Alyson NoÃ«l is the award winning author of the teen novels, Faking 19; Art Geeks And Prom Queens, Laguna Cove; Kiss & Blog; Saving Zoe, Cruel Summer (May 2008), Evermore (Paranormal, 2009), as well as a contributor to the anthology, First Kiss (Then Tell). Her books have been chosen for the New York Library Associationâ€™s â€œBook of Winter 2006 award,â€ the New York Public Libraryâ€™s prestigious â€œBooks for the Teen Ageâ€ catalog, nominated for YALSAâ€™s â€œTeens Top Ten award,â€ selected for Teen Reads â€œBest Books of 2007â€ list, finalist for the National Readerâ€™s Choice Award, chosen as a â€œFavorite Readâ€ for Canadaâ€™s largest book retailer, Indigo/Coles, and selected for the CBS Early Showâ€™s â€œGive the Gift of Readingâ€ segment. Her debut adult novel, Fly Me To The Moon, based on her adventures as a flight attendant, received four stars from Romantic Times, and is being translated into French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese.
You can visit her at: http://www.alysonnoel.com/
I’m not all that familiar with the YA genre. How do you decide what ages to write to?
YA generally covers ages 12 and up. Though since kids often read â€œupâ€ thereâ€™s no real distinction between books for younger and older readers. When Iâ€™m working on a book, I donâ€™t think about the age group Iâ€™m writing for, Iâ€™m more concerned with telling the truth of that particular story, whatever it may call for.
Do you have children? Where do you get your vernacular and the latest trends?
Donâ€™t have kids, though I have plenty of wonderful nieces and nephews who serve as great research tools! But mostly, I just never grew up. Despite all outward appearances, inside, Iâ€™m still an adolescent a good deal of the time- so writing in a teen voice comes naturally!
What challenges to you find inherent to this genre?
Staying true to the story. Overcoming the urge to protect my readers by portraying the world in a way that I wish it was, rather than the way it really is. The books I got the most out of as a teen where the ones I could relate to, so I always try to write relatable stories too.
Is YA a crowded genre? Do you think it’s harder or easier to get published in this category?
Itâ€™s a very crowded genre and getting more crowded by the day! Though itâ€™s definitely not easier to get published in. I think thereâ€™s a common misconception that if youâ€™re writing for kids and teens it must be easier. But thereâ€™s a real challenge in writing stories that keep their interest while keeping the characters real.
Do you have an agent, or did you go directly to small publishers?
I signed with an agent, who sold FAKING 19 to St. Martinâ€™s Press in a two-book deal. Then later, I switched agents, and have since sold seven more books to St. Martinâ€™s, as well as a story in an anthology for Bloomsbury, FIRST KISS (THEN TELL).
Wow, YA, Autobiographical and now paranormal – you sure are eclectic! Have you found it to be easier to get published as an established author even though you’re breaking into new genres?
Well, like a lot of writers, all of my books contain pieces of my life even though the stories themselves remain fiction. So I guess thereâ€™s always a slight autobiographical element no matter what genre I write in. Though the paranormal book, EVERMORE, just sort of happened. Iâ€™ve been interested in any thing to do with psychics and ghosts since I was a kid, so itâ€™s kind of funny that it took me so long to write about it! But Iâ€™m so glad I did because the research has been a blast! Iâ€™ve taken classes with the world famous psychic/medium James Van Praagh, and underwent a past life regression with Dr. Brian Weisâ€”both of which proved to be very interesting! But since all of my books (other than the anthology) are with St. Martinâ€™s Press, Iâ€™m not sure if itâ€™s easier or harder to break into new genres. I have a good working relationship with them so I just tell them what Iâ€™m interested in writing, and hope the say Yes!
Where do you go for inspiration?
Thanks for the interview Laura!!!
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