Lara Avery is the July, Minnesota Author in the Spotlight here on Booksnob and she has agreed to answer some questions about her new book Anything but Ordinary. Read on to discover the story behind Anything but Ordinary and to find out who Lara Avery's favorite authors are. Enjoy
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Well, I was born and raised in Topeka, Kansas. I live in St. Paul with my best friend. Soon we’re moving to Minneapolis. I came here to play basketball for Macalester College, but quickly abandoned the sport to spend all my spare time writing and going to parties. (These days I do all three.) I love to make mix tapes, eat spicy food, and I’m very bad with money.
2. What is the inspiration behind your story “Anything but Ordinary”?
The story is based on a fantastic screenplay by Charlie Craig that my editors bought the rights to and thought would make a great novel. I only read it once through, used his characters names and general plot line, and then ran with it. The characters’ personalities, their relationships, how they get from A to B, etc, are all from my own weird head.
3. Usually an author puts some of her own life experiences in the book. Did you do that? Do you have anything in common with your characters?
I loved the story right away because Bryce is a serious athlete, which is how I also spent most of my childhood. I dug down from my memories of playing basketball--the drive to always be better than the day before, discipline, work ethic. She has a lot more than I had, though. At least that’s what my dad (also my coach) might say, haha. I also love Beyonce. Had to put Beyonce in there!
Why did you decide to become a writer and why did you choose to write for young adults?
It’s a simple answer, but it’s also the truth: I write because I don’t want to do anything else. I write for
young adults (at least for the moment) because I can remember those days vividly, not only because of my age, but also their intensity; it felt like I was learning each day--sometimes failing--how to be a decent human being. Writing YA offers the opportunity to bring that learning process to the forefront, and to weave it into some damn good stories.
5. Do you like to read? What are some of your favorite books and authors?
I love to read. My favorite authors are pretty standard: Kurt Vonnegut, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, Hemingway. I also love Lorrie Moore, Nicole Krauss, and Jennifer Egan. My favorites lately have been Just Kids by Patti Smith, The Savage Detectives by Roberto Belano, and Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.
6. Are you working on another book? Can you tell us a bit about it?
I am! I can tell you that it’s also Young Adult, and it involves love letters, sisters, and the war in Afghanistan. It will most likely be out in Spring of 2015. In the meantime, I am a regular contributor at Revolver [around-around.com]. It’s an amazing site. You should check it out. (And be warned: it’s not Young Adult writing.)
7. How do you carve time out of your busy day to write?
I don’t have a routine yet--I wish I did. If there is a deadline, I make it happen. I like to write in the morning. I like to write in big spurts, 6-8 hours at a time.
Do you have any advice for future young adult writers?
Put yourself and your work out there at every opportunity. Don’t worry about being perfect. Just write and show people, in whatever way you can.
9. Have you ever met anyone who has experienced a loss of five years of their life?
No, I haven’t. At least, not five years.
10. Tell us in one sentence why we should read Anything but Ordinary?
It’s no grand fantasy, but at the end of the day, you have to close a book and keep living where you are, especially if you’re a teenager. I think ABO can help people enjoy living where they are. (Sorry--two sentences, but hey. I’m a writer.)
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