Can you tell us a little bit about the book for which you’ve foun representation? What inspired you to write
The book, MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES, is about a
sixteen-year-old girl named Aysel who is obsessed
with planning her own death, but isn't sure she has the courage to go
through with it. She makes a pact with an unlikely boy who shares the
same goal, but as she finds herself falling for him, she starts to
question everything she previously believed was true. In sum, the book
is about a suicide pact, love, and physics. The book was inspired by
two things--the first, my desire to write an honest book about the
demon of depression. I wanted to showcase a first person narrator who
is actively struggling with depression.
And second, one of my dearest friends passed away at the beginning of
this year and I found myself in a very dark place. This narrative was,
in part, my way of coping with those feelings.
How long have you been writing?
The most honest answer would be forever. Some of my earliest memories
involve me making up stories, sometimes in my head, sometimes putting
them down on paper. I guess I started to get "serious" about writing
three(ish) years ago when I was 22, but I've been writing in some form
or another my entire life.
How long have you been working on this book?
I started the first draft in January and signed with my agent in
May. That said, this story has been in my head for years, I just
had never been able to wrangle it onto the page.
Was there ever a time you felt like giving up, and what helped you
to stay on course?
Definitely. I'm ridden with self-doubt and anxiety, but I think at the
end of the day it comes down to the fact that I have to write and that
desire never goes away so giving up wasn't ever a viable option.
Do you follow a writing "routine" or schedule?
I like to write in the mornings, if I can. I used to wake up at 5 a.m.
before work and write for two hours. I find that in the morning my
brain is still a little bit fuzzy and that fuzziness helps the words
flow. (The problem though is that I tend to stay up too late for
someone who likes to wake up early.)
Did you outline your book, or do you write from the hip?
I mostly wrote from the hip. I had an idea of where it began and where
it ended and it was my job to fill in the rest as I went along.
How long have you been querying for this book?
About a month or so. I know how lucky and unusual that is and I feel very grateful!
What advice would you give other writers seeking agents?
To expect the worst, but prepare for the best. Wonderful things can
happen very quickly and you should be prepared. Also, as cliche as it
is, never give up and never lose sight of your love of writing. Keep
writing and keep the faith.