Today, we're thrilled to have a Q&A with Corey Ann Haydu, the author of Life By Committee!
Check back later today for our review of Life by Committee!
Q&A with Corey Ann Haydu
Author of Life by Committee
Q: Since we live in the age of instant communication, could you summarize Life by Committee for me in 140 characters?
Q: Authors often have one eureka moment for a story idea – e.g. Suzanne Collins and The Hunger Games. Did you have that moment with Life by Committee, and if so, would you mind sharing it with our readers?
Q: Life by Committee is your sophomore novel. How do you think your writing process has evolved, over the years? Are you finding it easier to start a new book and work on new ideas?
I also find more joy in the different stages of the process now. Working on a new idea after being in the trenches with a heavy duty revision is a breath of fresh air! The cycles of book-making end up being things you look forward to. While I’m drafting, I’m excited for the future revision. While I’m revising, I’m secretly thinking about a brand new book idea. There’s always something to look forward to!
Q: All readers generally have different interpretations and different journeys when it comes to reading a new book. However, if there was a single lesson or idea that you hope readers would take away from Life by Committee, what would it be?
Q: I’ve read several interviews where you discuss your background in publishing, including both your work as an agency assistant and your work as a foreign scout.
Do you think that your background helped when you were first navigating through the waters of being a debut writer – e.g. you had a better idea of how/what to expect in the editorial process – or do you think it made it more challenging?
Q: So let’s talk a little about your writing process! Are you a morning, evening or middle-of-the-night writer?
Q: Plotter or pantser? And why?
Also, I’ve tried outlining. And I’m terrible at it. I don’t know what the book needs until I’m deep in it. I write out of order with no plan. This also means I write probably three or four times the amount that will actually end up in the book. I meander. I explore. It’s not efficient, but it’s what works for me.
Q: I’ll be honest: I think you’re an extremely unique writer in your own right. But are there any writers that you think your writing style has been especially influenced by, especially for Life by Committee?
I was really inspired by Courtney Summers because of how layered and atypical her characters are. I love how she pushes boundaries of what readers might find comfortable. I also am a huge fan of Lauren Strasnick’s work, and she’s been a real influence for me.
In terms of less recent authors—Sylvia Plath and Joyce Carol Oates are my first loves in terms of fascinating, complicated female authors who push boundaries.
Q: What’s one expectation that you had about being a published writer, which has turned out to be different in reality?
Q: Finally, could you tell us what’s next on the horizon for you? I hear you have a MG book coming up in 2015!
My MG debut is coming out in Fall 2015 and it’s called RULES FOR STEALING STARS. It’s about four sisters, their difficult family, and the search for hope, with a little magic thrown in. It was the hardest book to write so far, and maybe the one I’m most proud of because of that.