First of – HAPPY NEW YEAR GUYS! I’m so excited for 2017 and I really think this is going to be my year.
I’m back with a very fun post, I got to interview Lindsey Rosin! I read her debut novel, Cherry, a few months back and I loved the book! (There will be coming a review eventually, I swear). I looked Lindsey up on Twitter and asked if she wanted to do an interview with me. AND SHE WOULD!! Lindsey thank you so much for doing this interview with me. It literally means the world to me. Oh and by the way, I LOVE your answers. Dear readers, enjoy!!
First of: How did you become a writer? And how did it become your job?
I’ve been writing and telling stories for as long as I can remember, and it’s the only job – along with directing and producing – I’ve ever wanted to have. My parents are both professional writers and were always encouraging of me finding my own voice. I also had incredibly supportive teachers throughout my middle and high school years who helped me hone my writing skills and build my confidence. I was the editor-in-chief of my middle school newspaper, and in ninth grade I wrote and directed my first one-act play. Throughout high school, I wrote a total of six one-act plays, which, in addition to being performed at my school, also won statewide and nationwide writing competitions and received professional productions at the Blank Theater in Hollywood, The Old Globe Theater in San Diego and the Edinburgh Theater Festival in Scotland. I attended the University of Pennsylvania where I studied as an English Major with a concentration in Dramatic Writing. After graduation in 2007, I returned home to Los Angeles, and promptly sold my first TV Pilot to ABC Family (now know as Freeform) which was a one-hour drama about counselors at summer camp. The pilot was never produced, but it was my first professional writing job and helped me get in the Writer’s Guild of America. I am still a proud WGA member today and have been writing and developing television projects ever since.
We know you from your debut book – Cherry. How did you come up with this idea? What inspired you to write about this concept?
Thanks for reading Cherry! Ever since I was a teenager I’ve loved writing about the teenage experience – and think that I always will. There is something so honest and raw about that time of life, when you’re coming into your for the first time and grappling with the idea of who you want to be when you grow up. I still like to say that a teenage girl is my spirit animal and I believe that claim more strongly with each passing year. I am always looking for fresh and compelling ways to write about teenagers, especially teenage girls, and to tell coming-of-age stories and Cherry turned out to be the perfect combination of all of that. I met with Simon Pulse in December of 2014 and they told they were looking for a new book about female sexuality, so I pitched them a “female American Pie” concept and that kernel of an idea turned out to be Cherry. I was inspired by my own teenage experience, as well as many of the teenage books and movie that have come before me.
How was the process of writing Cherry? Was it easy or difficult?
As much as I love writing, it is ALWAYS difficult. And, at least for me, it never seems to get any easier. The more time I spend writing and the more scripts I write, I can see growth and improvement in my work, but no matter how much better I get it is still hard. However, to quote my favorite movie (A League of Their Own): the hard is what makes it great. Before Cherry I’d primarily written television scripts and screenplays, and so the Cherry writing process was particularly difficult for me personally because I was still trying to figure out the format of a novel. Frankly, Cherry contains – BY FAR – the most words I’ve ever written for one project so that made it difficult as well because of the sheer scope of the novel writing process. I sold Cherry on a proposal, which included a fairly detailed outline, so that was helpful as I wrote my first draft, but I was on an accelerated timeline, so that time pressure made it difficult as well. I had six months to write the first draft. And then six more months for rewrites. I think I wrote about four or five drafts overall.
What made you want to write a contemporary book?
I like writing stories set in present day because I think they’re relatable. Hopefully they can help shed some light on our current experience.
Emma, Zoe, Alex and Layla are four best friends. How did you came up with this friendship dynamic?
Even from the earliest stages of developing the book I was always interested in tell the story of four best friends. Four seemed like the right number – it was manageable but also allowed for variety in the storytelling. I had a group of four best friends in high school, so I pulled from that experience a little bit, but only very loosely.
If you would live in their world, with who of the girls would you relate the most?
My most honest answer to this question is all of them. I think most people who know me would be quick to label me as either a Layla or a Zoe, but the truth is I’m bit of all four of them mixed together.
Of all the boys who are in the book, which one do you love the most? I absolutely love Dylan!
I love Dylan too! And out of all the characters in the book (male or female) he is the one that is most closely based on a real person in my life. “Dylan” – whose name has been changed – was my best guy friend in high school and we fell asleep on the phone together almost every night. We didn’t call them “phonefalls” – I made up that name for the book – and we never dated or even kissed, but he was a wonderful friend all throughout high school – and is still one of my closest friends to this day!
We know froyo is a big thing in Cherry. So what is your favorite kind of froyo?
Yes it is! The Bigg Chill is a real yogurt shop in Los Angeles, near where I live today and my childhood home, and I spent many fun nights there in high school, hanging with my friends and sharing froyo. I’m still a regular customer today. I don’t have a usual order, but some of my favorite flavors are a chocolate/vanilla swirl, peanut butter or Honey Greek Yogurt, which is what Bigg Chill Aaron says is his favorite. I highly recommend it!
I wish there were more froyo shops here in the Netherlands! I would love to try it!
Are you planning on writing any other books?
I am! I am working on a new book proposal now and hope to take it to publishers in 2017.
YES – I’m so excited!!
Do you gave any tips for those of us who write?
Just write. And write and writer. And don’t give up. And also have the courage to write badly. As Ernest Hemingway famously said, “the first draft of anything is shit.” So, it’s important to get through that shitty first draft and move onto the process of rewriting, which is where the job of writing really happens. Anne Lamott is also a big proponent of “the shitty first draft” and if you haven’t read her incredible book, “Bird by Bird: Instructions on Writing and Life,” I HIGHLY recommend it.
I also got a few other little questions:
What is your favorite book genre?
Oh wow. This is almost an impossible question because I’m drawn to so many different types of genres: young adult, non-fiction, poetry. I like classic fiction and new contemporary stories. If it’s well-written and the characters are engaging I’m probably going to like it. I will say I don’t love fantasy or sci-fi books, those are probably the only genres I tend to avoid.
Again, so hard to pick just one. A few of my favorites: Little Women, To Kill A Mockingbird, Thing Things They Carried, Letters to A Young Poet and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
A League of Their Own. Followed closely by When Harry Met Sally, Good Will Hunting and Titanic.
Favorite TV show?
Ever?! Probably Friday Night Lights. But there are SO many good ones. My favorite show that’s still currently on television is Shameless.
Favorite holiday/ holiday destination?
My favorite holiday is probably the fourth of July because I love the fireworks 🙂
Favorite music genre?
Probably pop music. But again, like with book genres, my taste is all over the place.
So hard to only pick just one, but “Wonderwall” by Oasis is probably pretty high on the list. “You’re All I Need to Get By” by Marvin Gaye and Tami Terrell was the first dance at my wedding, so I certainly love that a lot.
Visual artist? Pisarro.
Dogs or cats?
DOGS. I have an adopted five-year-old poodle mix named Dodger who is my favorite little guy on the planet. He’s the cutest and has the best energy around.
Chocolate or vanilla?
I live in Los Angeles so “seasons” don’t actually exist. But in general I love the idea of fall and all the leaves changing colors. Before it gets too cold of course.
Lindsey, thanks again for doing this interview. It’s highly appreciated!
And readers, what is YOUR favorite kind of froyo? I would love to know.
Also – January 14th is my blog its anniversary. So stay tuned for some special announcement!