Word Count: +584 today
Status: Oh my GOD, have you seen the Deathly Hallows trailer? Dying inside, waiting for November.
Steph Bowe is an Australian sixteen year old. No big deal, right? Well, not only is she the creator of the wildly popular and fantastic blog, Hey! Teenager of the Year, she's also a published author. Her debut novel, Girl Saves Boy, will be published in Australia and New Zealand in September 2010 by Text Publishing and in America in Summer 2011 by Egmont USA
The first time we met, Jewel Valentine saved my life.
Isn’t it enough having your very own terminal disease, without your mother dying? Or your father dating your Art teacher? No wonder Sacha Thomas ends up in the lake that Saturday evening… But the real question is: how does he end up in love with Jewel Valentine?
With the help of quirky teenage prodigies Little Al and True Grisham, Sacha and Jewel have a crazy adventure, with a little lobster emancipation along the way. But Sacha’s running out of time, and Jewel has secrets of her own.
Girl Saves Boy is a hugely talented debut novel, funny and sad, silly and wise. It’s a story of life, death, love… and garden gnomes.
Question: You have an extremely successful blog/website with loads of followers. Did you ever make a conscious decision to build an internet platform, or did you just jump in for the fun of it? Do you have any advice for other newbie bloggers?
Steph Bowe: I started my blog because I wanted to talk about reading and writing and connect with other readers and writers! So it was for fun. I think you're going to do a whole lot better if you do things because you want to rather than if you do things solely for self-promotion and don't really enjoy it. My advice to newbie bloggers would be to just do what you want to do with your blog, have fun with it, and don't worry too much about stats.
Q: Can you describe your novel, Girl Saves Boy, in three sentences?
SB: When Jewel saves Sacha from drowning, they're both forced to confront pasts they've so carefully concealed - a lost sibling, a space where a mother should be, a debilitating illness, fractured families and buried secrets.
Okay, so that was only one sentence, but I can either give you one sentence or the entire blurb, nothing in between!
Q: On your blog you mentioned how you like flawed love interests. How is Sacha, the main male character in your novel, flawed?
SB: Oh gosh, he is flawed in the extreme. He's the opposite of every male love interest in every YA book ever - quiet and awkward and funny and confused. I think the characters are flawed because I wanted them to seem real - I don't really like reading books about perfect characters, so I'm not going to write one.
Q: Were you attending regular high school classes when you wrote Girl Saves Boy? How did you balance school work with your WIP?
SB: I was doing school by correspondence when I was writing Girl Saves Boy, and that was all from home. That allowed me the flexibility to pursue both a writing career and finish high school. How do I balance it? I'm not sure. It can be very overwhelming trying to manage both, and writing tends to be my relaxing thing (rather than watching TV or going on Facebook).
Q: Had you written any other novels before Girl Saves Boy? How did you know this one was "the one"--the novel that was good enough to query for publication.
SB: I'd written two other novels. I didn't know this was 'the one' - it just seemed like the next step would be submitting it for publication, since that's something I've aspired to for so long.
Q: What was your experience with the world of querying and publishing? How long did it take for you to see your name in print?
SB: It was very quick and I was very lucky - I sent out queries at the start of September (three, plus entering in a first page contest on a blog) and three weeks later had three offers of representation. Then took about a month for my agent to sell the Aus & New Zealand rights to my book.
Q: Do you write long hand or one a computer?
SB: On a computer!
Q: If you could be any fictional character, who would you be and why?
SB: In the past I've probably named some character I'd like to be, but to be entirely honest, I don't think I'd want to be a fictional character. There's always so much drama and action and lives at stake. Books are a bit too exciting for me.
Q: What five YA books would you recommend every teen read?
SB: Everything Beautiful by Simmone Howell. Town by James Roy. Looking for Alaska by John Green. On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson.
Q: Would you rather be a super hero or super villain--and what would your name/super power be?
SB: I'm going to be really boring and say super hero, who can turn invisible. And since I'm invisible most of the time, and don't save lives for the glory of it, I don't have a superhero name, because nobody is really aware that I exist.
Hope you enjoyed the interview, and thank you so much to Steph who put up with my sucky questions! What about you, how would you answer these questions?