Welcome to Amy Fellner Dominy, author of AUDITION AND SUBTRACTION, a tween novel releasing September 4!
What inspired you to write this story?
In a word: Desperation.
About five years ago, I was really struggling as a writer. I got stuck halfway through a book and felt lost, hopeless and wondered if I’d ever write anything decent. It was in this mindset that I came across an article suggesting I search my mind for an emotionally charged memory and use that as a jumping off point for a story. So I did.
What came to mind was the day my best friend showed up to lunch with a guy. It may sound small, but when he sat with us my world tilted. Forever, really. I was losing my best friend to a guy and relationships were starting to shift in scary (and exciting) ways. I wrote that as a scene and though it never made it into the book, Audition & Subtraction had been born.
What was your publication process like, from initial idea to sale?
I wrote the first draft in 2007. It was a mess! I rewrote it again but before I could put the finishing touches on the book, my computer hard drive crashed and I lost the files. After OyMG sold, my editor wondered if I had any other books that were similar. Talk about good incentive! I retyped the whole book and finished the edits. The book went to my agent near the end of 2010. She liked it but she wanted some pretty major rewrites. I worked hard for about two months and sent back a new version early 2011. My editor loved the changes and I was thrilled to get a contract with a release date of fall 2012.
So, I guess you could say it was 5 years from start to shelf.
What books have shaped you as a reader and writer, from childhood to the present?
Growing up, I loved contemporary stories about girls like me. Of course Judy Blume was my hero and maybe that’s why I still love reading and writing contemporary. I also found myself drawn to books with strong characters. One of my favorite books of all time is Watership Down. The characters are all rabbits, but to me they’re as real as any people I know. Even now, I like books with strong characters I can relate to. I also have to admit I’m a romantic at heart. Add an angsty romance to the mix and I’m hooked. Favorites include Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre.
What is one thing people misunderstand about writing tween fiction?
Sometimes I’m surprised when adults ask why I don’t write real books—meaning adult books. It’s as if writing for kids isn’t important, or less important in some way. I completely disagree. Even now, when I think back to the books that changed my life, they’re the books I read when I was young. To me, those were the important books because they helped shape me…helped me to shape who I am today. I wish more adults would read young. I think they’d find themselves quite surprised by the depth and quality of writing out there.
Are you working on anything new?
I just finished a book I’m calling BAD KAT. Think high-school theater, an old romance that never died, challenging the roles we’re told to play…and a black spandex catsuit. Keep your fingers crossed the book finds a home—I’m so excited about how it turned out.
Bloomsbury has offered an advance reader copy (ARC) of AUDITION AND SUBTRACTION to one Project Mayhem reader. To enter, follow Project Mayhem and comment below, sharing one thing you'll take from this interview. Contest closes Thursday, September 6.
Connect with Amy here:
Connect with Amy here: