March 1, 2009
Interview with Micol Ostow
Let's welcome Micol Ostow, who just finished the Bradford Blog Bash to celebrate her newest release. I first learned about Micol during her online release party for POPULAR VOTE. She sets a standard with her parties that I want to live up to - people may come for prizes but stay for content. Be sure to stop by her el jay and MySpace.
For those who know nothing about Micol, she's written over 40 novels, before which she worked as a children's book editor. There's even more neat info below.
1. You've written a number of romantic comedies. What do you think you need for a good romance? How do you balance it with the comedy?
Well, I have a pretty snarky voice in general (in my writing and in my real life), so I don't think I'd be able to write a straight romance without the comedy aspect. I think the type of romances that I prefer are the ones where nothing comes too easily or conveniently for the heroine, but where there IS a happy ending.
2. In what way is your life most like a romantic comedy?
It's really really not. Although, there was one guy who, after only two dates, invited me to go with him to Paris for the weekend. Which is sort of romantic comedy behavior. I said no, since it felt a little early to be jetting off with someone who was practically a stranger.
Luckily, three years later, he proposed, and we're getting married in December. AND we've since been to France 4 times together...Ooh, la la!
3. Your newest release is GOLDENGIRL, the first of the Bradford novels. These books have a large online presence - the Bradford blog as well as personal blogs and twitters for the characters. How is that managed? Do you think the publicity is effective?
I have an amazing book studio (FlirtyGirl Productions) that oversees all of the web content or I'd NEVER be able to balance it all. Even still, it's a huge amount of work to keep on top of. As for how effective the online presence is, it's a little early to say, since the book just came out last month. Right now we have about 20-some followers on the Bradford Novels blog, and the characters each have about 60-ish followers on Twitter. So people are starting to find us. And of course, we're hoping those numbers will grow!
4. Besides the Bradford novels, you have SO PUNK ROCK (AND OTHER WAYS TO DISAPPOINT YOUR MOTHER) releasing in 2009. How is writing a graphic novel different? Do you think you will write another? Did you enjoy working with your brother?
Well, technically, this isn't a graphic novel, but rather a novel with graphic interstitials throughout. So I wrote it the way I would write any book, and David and I talked throughout about which scenes would make for good illustrations. My brother is hilarious and brilliant and I loved working with him. We're definitely interested in doing another illustrated project together, but are still kicking around a few ideas. We're thinking of going younger--like chapter books or somesuch--and possibly supernatural.
5. What book do you wish you had written?
Too many! Although, I suppose it's not that I wish I had written certain books, but rather, that you read them and think to yourself: now THAT'S talent. I definitely felt that way about MT Anderson's FEED, and Meg Rosoff's HOW I LIVE NOW. Both of those are practically flawless.
6. You've published over 40 works. That's a lot of time spent writing. What else do you do? What would you consider your stangest hobby?
I don't do all that much else! :) Obviously, I love to read, and I watch a lot of junky tv, too (I spend a lot of time screaming at Heidi on 'The Hills'). I like cooking, and eating, and spending time with my friends. I like live performances that are funny and interactive (www.theliarshow.com, for example). I could spend all day playing with my dog. I used to be a big runner (ran the NYC Marathon in 2003), but lately have been kinder to my knees. I try to do something physical every day, though I don't always succeed.
My strangest hobby would have to be watching slasher movies. My mom is a huge fan of scary movies and she got me into them really early. So now that's our mother-daughter bonding thing, and one of my favorite ways to relax. We've already got plans to go see the 'Friday the 13th' remake this weekend.
7. If you could do anything with your life other than write, what would you choose to do?
Well, for nearly ten years I worked as a children's and young adult book editor, and I loved it. I wish that there were enough hours in the day for me to both edit and write, but both deserve so much of your creative energy that it's just not feasible. I'd probably go back to editing. I also teach a young adult writing workshop, which is tons of fun, so teaching is something else I'd be interested in.
8. Who do you admire most and why? Who did you admire when you were young?
I admire YA authors David Levithan and Aimee Friedman, two people who seem to have the author/editor split down pat. They both have amazing jobs and edit fantastic books, and also write breathtaking fiction in their "spare" time. What is that? What are they on? And can I have some?
As for who I admired when I was younger, I was OBSESSED with Laura Ingalls Wilder. Obsessed. Made my mom sew me a bonnet to wear around the house and everything.
9. Did you expect your life to turn out the way it has? What was one of the most unexpected events?
I suppose what I find most unbelievable about my life is that I am able to spend my days doing exactly what I've always wanted to do. I have been a writer pretty much since birth and it's amazing that I get paid to write teen fiction for a living. How lucky is that?
10. Name five things that make you happy. Name five that make one of your characters happy.
1. my fantabulous fiance
2. the wonderful Miss Bridget Jones, the French bulldog (aka my biggest fan, after my fiance)
3. strong coffee
5. a lazy day to relax with a book
My characters (from Bradford):
1. Spencer: watching a Grace Kelly movie in her private screening room with her besties at her side
2. Madison: getting inspired to design something new
3. Regan: an energizing power yoga class
4. Paige: someone else's misfortune (!)
5. Jeremy: stumbling upon an obscure B-side from one of his favorite indie bands
Thanks for the interview Micol! Now comment away. ^_^