What's Fresh with Katie Finn's Top 8
Madison MacDonald is seriously freaking out.
Everything in my life was working out. I had my three best friends, a brand-new boyfriend, and the lead in the school play. Aside from that history paper I hadn't started, things felt perfect.
Then I returned from spring break to find my Friendverse profile hacked. Someone clearly out to ruin me had spilled the most damaging secrets - AND posted the worst photos of me ever taken - online.
Now my boyfriend and I are broken up, half the school hates me, and I'm in deep trouble.
Get my boyfriend back, figure out who could have done this, and clear my name!
Also, pass history.
Hello Katie, thanks for agreeing to chat. Could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your first sale ?
Katie: I've always loved writing, but in high school and college, I was much more focused on playwriting. I didn't start really writing prose until my senior year of college. But I really liked it, and decided to apply to graduate school. Since I'd always been interested in children's literature, I focused on those programs. I attended The New School, receiving my MFA in Writing for Children and Teens in 2007. I have always been drawn to Young Adult writing in particular, and that's what I focused on in grad school. After I graduated, I really just wanted to work on something fun. So when my editor brought up the idea of a social networking book, I thought it sounded like a lot of fun. My first sale, to Scholastic/ Point, was the YA novel Top 8.
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.
Katie: I know some writers can write in little bursts here and there, but I've never been about to do that. I really need a big, four or five-hour
chunk of time, since it takes me about two hours to stop messing around and really get down to work. So I prefer to write at night, and on the weekends. I'm part of a great group of fellow writers, and on the weekends, usually on a Sunday, we all hunker down for the day with our laptops in Starbucks. And when we have drafts to show each other, we turn into a little critique group. It's incredibly helpful.
Please tell us about your latest novel Top 8 and what we can expect from your characters.
Katie: The novel is called Top 8, and it's coming out in October 2008 from Scholastic/ Point. I've been summing it up in shorthand as "a Facebook mystery." It's what happens when a high school junior, Madison, comes home from a Spring Break trip with her family. She'd been in the Galapagos for two weeks with no internet access. When she gets home, she finds her Friendverse profile (the book's social networking site) has been hacked into. Horrible photos have been posted, secrets have been spilled, most of her friends have turned against her, and her boyfriend has broken up with her. Madison, with the assistance of her three best friends, sets out to figure out who could have done this, and learns some things about herself along the way. And, of course, there's a boy...
Great! What's up next? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.
Katie: A lot of readers have contacted me on Facebook and MySpace, asking me if there's going to be a Top 8 sequel, and so lately I've begun to think about one, but still just in really vague terms. I'd love to write one, but mysteries have to be plotted so carefully, it might take me some time to figure out. In the meantime, I'm about a third of the way
through my new novel. It's a little darker than Top 8, but also features a girl who is told some stunning news and has to change her life in reaction to it.
Thanks so much for sharing with us, Katie! Would you like to close with a writing tip?
Katie: The one writing tip I can give is to find a writing community - either online or in person. I feel like I have such great support from my friends who are also writing, and it's just always nice to feel like you're not the only person in the world going through something. Writing is just so solitary that it's really nice to be able to look around and see that you're not alone in it!
Katie Finn grew up in Manhattan and Greenwich, Connecticut. She now lives in Brooklyn and only checks her MySpace and Facebook three-okay eight-times a day. Friend-request her at www.myspace.com/katiefinnwrites or write on her Facebook wall!