inspired you to write.

I’m a broken record on this one. It’s JANE EYRE by Charlotte Bronte. My favorite book since I was a teenager, my touchstone. This book is so alive. It deepens and reveals different layers upon every re-read. I probably will never write a book as moving and emotional and meaningful as JANE EYRE, but I plan never to stop trying.

JANE EYRE is of course about love, isn’t it?

Thank you, Nancy, for taking the time to answer my questions! (Note to self: be careful to word questions perfectly when you send them to such clever writers.) I wish you continued success and inspiration…and, of course, faeries.

Published in: on January 29, 2010 at 6:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

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