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

Friday, February 26, 2010

Interview with Lynn Weingarten

Lynn was kind enough to let me ask her a few questions about her book, her writing, and herself. If you leave a comment on this blog post, you'll get an extra entry in the Wherever Nina Lies contest. For it to actually be considered an extra entry, it needs to be a substantial comment, not just "Commenting for extra entry!"; otherwise it'll be disqualified. And now, the interview!:

1) How did you get the idea for Wherever Nina Lies?

The idea came about kind of backwards way: Scholastic said they were looking to do a YA novel that would have drawings in it and I thought this sounded like a really fun idea, so I tried to come up with a story for which drawings would naturally fit.

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

I am working on two YA novels for Harper Collins (a book and a sequel), the first of which will be out sometime in 2011. They’re very different than WNL!

3) Looking at your bio, you've had quite a number of jobs in the past. What was your favorite one and your least favorite one?

Before I started writing full-time I worked at a book packager/media production company making up ideas/plots for books and then editing those books. That was a LOT of fun. And definitely my favorite job.

I’ve loved something about almost every job I’ve had though. Working at the coffee shop was exciting because it was my first job other than babysitting. I remember feeling like I was pretending to be a coffee shop worker and just so happened to be getting paid money to do it. Also, when cookies broke, we got to eat them (both of these details end up showing up in WNL). Working in Ireland was amazing because I was in Ireland and I had to wear a ridiculous little bakery hat which made the whole thing feel very Official. Working at the natural supermarket was fun because I like to use a cash register. The only job I didn’t totally love was waitressing because I worked the day shift at a bar that did most of its business at night and therefore never made any money. I quit the day a guy puked on the table. Not because of that actually, but because I was going to leave anyway and that just seemed like an appropriate time to do it.

4) What is your writing process like? Do you have any rituals that you have to do to get in the mood, or do you just sit down and write?

My only ritual is that I eat a lot of snacks while I’m writing. Although I guess this is less a ritual than something I like to do. Lately I’ve been eating a ton of red white and blue popsicles. I tend to write a lot very late at night. Sometimes while I’m writing I listen to a rainstorm mp3 on repeat which helps me concentrate.

Over the holidays my friend Lauren Oliver (author of the amazingly fantastic Before I Fall which, by the way, comes out next week!) gave me a little writing owl who now sits on my desk and watches me. When I’m getting a lot of writing done he’s all wide-eyed with excitement. And when I’m spending too much time on the internet he glares at me (also wide-eyed because, y’know, that’s just how his face is).

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

I’m about to start Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart.

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

Based on taste alone it’s a toss-up between pear, toasted marshmallow, watermelon, mint-chocolate, root beer, cappuccino, pink grapefruit and black licorice (which I know everyone thinks is gross, but I love.).

That said, my overall favorite is watermelon because they are green on the outside and red on the inside and actually look like very tiny watermelons. They are the only ones that look like what they taste like! If Jelly Belly ever starts making real bean flavored jelly beans then maybe watermelon will have some competition. But until then, that guy is the clear winner.

7) Have you always been a fan of YA, or are you still pretty new to it?

Always! Before I was writing YA, I worked in YA publishing, and before that I was a YA reading YA, and before that I was a kid who always stole her older sister’s books.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Lynn! :)


  1. Ooh this was a cool interview to read :)

  2. Great interview and the best answer to the jelly bean question :)

  3. Great interview! I love that she said she eats snacks while she writes...lol. Ah the muses we use to create!