In honor of our Twitter Agent Pitch Contest, I did it a little different and kept Ally's answers in Twitter (short) form. Am I smart or what?
What I loved about Matched....
I loved the world Ally created and was impressed that even though the world is different from today, she did not get bogged down in details and make it too convoluted. It just seemed natural.
And hello - is the cover gorgeous or what? I love the green and it is so relevant when you read the book.
What could be wrong with this book? It's got a cool cover, 2 hot boys (yay!), adorable girl, cool new world, a little action, and great writing. Oh yeah, and I've met Ally and she is super sweet too!
Here's what Ally had to say...
Hey Ally, give us your author bio in a twitter post.
I'm an author, a mom to three boys, and a former high school English teacher.Love reading, running, and listening to my husband play guitar.
Tell us about Matched in a twitter pitch.
MATCHED is the story of Cassia-who, on her 17th birthday, finds out who her government (the Society) has selected as her perfect mate.
What inspired the story for Matched?
Several things came together to make me think of the idea for MATCHED: an experience I had chaperoning a prom back when I was a teacher, the computer match dances that were popular when I was young, and several conversations about the role of government in private life.
Can you explain how the process changed for you from earlier books until now? Maybe give us a glimpse into your progression as a writer.
I think the biggest change in my process has been allowing myself permission to write non-linearly. It used to be that I would write scenes in chronological order. Now I write whatever I want, when I want, and then go back and fix it. This has been really freeing and helpful for me as a writer.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started writing?
I know now (and wish I'd known then) that it is okay to walk away. To step back from a book for hours, weeks, months, and let it rest. Sometimes I feel so driven to finish something that I can't see the big picture until I take a break. Giving myself permission to do that has made a big difference.
Was there ever a time when you felt like giving up? Why didn’t you?
I did. It was December of 2008. A book I had worked very hard on--a book the publisher had asked me to write--was scrapped. I had a super cute new baby and thought, "Maybe it's time to take a few years off from writing." But, as is the case with most writers, I couldn't do it. I had to keep writing a little each day because it is part of me.
What have you learned about promoting books in your publication journey? What worked well for you? What was a waste?
I have very little knowledge about promoting books. . In the end, all I can really control is writing the best story I can write. That's pretty much my focus. That's not to say I don't blog, facebook, twitter, etc. But thinking of creative marketing plans is something my brain just doesn't do very well. What does work well for me is paying attention to teenagers. Noticing what they read. Listening to what they say. In the end, I have to write something that is relevant and interesting to them so they will want to read it. And buy it.
What is one of your biggest fears?
I don't love flying on airplanes. But I'll do it. To promote my book. Hey! That's something I do to market my books! ;)
You can follow Ally's blog or on Twitter.
Here are the other reviews going on at the Bookanistas today:
- Elana Johnson is spreading some cover love with BAD TASTE IN BOYS
- Christine Fonseca is dishing about TELL ME A SECRET
- Scott Tracey is gushing over PARANORMALCY
- Beth Revis is spreading some cover love with XVI
- Carolina Valdez Miller is raving about FIRELIGHT
- Myra McEntire is loving SIREN
- Shannon Messenger is digging THE DUFF
- Michelle Hodkin is embracing the awesome of THE REPLACEMENT
- The Plot This Belles are adoring THE HEALING SPELL
- Lisa and Laura Roecker are grilling author Lee Bantle