Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fresh New Voice of YA- Interview with Tom Dolby

1) How did you get the idea for Secret Society?

I've always loved stories about secret societies, and the idea of one that recruited teenagers was particularly appealing. Who wouldn't want to be part of a secret society?

2) What was The Call like for Secret Society? Where and when did it happen? Tell us all the details!

I was in California and I had a cold, as I had just finished my book tour for my last novel, THE SIXTH FORM, and was totally exhausted. My agent called me and said HarperCollins wanted to buy the first two books in the series. It was incredibly thrilling.

3) What are you working on now? Can you tell us anything about it?

I am working on the sequel to SECRET SOCIETY, which contains some surprising twists, as well as a novel for adults.

4) What brought you to the YA genre? Have you always been a fan or are you still pretty new to it all?

I am a fan, though I don't get to read as much as I would like.

5) What is your favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor?


6) What book(s) are you reading now, or are about to start?

I'm enjoying the TALENTED MR. RIPLEY series. Most people don't know that there are four other books after the one that was made into the movie starring Matt Damon. They're fun because they're all about imposters and fakes -- a theme that runs through SECRET SOCIETY as well.

7) Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Just keep working at your craft, and never give up. Persistence is the key.

8) You co-edited an anthology with Melissa de la Cruz called Girls Who Love Boys Who Love Boys. How did the idea for the anthology come about, and how did you get involved with it? Was it fun to do?

It was a lot of fun, as well as a lot of work. Melissa had the idea after we had spent a long weekend together in California. It was amazing working with so many talented writers.

9) In both your book and in Becca Fitzpatrick's book Hush Hush, the name Patch is used for a main character. I found this intriguing since I didn't know that both books had the same unusual name before selecting them. How did you come up with the name Patch and what made you use it for that character?

I actually had the name Patch in mind for a character in another novel, and there was a whole backstory about how he had injured his eye in a bunsen burner accident, and wore an eyepatch (though the real story was that he was just wearing it to gain attention). Bizarre, I know. And so while that backstory didn't come along with this version of Patch, the name stuck -- I liked it because it was sort of scrappy and rebellious, which fits his character.


  1. Interesting interview! These are always fun posts since you never really know what will be covered. It's funny...I actually ran across his FICTION title last night at the book store...recognized the name...and then checked the author bio to make sure I wasn't just seeing things. Sure enough, same person. It's an adventure reading any new-to-you author's books, but when they have some in several genres it definitely makes you wonder which will be the front runner. (oh, and Secret Society was really good! I've got my copy at home...just waiting to be re-read)

  2. I LOVED Seceret Socitety! I screamed when I got a galley of The Trust. Legit.