Tuesday, January 09, 2007

What's Fresh with Robyn Schneider's Better Than Yesterday

If you take your IQ and multiply it by 10, that's what you'll score on the SATs. Popped collars are for preps, not fashionistas. Summer session isn't for slackers.

At the elite Hilliard Preparatory School, the competition is fierce, the gossip is worse, and Blake Dorsey has just arrived back on campus after an unexplained two-year absence.

Skylar Banks has a hunch Blake's in trouble. Skylar is the most likely candidate for valedictorian, but she's no stranger to tricky situations herself. Shes got a reputation for taking her relationships straight from JV to varsity, and that rep is about to catch up with her.

Charley Morton doesnt have time for Blakes problems--not if he plans to get into Harvard the way his parents expect, or to win over his dream girl (AKA Skylar). But then Blake takes off for New York City, and Charley, Skylar, and her roommate, Marissa, have no choice but to risk their perfect transcripts to find him. Its a journey that will change the way they see each other--and themselves--forever.

With its quick-witted he said/she said narration, Robyn Schneider's debut novel is a compelling, honest take on the boarding school world, and on the challenges and friendships that shape a student's life.

Hello Robyn, could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your first sale BETTER THAN YESTERDAY to Delacorte Press?

Robyn: Before Better Than Yesterday, I'd written a number of throwaway novels, some short stories and a newspaper column. After finishing BTY in June of 04, I sent out 12 e-queries in August and had an offer of representation in October. Delacorte made their offer in March. I remember my agent telling me about the offer in the early morning, and the strange look my college roommate gave me when I started jumping up and down. I had to cut the call short, though, and sprint to class. If the prof had asked why I was late, I would have had the best excuse ever. :-)

So true! 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.

Robyn: I don't really have a set routine, and I certainly didn't while writing BTY, which I completed before selling. However, I usually write in bed, and I typically assign myself a wordcount for the day between 1000 and 3000 words, depending on where I am in the novel (it's easier to write more toward the end).

Please tell us about your novel BETTER THAN YESTERDAY-- hitting shelves today!--and what we can expect from your characters.

Robyn: Better Than Yesterday is about four very different seniors at a boarding school who formed an underground pranking society as freshmen, grew apart, and are now thrown back together when one of them runs away to Manhattan. The two narrators are Skylar, a math nerd turned school slut turned top contender for valedictorian, and Charley, a guitar-playing debate geek who is terminally second-best and hopelessly in love with Skylar.

Sounds great, Robyn! What's up next? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.

Robyn: My next book is out on June 26 from Simon Pulse, a nonfiction book called The Social Climber's Guide to High School, which is a hip handbook for aspiring A-listers of the high school social scene. And in Spring 2008, Delacorte is publishing my next novel, The Ivy Legacy, about a high school freshman who joins her older sister's all-female secret society, witnesses the theft of a campus relic, and unknowingly falls for the head of the rival all-male secret society.

Thank you for agreeing to chat, Robyn. I wish you the best with your debut! Would you like to close with a writing tip?

Robyn: The best advice I ever heard about writing was from Scott Westerfeld. He said something along the lines of: In the first half of the book, go ahead and make choices that will add complications to the plot, but in the second half, make choices that will simplify things.

Robyn Schneider is the author of Better Than Yesterday (Delacorte Press), and the forthcoming books The Social Climber's Guide to High School (Simon Pulse, June 07) and The Ivy Legacy (Delacorte, Spring 08). Her blog, Queued Paper, can be read at robynschneider.com/blog.

3 fresh comments:

TinaFerraro said...

Hey, Kelly, great interview.

And Robyn, your book sounds terrific--I'll pick it up for sure. And check out your blog, too, as well.

A fellow Delacorte author,

Tina

TinaFerraro said...

Okay, make that:

"And I'll be sure to check out your blog, as well."

That's what I get for pushing "publish" while answering the phone!

Tina

Kelly Parra said...

Thanks, Tina! Yep, it sounds like a great debut!