Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Get to know Chelsey Blair, Author of DISCORDANCE, #TeamonFire Third-in-Command!

I'm going to continue to shout and scream about how wild I am about my PitchWars team! Because these women are amazing writers and I am the lucky one who has watched them dig in and pry their words apart and come out, rising from the flames with "hallelujah's and hell yeah's!". 

Chelsey's smart, witty, poignant contemporary manuscript, Discordant, was the first one I asked for additional pages from and they didn't disappoint. I fell in love with Meridian and the music and the creative soul of these pages. I asked Chelsey some questions and she was gracious enough to provide me with answers to share with y'all. Please! Read! She's a force!

1. Give us the Twitter pitch for your Pitchwars manuscript (140 characters or less)!

After losing a leg in a stage-diving accident, 17-yr-old guitarist Meridian must shed a fear of falling or give up the spotlight

2. Stephanie Perkins does this cool thing for her books called a Love List, explained here: http://betweenfactandfiction.blogspot.com/2011/01/happy-writers-society-love-lists-by.html, what is the love list for your novel?

Eek! I love all things Stephanie, and the Love List in particular. I keep a Pinterest board for all my MSs, and so my love list is based on that:

Rock and roll
Sassy French girls
A rainbow of balloons
Hair dye
Night swimming
Red haired boys on crisp autumn days
Harvard Square
Living statues
Drag queens

3. Name a handful of writers whose work inspires you, along with a short explanation of why!

Anyone who writes meaningful YA contemp, like Stephanie Perkins, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Maureen Johnson, Holly Cupala, and Sara Zarr; but also, authors who are just really awesome people like Sarah Rees Brennan. The book that has most inspired me over my whole life is Ella Enchanted, with King of Shadows by Susan Cooper running a close second. Really, any books that show characters with real emotions whose experiences are a little larger than life.

4. Why PitchWars?

I'd started querying a bit in the summer, but then I had a spinal fusion to cure pretty major scoliosis (and a chance to fact check parts of my novel that took place at Boston Children's Hospital!). My recovery put me behind on writing in a lot of ways. I'd planned on reviving my writing schedule with an adaptation of NaNoWriMo in November, but I wasn't physically ready. By the beginning of December, I was kind of losing confidence, but the submission day for PitchWars was a good day--turned out to be a day the pain turned a corner--so I got my applications in, just in case. The time commitment has been perfect to ease back into writing, and who knows, it may give my career the boost I'm hoping for now that I'm well!

5. When you self-identify as a writer, what does that mean to you? How does it make you feel?

I've known pretty much my whole life that I would be a writer, from first grade or so, and at sixteen was writing half a chapter of a YA time-travel/dystopia every night whether or not I'd finished my calculus homework. (Ten years before the dystopian trend, unfortunately). I got my MFA in writing for children last year (finished in June!) and I remember being surprised when people in my classes didn't write every day, because by then it was already so much a part of who I was. I plan my life around giving myself the best chance at writing success possible, even if it means that I'll spend the rest of my twenties working part time at the Apple Store, or something, instead of an entry level position that would require my writing brain power. It's who I am. 

6. Next 3 books on your TBR pile, what liquid's in your cup, and what's playing on repeat!

I have a ton of books downloaded, but I give myself permission to delete what i don't like and never admit to it. However, the next releases I'm dying for are NEVERWAS, DIAMONDS AND DECEIT, and GOING ROGUE. I have a peppermint mocha on the bedside table. My favorite song changes daily, but I've been listening to a lot of Green Day through this revision.

1 comment:

  1. Another fun interview! Nice Love List. And Green Day is one of my fave bands of all time!


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