Today on the blog I'm delighted to introduce another of the awesome Class of 2k11, Alissa Grosso, whose debut YA is POPULAR, which sounds like a ton of fun and which sports another of the appealing covers that are hallmarks of this class.
Congratulations on the publication of your novel, POPULAR. Can you tell us a bit about the story and what inspired it?
Thank you. POPULAR tells the story of a high school clique with a dark secret that brings about their downfall. I'm not entirely sure what inspired it. I think there's a lot more to people than what we see on
the surface. I've also been drawn to quirky books and movies, and the classic high school movie HEATHERS is one of my favorites. So, somehow out of that idea that people aren't always who they seem and my love of quirky movies, POPULAR was born.
How long have you been writing for children/teens? Have you written other books or is this your first effort?
I never really consciously set out to write for teens. I just wanted to write a book that I would want to read. I do read a lot of YA and children's books, so I guess it only made sense that what I would write would be a YA book. This may not be my first effort, but it's definitely my first publishable effort.
Can you describe your path to the publication of POPULAR?
I wrote POPULAR over a series of several years, while working on other stuff as well. Then, I found myself with a finished manuscript, and didn't know what to do with it. On a whim, I sent it to a publisher, and lo and behold Flux wanted to publish my book. This sort of makes it sound like I had instant success as a writer, but I had been writing and submitting stuff for years, and had built up a very
large collection of rejection letters. So, even though this particular manuscript didn't get a lot of rejections, I was already something of a writing veteran at this point.
Good for you for sticking with it! Do you have any other advice for beginning writers?
Learn how to revise. Writing can be hard work, but writing is the easy part. Join a critique group or find some beta readers whose opinions you value.
Can you tell us something about your personal life – inspirations, plans for the future, goals, etc.?
I think my goal has always been to spend more time doing what I want to do whether it is writing or just relaxing and enjoying life. I think every day I take another small step in this direction.
That is such a sane approach to life. Do you have any new writing ventures underway?
I always have a new writing venture underway. Right now, I am continuing to work on some young adult novels, no sequels, just new stuff.
Do you have a website where readers can learn more about POPULAR?
My website is http://www.alissagrosso.com