Today, I present an interview with my online writing friends!
I met these girls online through the Scholastic Write It! boards, a community for young writers, which I joined when I was in middle school. A number of the great people I met there continued to be my friends even after I left the boards, and although I've never met them in person, I admire and love these girls so much! We Skype a lot, and Facebook, and e-mail, and they just brighten my every day with their humor, support, and compassion. I would not be the writer that I am today without them. Though some of them no longer write themselves, we all have a great appreciation for literature.
So in today's interview, Julia, Hero, Madelynn, and Molly are answering some questions for me.
Do you remember your first impression of me?
Julia: While I'm not sure if it was my FIRST first impression, the first thing I remember thinking about you was that I hated your guts. Because I was (literally) an immature, self-conscious thirteen year old, and you were a brilliant writer and knew so much about the publishing industry and everyone loved you. (But then I got over myself, because, like. It's a truth universally acknowledged that you cannot NOT like Kira.)
Hero: I remember I thought you knew literally everything about publishing. I had been searching and searching for how to write a query letter, and the first thing of yours I ever saw was the "how to write a query letter" post, and it was like you were shining wisdom down on me from above... So from then on I basically regarded you as the expert in everything, and felt super validated when I found out we both played cello because you were so cool and therefore made everything cool.
Madelynn: I first met you on Write It and I basically viewed you as a God because you were so good at writing and you reviewed on everything and were basically just awesome.
Molly: Well, I actually really didn't like you at first because I was a petulant, jealous little 12-year-old who saw how good your writing was and was immediately envious. Still, because you were older and because you were so good, I was in awe. Then you started replying to my posts and critiquing my chapters and then I thought you were the coolest thing to hit the face of the planet.
What was the first novel you finished writing?
Julia: The first novel I finished writing was called PENNAMED and it was basically a Hannah Montana knock-off and absolutely terrible. I'd burn it if it wasn't eternally saved in cyberspace. (Instead, it seems to be planning on haunting me to the end of my days.)
Hero: Well, I guess TLORIA? I finished a "book" when I was 11 called "Natalie Skye" and it was about this spy girl who helped rescue this boy from a tower, and it was a blatant rip-off of a story a character in The Penderwicks writes... Though TLORIA's a bit of a rip-off of Deltora Quest, oops... But yeah, one of those two.
Madelynn: THE KEY KEEPERS was my first novella, but I think THE BANE was my first full-fledged novel.
Molly: Technically, the first novel I ever finished was about a girl named Marie who was on the Oregon Trail. I don't remember the name of the novel, but I do remember a huge percentage of the characters died, either on the trail or in Oregon. (Yeah.) If we're talking about slightly more serious work, that would be ROSE'S LAST SUMMER, which is only slightly more tolerable.
Are you still writing? If so, is it for fun or is it with the intention of publishing, and what's your current project?
Julia: I'm still writing--for fun AND with the intention of publishing (because while I'd like to publish a novel someday, let's be honest: ain't nobody wanna see my poetry). I'm currently revising one novel and writing the first draft of another.
Hero: Not really, I mainly write for school or literary analysis. I stopped writing fiction at least a year ago, it just stopped being my main focus when I realized what I really wanted to be doing for the rest of my life and started devoting myself to that instead.
Madelynn: Right now, the only thing I've been writing is fanfiction, but I keep meaning to get back into writing a novel sometime soon.
Molly: I am still writing--I'm actually participating in Camp NaNo right now. I suppose I'm writing mostly for fun, but publishing is on the radar for later.
What are your main life goals?
Julia: My main life goal right now is to be able to support myself (and possibly a cat or small dog) post-college. But I'd also like to publish a novel someday, and travel a lot, and hopefully--you know--maintain decent relationships with the good people of this here Earth. Because that seems like a good idea.
Hero: Well, my main life goal is to get to Heaven, primarily, but that's sort of an... afterlife goal. Even though my life is ordered to that. So there's one. I want to get my PhD in Literature, and I want to get my Masters degree at Oxford University. I'd like to get married and have as many kids as I'm meant to. Besides that, it's up to God and not up to me.
Madelynn: Hm. I dunno. I want to go to college and grad school, have a successful career, and have a good romantic life.
Molly: I'd like to get a degree in biology, and go onto higher education, possibly as a doctor or a lawyer, which makes me sound like the most pretentious fop ever to grace the face of this planet. But really, I'd like to be a bioethicist, and their jobs encompass both law and medicine. So I'd like to become a bioethicist, either as a lawyer or a doctor, and work in pro-life ministry and legislature. I'd also like to do mission work at some point in my life.
What book would you like to recommend to my readers?
Julia: Hola, Awesome Person Reading This! I recommend Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. It's heartbreaking and dark and beautiful, and sometimes I cry just from thinking about it too hard. (If you don't want a depressing book, then Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins is also fantastic. It involves far fewer Nazis and a far greater number of Cute Boys.)
Hero: Is The Great Gatsby allowed? Because that. Also anything by J. D. Salinger, or P. G. Wodehouse. The Book Thief [by Markus Zusak] is a good read, I recommend that to anyone who hasn't read it yet. And so many more, but this said "book" not "books", so I'll give it a rest.
Madelynn: If you haven't read it yet, The Fault in Our Stars [by John Green] is a really good novel that you need to read. The movie is coming out on JUNE 6TH AHHHHHH!!!
Molly: THERE ARE SO MANY BOOKS TO RECOMMEND, THOUGH. Ugh. We're gonna go with five because Kira, I'm sorry, I cannot choose one.
1) Without Tess by Marcella Pixley
2) Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
3) The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
4) Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata
5) The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
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