Check out my interview with Katie Finn, author of Top 8, which I just reviewed recently! A big fan of Facebook or other social networking sites? This might be the book for you!
Onto the interview:
1. What inspired you to write Top 8?
Well, at some point a while back I realized that I was completely addicted to my social networking sites. And I noticed that it was changing the way my friends and I were communicating. So I started thinking about how a story could be told using the framework of one of those sites – and then the story just came from there!
2. Did you base any events or characters from Top 8 on events that happened in your own life/people you actually know?
Not in any big ways -- I just used some small details. For example, I based the two towns in the novel, Stanwich and Putnam, on my hometown of Greenwich , Connecticut . And Madison shares my taste in books and theater. Also, I have a friend who is obsessed with all things French, so the character of Lisa was a little nod to her. The thing that was probably the most directly taken from real life was the Jimmy and Liz stuff. Two of my friends went through an ugly breakup and were constantly changing their MySpace names to insulting, revealing things, like Jimmy and Liz do in the novel. I remember at the time thinking, “I'll have to use this someday…” J
3. What's your favorite part about being an author?
I have LOVED getting feedback from readers! It’s just the best thing ever. I’ve gotten lots of comments, and it’s just so amazing to hear from people who’ve read your work.
4. Any least favorite parts of being an author?
I have to say, I really like most of it so far! But there are definitely days where the writing is a struggle and I sit in front of the computer for hours with no success. That's not any fun, and too many of those days in a row can start to feel discouraging. But it's all part of the process.
5. Any favorite YA books?
Sooo many! This is going to have to be a very abbreviated list; otherwise it would run on for pages. But I LOVE Sarah Dessen, Maureen Johnson, Meg Cabot, and Shannon Hale. I also love the books Bad Kitty by Michele Jaffe and King Dork by Frank Portman, and I just finished Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway, and really liked it. I also love David Levithan and Rachel Cohn.
6. Who was your favorite character to write about in Top 8?
It came as a surprise to me, but I really enjoyed writing Kittson. I had really not been expecting that. I think her character definitely became more prominent because I had such fun writing her.
7. What kind of computer do you use when you write? (is it bright pink like Madison 's?)
I wish! You can actually get your computer painted pink, and I really thought about it a few years ago. I guess putting it in the novel was my way of trying that out. I write on a Mac PowerBook that’s currently on its last legs. I desperately need a new one. Maybe I’ll get that one painted pink… J
8. Are you working on any other YA novels at the moment?
I am! I’m about 1/3 of the way through my new novel. It’s a little darker than Top 8, and with a main character who isn't quite as confident as Madison – she’s a little more like Schuyler, come to think of it. I don’t really want to go into specifics yet, but I’m having a lot of fun with it right now.
9. Any advice for aspiring authors?
Read and write as much as you can. I think there’s no better way to learn. Also, plot is important. I have an unfinished, 500-page novel in a drawer, because I realized at some point that it was just my characters talking to each other and wasn’t actually going anywhere. Now, I like to know my beginning, middle and end before I start writing. But mostly, the best advice I can give is to just sit down and write! Writing is like anything else -- you only get better with practice.
Katie Finn grew up in Manhattan and Greenwich , Connecticut . She now lives in Brooklyn and only checks her MySpace and Facebook three—okay eight—times a day. Friend-request her at www.myspace.com/katiefinnwrites or write on her Facebook wall!
Thanks to Ms. Finn for taking the time out to do this interview! I hope you get the a new computer of whichever color you'd like! :)
& Stay tuned for a chance to win a copy of Top 8!