Monday, January 22, 2007

What's Fresh with Daria Snadowsky's Anatomy of a Boyfriend

Before this all happened, the closest I'd ever come to getting physical with a guy was playing the board game Operation. Okay, so maybe that sounds pathetic, but it's not like there were any guys at my high school who I cared to share more than three words with, let alone my body. Then I met Wes, a track star senior from across town. Maybe it was his soulful blue eyes, or maybe my hormones just started raging. Either way, I was hooked. And after a while, he was too. I couldn't believe how intense my feelings became, or the fact that I was seeing—and touching—parts of the body I'd only read about in my Gray's Anatomy textbook. You could say Wes and I experienced a lot of firsts together that spring. It was scary. It was fun. It was love. And then came the fall.

Daria Snadowsky's unflinching dissection of seventeen-year-old Dominique's first relationship reveals all the ecstacy and agony of love, and everything in between.

Hi Daria, thanks for taking the time to chat. Could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your first sale, ANATOMY OF A BOYFRIEND to Delacorte?

Daria: I started off in journalism when I was a teen. I contributed to local newspapers back in high school, and during college I wrote for the student paper and interned for various city-wide magazines. One of the best parts about journalism is that you’re always meeting new people and learning new things that you would never have known about otherwise.

I didn’t think about writing fiction until I was 22, and it took a year before I had a first draft. (With journalism, you’re always working under deadline and usually with strict world-count maximums, and I think that work environment helps when attempting any other kind of writing because you’re already disciplined and used to editing aggressively.) It took nearly a year to find an agent and several more months until Delacorte made an offer on my manuscript.

Readers and writers often like to get a behind the scenes peek of an author's writing routine. It would be great if you could please share your typical writing day schedule.

Daria: For the first year I was working on ANATOMY OF A BOYFRIEND, I wrote full-time. In the mornings I would go to the gym first thing, reach that “endorphin high,” and immediately after my shower take my laptop to Starbucks. Then when I attended law school, I didn’t schedule classes on Friday so I’d have a three day weekend just to work on the book, and I forced myself to do all my law work Monday through Thursday.

Please tell us about your novel, ANATOMY OF A BOYFRIEND, and what we can expect from your characters.

ANATOMY OF A BOYFRIEND (Delacorte) went on sale Tuesday, Jan 9. The story’s narrated by 17-year-old Dominique, who’s in her final semester of high school. She’s very Type-A, logical, and she’s looking forward to going premed in college, but then she meets Wes. Suddenly, she finds herself practically addicted to him, and being his girlfriend becomes her number one priority even though graduation is just around the corner.

While there are a lot of great stories out there, especially in kid lit and YA lit, which have “good” characters and “evil” characters, I tried hard to make everyone in this book basically good but who sometimes do bad things--this doesn’t make them bad people of course, just human. Dominique speaks very honestly and unabashedly about her emotions and sexuality, so I hope readers appreciate and identify with her choices, even when they're the product of poor judgment.

ANATOMY OF A BOYFRIEND is funny, racy and modern, but in the end it’s a story of first love, which is very serious business and sometimes desperately sad, not to mention timeless. One of the main points I hope gets across via Dom’s (mis)adventures is that while there may be near-foolproof ways to prevent getting pregnant or an STD, all the condoms in the world can’t protect against hurt feelings. I think that’s a fact health teachers often skip over in class.

You can build your own boyfriend at www.anatomyofaboyfriend.com!

I love the Build your own Boyfriend! So fun! What's up next, Daria? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.

Daria: The only project I’m working on right now is READING! Prior to the July 2006 bar exam, I don’t think I read any books since 2003. When I wasn’t reading for law school, I was revising ANATOMY OF A BOYFRIEND, so I had zero spare time. Since the bar I’ve read dozens of books, mostly YA fiction, and I blog about them at adultolescent.livejournal.com.

Thanks again for chatting with us, Daria. I wish you the best with your debut! Would you like to close with a writing tip?

Daria: A former professor of mine gave me a tip back in 2003 that was enormously helpful. We were chatting over coffee and I had promised to show him my manuscript of what was to become ANATOMY OF A BOYFRIEND. Prior to that, no one had read a word of it, and I had already been working on it for over a year. Then when we finally met at that coffee shop, I got major cold feet and told him that I was having second thoughts about letting him look it over. He asked why, and after a long pause, I answered with a lump in my throat, “What if you don’t like it?” He shook his head “no” and said, “You have to let people read it. The best writing in the world never gets published because the writers are too scared to face judgment. No matter how perfected your work is, it’s always going to inspire an entire range of reactions including people who hate it.” That was a real breakthrough moment for me, and in the next two weeks I gave the manuscript to several other people to read. It’s really important to get feedback from others, and in the end it’s your choice whether to take what they advise to heart.

Daria Snadowsky grew up in Greenwich Village and Las Vegas. She holds a B.A. and M.A. in film studies from Emory University in Atlanta. She’s written for Creative Loafing, Las Vegas Weekly and Nevada Law Journal. She also holds a J.D. from UNLV Law and is licensed to practice in Nevada. One of her favorite pastimes is watching Sixteen Candles with friends while pigging out on Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. Visit her at www.daria-snadowsky.com. Add her on MySpace at www.myspace.com/adultolescent.

7 fresh comments:

TinaFerraro said...

Daria, it was fascinating to get to learn more about you through this interview, and I can't wait to read your book. (I'm heading out to a B & N on Thursday, and it's TOP of my list. Meanwhile, I gotta go build-a-boyfriend...

Great interview, Kelly!

Kelly Parra said...

Thanks, Tina! Daria is a great person to chat with. I can't wait to pick up my copy too!

Alyson Noel said...

This book is definitely on my list!
Great interview!
Alyson

Kelly Parra said...

Hi Alyson, thanks for stopping by!

Mirella Castellano said...

What a great interview. Loved reading about Daria :) She is on my top friends on my myspace but it was lovely to read more about her.

Thanks for the insight :)

Mirella

Kelly Parra said...

Hi Mirella, glad you enjoyed it and good to have you stop by!

Anna Meadow said...

Wow! That books sounds intense. This one, Queen Geeks in Love, is a little less intense, but equally real experience of high school and the challenge between balancing "boys" with friendship.