YA Writer Wednesdays is THRILLED (!) to welcome Jenny Torres Sanchez, author of THE DOWNSIDE OF BEING CHARLIE. I have read this book and I absolutely LOVED IT.
Click here for my review of THE DOWNSIDE OF BEING CHARLIE.
What's your book about? [From the back flap:] Charlie is handed a crappy senior year. Despite losing thirty pounds over the summer, he still gets called “Chunks” Grisner. What’s worse, he has to share a locker with the biggest Lord of the Rings freak his school has ever seen. He also can’t figure out whether Charlotte VanderKleaton, the beautiful strawberry lip-glossed new girl, likes him the way he likes her. Oh, and then there’s his mom. She’s disappeared—again—and his dad won’t talk about it. Somewhere between the madness, Charlie can at least find comfort in his one and only talent that just might get him out of this life-sucking place. But will he be able to hold his head above water in the meantime?
Paperback and e-book widely available.
Do you write from an outline or are you a "pantser"? Oh, I’m definitely a “panster.” When I start out, I have no idea what the story is actually going to be about. Usually it’s a character that shows up for me, and I know this character has a story and has shown up for some reason. So I’ll kind of hang out with him/her for a bit, trying to figure it all out, and little by little I’ll uncover his story is. In the process, I take a lot of wrong turns and end up rewriting quite a bit, but I’m just not a good outliner. If I try to stick to any kind of outline my writing seems forced, so I just pants it and hope it somehow helps me stay true to the character’s story.
Are you a full-time writer or do you have a "day job"? What do you do in your "day job"? I’m lucky enough to write full-time. I’m a morning writer, so each morning I grab my coffee and sit in front of my screen and wait. Some days are good and some days there’s a whole lot of staring and sighing. But I force myself to stay there because almost always, if I sit there long enough, I’ll get something.
Why YA as opposed to some other genre? I love writing about the teen years because I think it’s a really interesting, complicated time in our lives. Typically, this is when we’re getting our first look at the world without the rose tinted glasses of childhood. And we start to realize that some things really are pretty screwed up and we look at adults around us and wonder how they can be so apathetic to all this screwed up-ness. So, it’s a time of losing faith, while at the same time searching for answers and being quite certain that someday we will go out there and do better. I love that contradicting outlook. Then add to all of this that as a teen, you’re trying to figure out who you are and well, it’s a pretty intense time. I just find it really inspiring and think it makes for great stories.
Who's your agent? Take this opportunity to brag on him/her if you'd like! My agent is Kerry Sparks of the Levine Greenberg Agency and she’s absolutely incredible. She believed in Charlie’s story (at times more than I did) and has been a champion of it every step of the way. She made wonderful suggestions that improved this story immensely before we submitted to editors. And she has kept me informed and motivated throughout the whole process. I’ve also been lucky enough to meet Kerry in person and she’s incredibly kind and funny and I’m absolutely thrilled she’s my agent.