What's Fresh with Alyson Noël's Kiss & Blog
What’s the best revenge when your best friend ditches you for the popular crowd? Alyson Noël reveals all in her hot new young adult novel.
As freshmen at Ocean High last year, Winter and her best friend Sloane thought they could ditch their nerdy past, launching from invisible to cool. But after another miserable year of standing on the sidelines they make a pact to do whatever it takes not to go unnoticed in their sophomore year, promising each other that whoever makes it into the cool group first will bring the other along.
One Sloane gets a taste of life on the A-list, she slams that door in Winter’s face. Suddenly cast out of her former best friend’s life, Winter takes revenge the modern way: by announcing all of Sloane’s dirty little secrets on an anonymous blog. Then the blog becomes more popular than she ever dreamed and Winter must decide if her retaliation is really worth the consequences—and if the price for popularity is one she’s willing to pay. Once again, Alyson Noël navigates the tricky waters of the high school social scene with the heart and humor her readers have come to love.
Hello Alyson, thanks for agreeting to chat. Could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your first sale to St. Martin's Press?
Alyson: Well, I always knew I wanted to be a writer, but it wasn’t until I was working as a flight attendant in NYC, dealing with the post 9/11 pay cuts, that I finally made the decision to sit down and write a book. The moment I finished the manuscript I sent it out to a long list of publishers, crossed my fingers, and waited for the offers to come pouring in! Seriously, that’s how green and naïve I was! When I received a steady stream of very encouraging rejection letters instead, I enrolled in some online writing courses, and worked on the revision. Through one of those classes, I met a writer who led me to my then agent. And after yet another revision, it ended up selling to St. Martin’s Press. My debut novel, Faking 19, was the first book I ever wrote, but it went through several story incarnations before it finally sold.
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.
Alyson: Okay, but I’m warning you it’s not pretty! It involves a full day of sweat pants, way too many cups of coffee, a delayed shower, and a lot of Internet scrolling I like to refer to as “research.” But once I do get going, and really get into the zone of the story, I can write for hours, only stopping when my fingers are gnarled and cramped, or my favorite TV shows come on. I love that feeling of getting lost in my character’s lives--so much that I only take the shortest of breaks between books.
Hey, sweat pants and lots of Internet? That's sounds too familiar. haha! Please tell us about your latest novel Kiss & Blog and what we can expect from your characters.
Alyson: Kiss & Blog is coming out in May and it’s published by St. Martin’s Press. It’s about two best friends, Winter and Sloane, who are sick of being unpopular they make a pact to do whatever it takes to get in with the cool group, promising that whoever makes it in first, will bring the other along. But when Sloane gets a taste of life on the A-list, she leaves Winter behind, so Winter gets revenge by revealing all of Sloane’s dirty little secrets in an anonymous blog. . . which ends up being not so anonymous after all. . .
A story of friendship and betrayal. Sounds like my kind of read! What's up next, Alyson? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.
Alyson: Saving Zoë is coming out in September 2007, and it’s the story of Echo, a typical teen trying to survive the dramas of high school while dealing with the aftermath of the brutal murder of her older sister Zoë. When Echo gets hold of Zoë’s diary, she doubts there’s anything in it she doesn’t already know. But once she starts reading, she learns that her sister led a secret life no one could have guessed. . .
Wow, looking forward to both books. Thanks again for sharing, Alyson. I wish you the best with your writing career. Would you like to close with a writing tip?
Alyson: I think it’s important to allow yourself to just write, to create freely and without judgment, because no one writes a pretty first draft! So instead of trying to be Pulitzer perfect, just fill up the page without any boundaries or negative self-talk, since you’re just going to go back and revise it a gazillion times anyway, so you might as well let it all out, and see where it leads.
Alyson Noël is the author of Faking 19, Art Geeks and Prom Queens, Laguna Cove, Fly Me to the Moon, and the upcoming Kiss & Blog, and Saving Zoë. An OC native, she’s lived in Mykonos and Manhattan, only to return to Laguna Beach where she lives and writes full time. Visit her website, www.alysonnoel.com.