This week, we talk to Jody Gehrman, author of Triple Shot Bettys in Love (Dial, 1/09). Read on to learn about the domestically disabled author who became YA-curious a few years back.
1) What is your typical writing day like?
Get up, fix a caffeinated breakfast, sit down at the computer, procrastinate a bit with email/myspace/facebook, scold myself, and finally begin to write. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to be interrupted with a more well-rounded brunch fixed by my man. He’s a great cook, which is a good thing, since I’m domestically disabled. If I’m on a roll I’ll write all day, stopping in the afternoon to work out (kickboxing/yoga in my writing studio).
2) Why did you decide to write YA, especially after three Red Dress Ink books?
Well, when I got the idea for a novel set in an espresso shack, it somehow felt like a young story, with high school aged characters. Also, many of the writers I know who were writing adult fiction started crossing over into YA-Land about five or six years ago, and I started to get YA-curious. I tried reading YA and was amazed at this explosion of really fun, edgy, innovative fiction, so I wanted to try my hand at it.
3) What is the biggest surprise you’ve experienced when it comes to book publishing?
It’s a puzzling industry and it’s full of surprises. Of course, most writers are shocked to realize that much of the marketing is up to them (the writer). That did surprise me a little at first, though I was walking into it without huge expectations. I try to dream big but not get too discouraged when a book doesn’t do as well as I’d hoped. I figure even if a book only reaches a small number of readers, if it moves them, that’s what matters.
4) Do you ever have any “dark days,” when you wonder why you’re a writer? What are those like, and how to you get through them?
Oh, God! I have dark days, sure. Revision is the hardest time for me, especially when I put a first draft away, try to get some distance, then pull it out six months later and say, “What the %*# is this *%##@?” I just installed a punching bag in my writing studio for those moments of deep despair.
5) Authors talk about “the call.” Usually, it has to deal with getting an agent or getting published or getting an accolade. What was the best “call” you ever received in terms of your writing, and how did it go down?
That would have to be when my first adult novel, Summer in the Land of Skin, sold. It went to auction and my agent was calling me all day with new offers. I was walking around in circles from room to room, almost hyperventillating. It was pretty exciting.
For more Jody, visit her site.