Learn more about WriteOut, a writing camp for teens founded by Ally that starts this summer in Cedar City, UT.

the penguin five: q & a with andrea cremer

And now for a Q & A with Andrea Cremer to finish off the week of NIGHTSHADE. This is also your chance to win the second of two hardcover copies…so make sure to comment by midnight tomorrow (Saturday) night, MST. (Contest open to US only.)

1. Andrea, welcome! Can you tell us the top five things you think we should know about you?

5) I have two dogs: a pug and a border collie.
4) My middle name is Darrelle, after my father, Darrel.
3) I’m a history professor.
2) I don’t like the Beatles.
1) Calla and I have the same favorite book: Watership Down.

2. You’ve mentioned on your blog that you draft at an intense pace and that your manuscript really consumes you until you finish that initial draft. The pacing in Nightshade is INCREDIBLY well-done. How did you accomplish this? Do you think it is partially because of that wonderful/terrible consuming rush of the initial draft? Or is it something that comes out later in revision?

Thank you so much, Ally. Pacing is really important to me. I think the result is a combination of how absolutely lost I become in the first draft (I don’t mean lost in a wandering sense, but lost as in I forget about the real world for awhile) and refining that passion during the revision process.

3. Andrea, sometimes you and I joke about sharing a muse (we both love similar poems, etc.). How do you get your muse to come visit while you’re writing? What do you do to invite creativity into your life and writing?

My muse doesn’t visit, she holds me hostage. When I’m writing I have a hard time doing anything else. I get in the shower and get out again, forgetting to wash my hair. I pour orange juice on my cereal. I throw clothes in the garbage instead of the hamper. My muse is fueled by music and coffee and I would say the music does jumpstart my creative process. I create playlists for each of my novels.

4. Can you share with us one of your favorite paragraphs/passages from Nightshade?

Sure! This is one of my favorite lines from Calla: “Don’t ever, ever try to pet a wolf. It’s just insulting.”

5. And, finally, what are you reading right now?

I just finished Beth Revis’s debut, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE (January 2011). It’s amazing. Now I’m reading Diana Gabaldon’s OUTLANDER.

Thank you, Andrea! And congratulations again on the release of NIGHTSHADE!




+ comments (14)
  • Amanda
    October 22, 2010

    Very exciting stuff! Can’t wait to check out Nightshade!



  • Enna Isilee
    October 22, 2010

    I loved that line from NIGHTSHADE! And I’m jealous that Andrea’s read ATU! I really want that one.

    I REALLY want my own copy of this. Thank you SO much for hosting the Penguin Five, Ally!



  • jpetroroy
    October 22, 2010

    Great description of how it feels to be drafting.
    Can’t wait to read this.



  • Christi
    October 22, 2010

    Great interview! Nightshade is on my to-read list, but a few of my teens here at the library have already read it and absolutely loved it…they gave it an “epic” rating, which is pretty much as good as it gets!

    How was Across the Universe?? JEALOUS!



  • Amie Kaufman
    October 22, 2010

    No entry for me (wrong continent) but I just wanted to say thanks for the interview–will have to acquire a copy via my own independent means!



  • Emily
    October 22, 2010

    I love it — “Don’t ever, ever try to pet a wolf.” ROFL I can think of other reasons not to pet wolves and it doesn’t have anything to do with not insulting them…. 🙂

    Can’t WAIT to read Nightshade. I read the prequel the other night and loved it!

    Emily ebdye1(at)gmail(dot)com



  • Casey (The Bookish Type)
    October 22, 2010

    Gasp! Andrea doesn’t like the Beatles? O_o

    That’s one of my favorite Calla lines too! =)



  • Liz
    October 22, 2010

    I don’t like the Beatles either! My husband’s family almost disowned me because of it, but they decided not to hold it against me. Good thing I didn’t tell them how I feel about U2. 🙂



  • Karen_St_Louis
    October 22, 2010

    I’ve often wondered whether you need to be somewhat obsessed with your own writing in order for it to be really good. (Says the writer-wannabe with a husband and five young children and little time for obsessions…)



  • Vivien
    October 22, 2010

    I don’t like the Beatles either lol. That passage is perfect. I cannot wait for this to come out. It looks amazing.



  • Sylvia
    October 22, 2010

    I can’t wait to read Nightshade! 🙂 Thanks for this contest!



  • Sara B. Larson
    October 22, 2010

    I love it – she throws her clothes away and puts OJ on her cereal. Now that is a creative process. 😉 Great interview. Loved the book and can’t wait for more!



  • Emily C.
    October 23, 2010

    I heard awesome things about this on another book blog and can’t wait to read it. Would be great to skip the hold line at the library!



  • Emy Shin (Sandy)
    October 24, 2010

    I’ve heard so many great things about NIGHTSHADE on bookblogs, and am looking forward to read it soon!




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