Thursday, March 1

Meredith Zeitlin: Author Interview

I got the opportunity to ask a few questions of Meredith Zeitlin, author of Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters. Let us see what she had to say:

Since Kelsey isn't based on your own experiences where did you find your inspiration? Oh - if you're referring to what it says in my bio, that was just a joke. Kelsey's story is absolutely inspired by my own experiences; though some details have been changed (to protect the innocent!), almost everything that happens to Kelsey happened to me at around the same age.

What made you choose to write a fourteen year old character? Well, to start with I just started writing and let the story - and the character - unfold. But I think there's something really special about that age... the idea of a new beginning, with so much possibility, and the decks stacked so high against you at the same time. Making Kelsey 14 gave me the opportunity to throw her into some scary and exciting situations really organically.

Thinking back a bit, what was that moment like when you found out your book was getting published? It was pretty surreal. My agent had been shopping the book for almost a year at that point, and we'd gotten a few "great rejections" - that's when an editor says she loved the book, and she's sure it'll get bought, but it just isn't right for her publisher. Which is encouraging... but frustrating. When I got the call from my agent I just sort of started giggling like a loon and dancing around the apartment. Then I called my mom!

Favorite thing about being a published author? Well, the book isn't actually out yet (tomorrow!!) but I think it might be having an actual book in a bookstore that I can go pick up and hold. Is that super lame? Just the idea of having a concrete item to point to is pretty amazing, especially since my other work - which I love, don't get me wrong - isn't exactly tangible. 

When you first thought about what job you would hold in the future what was your choice? If you followed your young dreams, is it all you thought it would be? If you chose a different path, are their any regrets? I always wrote, but I thought I was going to be a professional musical theatre actor. That was the track I was on for years. While I miss singing, I don't regret quitting performing when I did - I realized it wasn't for me after all at around 24, and I'm lucky I had friends and family who supported my decision to go in a different direction. Otherwise I might have kept trying to do it in a "But this is what I'm supposed to be doing!" way, and would have wasted a lot of time being unhappy. 

Favorite personality traits for a fictional character? Snarkiness, definitely. A sense of adventure. And true kindness underneath everything else.  

A question for Kelsey:
In the future do you plan to continue your goal to put yourself out there, or is it time to take a back seat for a bit? Huh. You know, it never occurred to me to take a back seat! I guess I could... but that sounds kind of boring, doesn't it? Better to press on, I think. Besides, there's no WAY sophomore year could be as insane as this year was, right? I mean... right?!

You can find more about Meredith and her book through: Facebook/ Twitter/ Website