- 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).


Nic’s Process

“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.