"In the performing arts, if you and two of your friends go to the same audition, and one of you gets it, it means the other two of you didn’t. And while you can be happy for your friend who got it, it directly impacts you in a negative way. In writing, if one of your friends gets a book deal it doesn’t mean you don’t get a book deal. In fact, if someone gets a book deal that is similar to yours or in a similar genre and it does well, it actually benefits you. So you can be supportive of the community. … In fact, as the tide rises all the boats go up. It makes it easier to be supportive."
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- Gretchen McNeil, author of GET EVEN (out this week!), TEN, and POSSESS, on the supportive YA community. Listen to the whole conversation here, or on iTunes or Stitcher!

"A lot of people have this problem where there’s an endless loop of revising, especially the first act, because it’s comfortable. It’s easier to go back … than pushing through the part of the book that’s more difficult to write. That’s why whenever someone asks me what advice I’d give young writers I say, ‘Finish the book.’ It’s no more complicated than that."
- Gretchen McNeil, author of GET EVEN (out this week!), TEN, and POSSESS, on pushing through to write The End. Listen to the whole conversation here, or on iTunes or Stitcher!

Gretchen McNeil, author of YA books POSSESS, TEN, 3:59, and GET EVEN (out this week, from Baltzer + Bray!) welcomed me to her home in L.A. for a great conversation about the pros and cons of fast drafting, grassroots marketing, and how to balance being a writer and an extrovert. And her adorable puppy Wolfgang makes an appearance, too!

Gretchen McNeil Show Notes

The 24 Italian Opera songs

TITHE by Holly Black

WICKED LOVELY by Melissa Marr

Stanislavski acting questions

Nosferatu

Boris Karloff

Amy Lukavics

T.S. Ferguson (Amy’s editor at Harlequin TEEN)

Stephanie Perkins

Leigh Bardugo

RT = Romantic Times Book Lover’s Convention

ALA = American Library Association

Cindy Pon

Diane Setterfield, THE THIRTEENTH TALE

"There isn’t a right way to write. I know especially beginners want to know the answers so we can all apply it and do it the right way and have success like everyone else, or what we see out there. But my process is really different from other people and that’s okay. Trying to force it so that I could have an answer when someone asked ‘What are you working on?’ just really didn’t work. But the experience wasn’t a failure. I don’t think any word written is wasted because you learn from it. Even the experience of putting it on the shelf and abandoning this project that I really did care about, but wasn’t able to make work at the time, that taught me a lot too. I feel like I have more self confidence as a writer having been through that process and saying, you know what? This doesn’t work for me."
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- Heidi Schulz, author of MG fantasy HOOK’S REVENGE, on what she learned from shelving a project. Listen to the full interview here, or on iTunes or Stitcher!

"I distinctly remember walking home from the library after turning in Little Women, then going to the grocery store and with my allowance buying a Stephen King novel. So I graduated from Little Women to Stephen King in one day. … If there were transitional books, I didn’t know them. Stephen King and V.C. Andrews were my middle grade."
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- Heidi Schulz, author of MG fantasy HOOK’S REVENGE, on middle grade options, then and now. Listen to the full interview here, or on iTunes or Stitcher!

"One thing I remind myself of is that Twitter can feel like it’s productive because you’re connecting with your readers, or you’re networking, or you’re reading things that other professionals are saying. I heard someone once refer to that kind of work as your ‘shadow’ career. You can build that, really feeling like you’re doing something, and it feels better than the hard work that will actually move your career forward."
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- Heidi Schulz, author of MG fantasy HOOK’S REVENGE, on balancing social media and writing. Listen to the full interview here, or on iTunes or Stitcher!

Debut MG author Heidi Schulz talks reimagining Neverland for HOOK’S REVENGE, the pros and cons of chicken husbandry, and the only bad way to draft a novel.

For more of my interview with Heidi, including the story of why she hates giraffes, click here!

Heidi Schulz Show Notes!

Australorp breed of chickens

J.M. Barrie, author of PETER PAN and PETER PAN AND WENDY

Peter Pan (2003 film)

Brooks Sherman, Heidi’s agent

John Hendrix, illustrator for HOOK’S REVENGE

Heidi’s drawing of a sad robot being launched into space 

Claire Legrand, MG author

Emma Trevayne, MG author

KidLit authors Beverly ClearyDiana Wynne Jones, and Judy Blume

Authors of creeptastic things, Stephen King and V. C. Andrews

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