- Is that your real hair?
- All of it?
[See answer above.]
- How’d you get it to grow that long?!
Heredity, I guess.
- Okay… What’s your ethnicity?
- But like… what RACE are you?
A few of them, but African American is my favorite.
- What are the othe—?
Let’s move on, if you don’t mind. We're getting into microaggression territory now.
- Fine. Is “Nic” short for something?
Nicole. Which is actually my middle name.
- Oh. So what’s your first name?
Wouldn’t you like to know.
- *Rolls eyes* How old are you?
Solve for x to get my birth year.
- Wow. You’re kind of a nerd.
That wasn’t a question.
- Whatever. Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I think so? Apparently told my 8th grade best friend I was going to "be a New York Times Bestseller one day."
- Looks like that worked out...
Wild, right? What's funny is until 2013, I didn't think I could write fiction.
- So what changed?
Well, part of the reason I didn't think I could do it is because I didn't see anyone who looked like me writing the type of stuff I wanted to write (super popular YA fiction). But I decided to give it a shot anyway. (Life lesson: If you don't see you, go BE you.)
- Do you have a *process* as you fancy writer people say?
I have a mnemonic (yes this is further evidence that I am, in fact, a huge nerd).
“I Only Eat Raspberries”:
Inspiration – the idea
Organization – notes, research/interviews (if necessary), outline
Execution – initial draft
Revision – self-explanatory and my least favorite part
- Where do your ideas come from?
Errrrwhere. I like using Story to explore problems I don't know how to solve or to process experiences, some of which I've lived and some I haven't.
- How’d you get your agent?
The first one was through a connection. Didn’t work out (though she’s a lovely woman, and I totally wouldn’t have developed the confidence I needed to survive this whole publishing thing had she not taken me on and invested so much of her time and energy into my work). Current agent was acquired through a good old-fashioned query. For those looking to land an agent, I must say MSWL is a most excellent resource to help narrow the field for ya.
- Gotcha. How’d you get your book deal?
Long, kinda boring story, so the synopsis: we submitted a manuscript. First editor to reply loved my style, but wasn’t sold on the story. I pulled together a proposal for a different story, and she offered a two-book deal based on that proposal. It was for DEAR MARTIN.
- Do you have a favorite book?
The Virgin Suicides – Jeff Eugenides
- Is that your favorite author?
Too many good authors to have a favorite at this point.
- Favorite food?
- Favorite color?
- Guilty pleasure?
Misogynistic rap music.
- Neat. So can I get your number?
I am delightfully taken, but thank you for the compliment.
- **Snort** You know you're a narcissist, right? You literally just interviewed yourself and called it an "FAQ."
Whatever. You love me.