Today I have an interview with Amy Reed, author of various books, including the newly released Over You (well, it’s being released tomorrow). Yay!
1. Do you ave a favorite book of yours that you've written? And if you don't, which book was the easiest/hardest to write?
It's impossible to choose a favorite--I could pick any of them, really. Beautiful because it was my first and most emotionally raw. Clean because it is the one that seems to have reached people the deepest. Crazy because it was the first time I ever really wrote about love. Over You because I got to have so much fun with mythology. So far, I'd say Over You was the hardest to write, only because I had six months to write it. The easiest was definitely Crazy. I think, because it is essentially a conversation between two characters, everything flowed really naturally. I also felt like I knew the characters really well right away.
2. What personal experiences, if any, helped contribute to the writing of Over You?
I had a best friend who went to go live with her mom and step-dad in Iowa after a rough year getting in trouble in Seattle. While they didn't live on a commune, they were definitely hippies and were part of a very counter-culture spiritual community. They lived on a small farm that included a pond. I spent the summer there between seventh and eighth grade after my own rough year in Seattle, during which we spent a lot of time in the pond and getting in trouble with local boys. My college roommate grew up on a commune and I have another friend who runs an organic farm, so I think all of those things contributed to the world of Over You.
3. What advice do you have for people who are in a similar situation as Max?
One of the main themes of Over You is losing yourself in a relationship and putting another person's needs and interests before your own. Max has to find the strength to assert herself and start to believe that she can be safe and strong on her own. I think people in similar one-sided relationships, whether friendships, romantic, family or otherwise, can start by asserting their independence first to themselves, figuring out what they believe in, what they truly enjoy and love and value, on their own, without the other's influence. That self-knowledge and inner strength will naturally lead to behavior and action.
4. Do you have a book/author recommendation for people who have read and enjoyed all of your books?
One of my favorite YA books that really inspired me is Laurie Halse Anderson's Wintergirls. I think fans of my work would love that book. While not necessarily edgy, I think John Green's book have a similar emotional intensity and are just so damn well-written everyone should read him. I also think Courtney Summers is an excellent contemporary YA author. If you want something really dark and literary, Adam Rapp's books are brilliant, especially Punkzilla.
5. Can you tell us anything about your next project?
I like to do a little something different with each of my books, and the next one is probably the most different of all. It's the first time i've ever included a paranormal element, though it's very much rooted in the psychological. I think it still reads like the edgy, contemporary novels my fans are used to, but with an added twist.