Author Interview: Amy Reed

Tuesday, December 8, 2009 |

I have Amy Reed with us today! She is the amazing author of Beautiful which I recently reviewed, check it out here! You guys should go check it out because Beautiful was beautiful!

What made you decide to write Young Adult?
This may come as a surprise, but I originally wrote this book for an adult audience. When I started writing it, I didn't really know the YA genre existed. There wasn't a whole lot in the way of teen fiction when I was growing up, and almost nothing dealing with the kind of issues in Beautiful. I just knew that I had to write this story, and the fact that it ended up being published for young adults was an unexpected bonus. I feel so lucky to be a part of this exciting community of readers and writers.

How are you and Cassie alike? How are you different?
In a lot of ways, Cassie and I are very much alike. I felt just as lost at her age, just as confused and scared. I remember being faced with difficult decisions I knew I was not ready to make, of having a hard time distinguishing between what I believed and what other people wanted me to do. Beautiful was very much inspired by my experience starting a new school in seventh grade. I remember feeling so lonely and insecure being the new kid. But Beautiful takes that to an extreme that I luckily did not have to experience. Looking back, I think I did make some mistakes, but I never went as far as Cassie.

What is your favorite thing about being an author?
Writing! I love being able to go places with my characters, to get so lost with them they seem real to me.

So far, what has been the best thing someone ever said about Beautiful? (whether author, blogger, etc..)
I am so honored to have received so much amazing feedback. I have to admit I screamed when I found out what Ellen Hopkins said (“Beautiful is stark, disquieting and, quite simply, riveting. Amy Reed is an author to keep on your radar.”) What an honor! I also appreciate several people's comparisons to Go Ask Alice, which was one of my favorite books growing up. It also meant a lot to me when Courtney Summers said she never wanted a character to be okay as badly as she did Cassie--to have someone care that much about your character feels really wonderful.

How did the cover come to be for Beautiful? What do you think of it?
My editor Simon Pulse told me they were auditioning models, which still seems like a really big deal to me. Apparently they went through quite a few before they found the right one. Then they had a photo shoot with a make up artist and everything. I think the cover is absolutely perfect. At the surface, she looks tough, but you can see how young she is. And the lipstick writing is just brilliant.

What do you see as your strengths and weaknesses as an author?
I guess one of my biggest strengths is evoking emotions in the reader. But in some ways, maybe it's also a weakness. I have a tendency to go to very dark places, to push people's boundaries. Some people may think I go too far. But what's interesting to me as a writer is how people behave in extreme situations--I believe that's when people really show their true selves.

If you weren't an author, what would your dream job be?
I would be a farmer, no question about it. My husband thinks I'm crazy for wanting to build a farm in our backyard (we live in a city, by the way). I already have a lot of vegetables growing, and we plan on getting chickens this spring. I'm trying to convince him we have room for a pig and a goat, maybe some rabbits. But the truth is, I barely have enough time now to take care of my weed-infested garden and dog and two cats.

Lastly, is there anything else you'd like to add?
I just want to say thank you to everyone who has read Beautiful. I really hope you got something out of it.

Thanks Amy! That was a fun interview. Remember to check out Amy's website! =)


Book Crazy Jenn said...

Beautiful looks amazing - I cant wait to put my hands on it!

brizmus said...

If one of her strengths is evoking emotion in the reader, I've really got to read this one.
It's funny how they actually auditioned models for the cover. And went through so many. I think the girl on the cover looks like Avril Lavigne.

Sasha said...

Great interview. I really want to read Beautiful x

Alyssa Kirk @ Teens Read and Write said...

I usually don't read much contemporary but this book sounds good enough for me to go out of my comfort zone. Great interview. Ms. Reed sounds like a lovely person.

Dani. said...

Great interview:) Beautiful looks amazing, I cant wait to read it!

Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...

Awesome interview! And I LOVE the cover too. Can't believe they actually had to audition models! But I agree they found the perfect one. And I definitely still need to read this one soon!! :)

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