Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Author Interview: Megan Bostic (Never Eighteen)

Today on the blog, Megan Bostic is visiting to answer a few questions about her newly released book, NEVER EIGHTEEN. I just had to chat with Megan about this book because it's topic is so close to my heart.

NEVER EIGHTEEN deals with an emotionally charged topic. How did writing it affect you emotionally?

Writing a book such as this is always an emotional drain. I honestly would get mentally and physically exhausted after a day of writing NEVER EIGHTEEN. However, I believe I write better when I am in that impassioned place with my emotions roiling. Maybe it’s why I choose to write difficult subject matter.

I read that NEVER EIGHTEEN was your NaNoWriMo novel in 2008. Did you finish the entire novel in one month? Did you have to extensively revise?

I did finish the novel, just over 50,000, words in one month. However, what you’ll read when the book comes out is very different than that original novel, thank goodness. I did extensive rewrites and revisions, fifteen to be exact, before landing my agent, two after. It’s a much better book than that first draft, and about 8,000 words lighter.

What was your path to publication like?

Slow at first, then gained speed toward the end. I had written a superhero series, finished in 2007. I received some interest from agents, but in the end no one wanted it. I probably have about 100 rejections on that one. Once I wrote Never Eighteen (then called Mending Fences, back in November of 2008, I decided to shelve the superhero and actively try to get NE published. I revised it, as I said above, quite a few times, then queried about twenty-five agents. I was about to give up and do another rewrite when a friend gave me the name of an agent I hadn’t queried yet. She loved it. I signed with her March of 2010. She sent it out to five publishers, and at the beginning of April I had a deal from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

What kind of topics would you like to explore in the future?

I love writing about teen issues. I have two finished YAs, one about a school shooting, one about a girl who wants to play high school football to win the affections of her estranged father. I’ve also delved into kidnapping, and am currently working on a story about a cutter. I have an idea for my next novel based on the tornado outbreak of this year.

Whose writing do you enjoy most?

That’s a loaded question. When I was a kid, I loved Judy Blume. She was my absolute favorite. There wasn’t much YA that I remember as a kid, except maybe S.E. Hinton, who I also loved. I went straight from that to Stephen King. If I were to judge my favorite writer by the amount of their books I’ve read, he would be it. I prefer YA now to adult novels, though I love a good mystery, Dennis Lehane and Harlan Coben being my favorites. Of the YA I’ve read, which isn’t a heck of a lot, mostly because of lack of time, I really enjoyed Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why, Elizabeth Scott’s Living Dead Girl, Gae Polisner’s The Pull of Gravity, Geoff Herbach’s Stupid Fast, Alissa Grosso’s Popular, Julia Karr’s XVI, and Chris Crutcher’s Deadline. I could go on and on, but those are a few of the favorites I’ve read the last few years in which the voices really stood out, and the storylines were evocative.

Thanks so much, Megan!

Don't forget to check out NEVER EIGHTEEN, everyone!!

Austin Parker is on a journey to bring truth, beauty, and meaning to his life.

Austin Parker is never going to see his eighteenth birthday. At the rate he’s going, he probably won’t even see the end of the year. The doctors say his chances of surviving are slim to none even with treatment, so he’s decided it’s time to let go.

But before he goes, Austin wants to mend the broken fences in his life. So with the help of his best friend, Kaylee, Austin visits every person in his life who touched him in a special way. He journeys to places he’s loved and those he’s never seen. And what starts as a way to say goodbye turns into a personal journey that brings love, acceptance, and meaning to Austin’s life.

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  1. Congrats on your debut book birthday, Megan! Never Eighteen sounds wonderful!

  2. Great interview! I've been really looking forward to reading Never Eighteen so it was fun to learn a bit more about the book and author. Megan's other books also sound amazing as well- I can't wait to hear more about them! :)

  3. I really want to read this book! I also love hearing about Megan's journey to being published! Great interview!