If this interview seems a bit different from my most recent ones, question-wise, it's because Jay was the third author I ever asked to do an interview with, and I sent off questions that, in retrospect, are not exactly the best. However, Jay's answers are great and that's why I'm posting it! Hopefully I'll be able to do a second interview with Jay sometime and get some better answers outta him :P
Ever since elementary school when I wanted to write and illustrate my own comic strip. But my drawing skills never improved beyond sixth grade.
What's your writing regimen like? How do you deal with writer's block?
I usually go to a coffee shop right after work and sit there until I'm not feeling creative anymore, which can be hours...or minutes. Writer's block is interesting, because it usually comes when I can't think of a creative way to solve a problem. How do I deal with it? I move on to something more exciting to think about. For example...next question, please!
Do you ever listen to music while writing? Any artists you want to mention as grade-A music?
Sometimes I'll listen to music before I start writing to put myself into a certain mood. I listened to a lot of Buffalo Tom and the My So-Called Life soundtrack with Thirteen Reasons Why. But I'm so easily distracted that I can't listen to music while I'm writing.
Can you tell us what your second book is going to be about? Do you know when it's coming out?
It's a secret. So if I told you, I'd have to start all over. But it will definitely be a little lighter than 13RW.
Thirteen Reasons Why was your first published novel. What were the biggest surprises you had going from unpublished to published?
I never imagined school and bookstore visits would be so much fun. My presentation touches on the serious aspects of the book, but also deals with the lighter side of my writing journey. I'd give presentations every day if I could.
What's the biggest piece of advice you give to aspiring writers?
Join a critique group. You might as well have your friends tell you what isn't working before an editor has the chance to.
Congratulations on becoming a New York Times Bestselling author! How did it feel when you found out Thirteen Reasons Why had hit the list?
Who has been your biggest influence when it comes to writing?
Louis Sachar's There's A Boy in the Girls' Bathroom was a huge influence on storytelling and character development. Chris Crutcher really opened my eyes to the power of teen literature. But probably the most suspenseful and unique reading experience I ever had was as a little kid with The Monster at the End of this Book. I'm always on the lookout for a book that enjoyable.
What're you reading right now? How do you like it?
Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway. Just an amazingly fun book. Great characters. Great dialogue. And funny!
Veering away from the literary world a bit: What are you favorite movies and TV shows?
Here's your chance to be creative: Make up a question for yourself and answer it!
Q: If there's one thing you could eliminate from this world, what would it be?