Friday, October 23, 2009
Book Launch: Nothing Like You
I'm happy to be able to introduce Lauren Strasnick and her debut novel NOTHING LIKE YOU.
Congratulations on the publication of your novel, NOTHING LIKE YOU. Can you tell us a bit about the story and what inspired it?
Thanks, Janet! NOTHING LIKE YOU is about high school senior, Holly Hirsh. Holly’s mom dies and Holly gets involved with the wrong guy. He’s got a girlfriend. She and Holly develop a friendship. Badness ensues!
A few things inspired the story. I wanted to write about a girl who is flawed, yet still really relatable and sympathetic. I was interested in exploring teen infidelity. When I started the book, I was obsessed with the Billy Joel song “Vienna.” Its lyrics helped shape the character of Holly.
How long have you been writing for children/teens? Have you written other books or is this your first effort?
I wrote one other book before this one. It was my MFA thesis project. But prior to that I’d written a ton of short fiction, all with teen protags.
Can you describe your path to the publication of NOTHING LIKE YOU?
I spent the year after grad school sending that first book out to agents. After a ton of rejection (some upbeat and encouraging, but still), I set that book aside and started NOTHING LIKE YOU. I had a draft in six weeks, spent three months revising, then started the querying process all over again. After about a month I signed with Michelle Andelman, then of ABLA, and together we started the revision process. Two months of rewrites, and she was subbing the book. Two weeks after that, it sold to Anica Rissi at Simon Pulse.
Do you have any advice for beginning writers?
The best bit of writing advice I ever got? Be fearless.
Can you tell us something about your personal life – inspirations, plans for the future, goals, etc.?
This, writing books, is my absolute dream – so I hope to continue doing it.
Do you have any new writing ventures underway?
Yes! Right now I’m working on a second book for Simon Pulse. Twins! Thwarted love! Rural Connecticut!
Do you have a website where readers can learn more about NOTHING LIKE YOU?
I do, yes! Readers can reach me at www.laurenstrasnick.com