Excerpted from Apple's Angst by Rebecca Eckler. Copyright © 2010 by Rebecca Eckler. Excerpted by permission of Doubleday Canada, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
20 Writerly Questions with Rebecca Eckler
1. How would you summarize your book in one sentence?
It’s The Hills meets Gossip Girl, full of drama, boys, gossip, and, of course teenage angst! (God, I miss being a teenager! Although, emotionally, I may be stuck there!)
2. How long did it take you to write this book?
This is the second book in the series. The first book, called Rotten Apple, took just over a year to write. Apple’s Angst, because I knew the characters so well, and how they spoke, and their attitudes, and their quirks, was easier to write. It’s not so much “how long it takes to write,” it’s more, “How much time I spend thinking about my characters!”
3. Where is your favorite place to write?
My favorite place to write, when the weather is nice, is in my backyard. I have a pet squirrel and hummingbird, both who like to watch me write (They’re not really my pets, but they hang out with me in the backyard!) In the winter, I have a gorgeous office….which I never use. I end up writing at my kitchen table. Most likely, this is because of the close vicinity of my refrigerator and my cupboards of chocolate pudding.
4. How do you choose your characters’ names?
I choose character’s names that are unique to say the least. I adore odd names. Because I’m not quite sure I could get away with naming a real baby such unique names, I give them to my characters. (However, argue with me all you want, I still think the name “Apple” is gorgeous!)
5. How many drafts do you go through?
I’ve repressed that answer! Let’s just say that I write until the book is the best I think it can be.
6. If there was one book you wish you had written what would it be?
The Romantic by Barbara Gowdy which I think is a perfect book. Perfect! Also, I Love You Forever by Robert Munch. Brings tears to my eyes every time. And I’ve read that A LOT!
7. If your book were to become a movie, who would you like to see star in it?
A younger Natalie Portman.
8. What’s your favorite city in the world?
Paris, without a doubt. Romantic and not a bad meal ever! And the shopping….and the shopping….and the shopping….and the pastries…and the pastries…and the pastries…
9. If you could talk to any writer living or dead who would it be, and what would you ask?
Joan Didion, but frankly, I would love to talk to Eric Clapton, Britney Spears, Leonard Cohen and Lady Gaga…I love talking to all writers. I would ask them, “Is writing HARD for you too?”
10. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what kind?
Nope! I need total silence. However, I take walking/running breaks where I blast top forty so I can’t hear my thoughts!
11. Who is the first person that gets to you read your manuscript?
My editor. They are the only ones who get to see my books until publication.
12. Do you have a guilty pleasure read?
Us Weekly. But I don’t consider that a guilty pleasure. I’m a proud reader of US Weekly. Plus, I think any reading is good reading.
13. What’s on your nightstand right now?
No books! Ha! All my books are kept in my office or kitchen bookshelves. Wait…there’s a box of chocolates on my nightstand. It’s half empty. I like eating in bed.
14. What is the first book you remember reading?
Stephen King’s Cujo. I know. I’m weird!
15. Did you always want to be a writer?
I knew I always liked to write. I didn’t think it could be a career, but as far as careers go, I’m very, very blessed to be a writer. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
16. What do you drink or eat while you write?
I drink Banana/Strawberry Vivano’s (smoothies) from Starbucks, with non-fat milk, half the strawberry portion, and double protein powder. Yes, the people at Starbucks love when I order!
17. Typewriter, laptop, or pen & paper?
Hello? It’s 2010!! LAPTOP!!!! Also, I write two books on a laptop, then buy myself a new one. I believe in computer Feng Shui.
18. What did you do immediately after hearing that you were being published for the very first time?
I spent my advance on two pairs of Prada boots. Then I threw up, because I had morning sickness, while writing Knocked Up. Lovely, but true!
19. What is the best gift someone could give a writer?
A gift certificate to a therapist!
20. What is one thing people don't know about you?
I just cannot eat blue M and M's.