8
May

6 Questions With Kimberly Kreines, Author of Black Lacey

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1. You’re a teen again and call your MC (from your story in volume 3) on the phone with urgent news: What’s the news and what is his/her reaction?

The phone rings. Brenn picks up.

Brenn: Hey.

Me: AHHHHH!

Brenn: Oh my God, my ear.

Me: I passed! I can drive!

Brenn: Thank, God because the twins are about to push me over the edge, I swear to you. Get me out of here.

Me: Okay, yeah. Okay, I can do that. I’ll just drive over in my car with my new license. And I’ll pick you up in my car with my new license. And then we can go somewhere in my car with—

Brenn: Just do it already!

Me: I’ll be there in fifteen minutes.

Brenn: Thank you.

Me: In my car with my new license. (I giggle/squeal as I hang up.)

2. We are making a short film of your story, who plays the lead character?

This is a great question. I’m a very visual writer. As I wrote I had a vision of Brenn in my head, so I know exactly what she should look like: short-ish with long brown hair and a crooked smile. But Brenn is really more about what’s inside than what’s outside. She’s such an introvert. Most of what she struggles with happens under the surface while she is busy faking it for the rest of the world, so I would want an actress who could really capture that. I think Ariel Winter (Alex Dunphy from Modern Family) could do the job. Ariel has the ability to hold emotion behind her eyes, and that’s what I see Brenn doing a lot.

3. If you were hired to co-author a book with a best selling YA author of YOUR choice, who would you choose?

First you should know that I don’t play well with others. Never have. So I have a really hard time thinking about co-authoring anything with anyone. But that being said, even I can admit that it would be insane to pass up the chance to work with a best selling author. So my answer is John Green. He wrote, among others, two of my favorite YA books: An Abundance of Katherines and The Fault in Our Stars. His writing is magical. It has the ability to transport while keeping one firmly planted on the ground. He writes some of the best dialogue that I have ever read and he has developed characters that are as real as many of the real people I know. I would want to write with him because (very selfishly) I think I could learn a lot from him.

 

4. Describe your weirdest writing habit.

Hmmm, this is a hard one. Hard because I think I have a lot of weird writing habits (though I’ve never watched another writer write, so I guess maybe my habits are completely normal – or not). One thing I do is change my writing location with each chapter. Every time I finish a chapter I move from one chair to another. I usually write from home, so one day I’ll sit in my couch, another on the floor, the next I’ll stand at the kitchen bar, and the day after that I’ll curl up by the fireplace or sit at the dining room table. Moving around like that helps me mark my progress. If I’m in one location for too long that means I’m stuck on a chapter and I need to figure out something deeper that’s not working with the story.

5. Which character in the classic teen movie The Breakfast Club bests describes you in high school?

None of them. The truth is that in High School I clung so close to the straight and narrow that I would never have gone outside my box enough to learn something in that detention room that day. I would have been the kid who did exactly what was asked. Diligently and without question. And I would have wanted my essay to get an A++. I wouldn’t have cared that the rest of the room was learning an existential life lesson – I wouldn’t have even noticed, I would have been too busy revising and rewriting. Also (read huge goody-two-shoes) I would never have gotten a detention.

6. What’s the best part about being a member of the Sucker family (so far!)?

The support. No question. It is amazing to feel like there is someone out there who cares as much about my story as I do. Thank you, Sucker for everything you do, you’ll never know just how much difference you really make.

Read Kimberly’s story in volume 3. Click here.

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7
May

6 Questions With Evelyn Ehrlich, Author of The Chemistry of You and Me

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1.   You’re a teen again and call your MC (from your story in volume 3) on the phone with urgent news: What’s the news and what is his/her reaction?

Me: Oh my God, I know the secret about Cam’s past—why none of us have ever heard of him before, where he’s been and why!

Main character: I don’t care. Cam is Cam. That’s the only thing that matters.

2. We are making a short film of your story, who plays the lead character?

Oh, this is tough, because in my story, the main character isn’t identified as either a he or a she. There isn’t even a name; the reader decides whether it’s a boy or a girl telling the story.

But if we had to cast the love interest, Cam Keats, it would be Logan Lerman. Who didn’t love his vulnerability in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”? And he’s badass in “Percy Jackson.” That’s the perfect mix for Cam.

3. If you were hired to co-author a book with a best selling YA author of YOUR choice, who would you choose?

Hannah Moskowitz! Her voice is killer, and her characters, wounded and so real that their pain haunts you. I would love to co-author a book with her. Hell, I’d be thrilled even to exchange a few tweets with her!

 4.  Describe your weirdest writing habit.

A little while ago, I was named a finalist for the Katherine Paterson Prize, which was judged by Rebecca Stead. Afterwards, she wrote me a message—“You are a talented writer!”—which I promptly had framed for my desk. Now, I rub the frame with my thumb three times before I start writing, for luck. I guess I’m as superstitious as the main character in “The Chemistry of You and Me”

5.  Which character in the classic teen movie The Breakfast Club bests describes you in high school?

Dear Sucker Lit,

I accept the fact that I had to sacrifice a whole Saturday at my computer responding to these questions. But I think you’re crazy to make me write an answer telling you who I think I am. You see me as you want to see me: in the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions. But what I found out is that in each part of me is…

A brain.

And an athlete.

And a basket case.

A princess.

And a criminal.

Does that answer your question?

Sincerely,

The Breakfast Club (I mean, me)

6.   What’s the best part about being a member of the Sucker family (so far!)?

I think the first thing we were asked to do—buy a huge lollipop and take a picture with it—pretty much sums up the awesomeness of this experience so far. Getting to know the other authors has been fun, too. I can’t wait for the anthology to come out so I can read everyone else’s work!

To read Evelyn’s story in volume 3, click here.

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6
May

6 Questions With Kristina Wojtaszek, author of If It Rains

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1. You’re a teen again and call your MC (from your story in volume 3) on the phone with urgent news: What’s the news and what is his/her reaction? 

My job was to challenge Alexandra, to force her growth, so if I were to continue the story in any way, it would be with news that would make her take a step beyond what she’s already accomplished by forgiving herself.  So I’d probably call up as The Asshole, with news that I’m leaving town, and before I go, I want her forgiveness.  I’d force her to choose to see him or not, to figure out what she needs to do to move on.  The first thing she’d want to do is to call up Ernie for some no-bullshit advice, but maybe she wouldn’t.  Maybe as Alexandra learns to trust herself, she’d go it alone and report back to Ernie after all was conquered.  I envision her walking up to Ernie and revealing a little scrap of paper with The Asshole’s phone number on it and ripping it up with a smirk.  They’d make confetti out of the scraps, and celebrate her independence.

2. We are making a short film of your story, who plays the lead character?

You know, I’m sort of a hermit lately and I really don’t watch enough TV or movies to say, but I’ve always liked Claire Danes and I think she did an amazing job in Brokedown Palace.  It would have to be someone like her who could be authentic in the roll of a somewhat troubled and uncertain young woman.

3.  If you were hired to co-author a book with a best selling YA author of YOUR choice, who would you choose?

I would grovel at the feet of Katja Millay, author of The Sea of Tranquility.  Because she’s honest with her characters, and brutal, and scrapes for the shine beneath the tarnish.  And she’s smart with symbolism.  Those are all elements I strive for in my own stories.

 4. Describe your weirdest writing habit.

I write myself to sleep.  Not literally, but in my head.  Sleep is a sacred time for me, and I take hours to get there (gotta love insomnia).  So I actually do a good deal of writing in my head as a way to work through plots and problems, and eventually (if I’m lucky) I end up dreaming scenes that will come back to me later when I sit down to write.

5. Which character in the classic teen movie The Breakfast Club bests describes you in high school?

I admit, I had to rewatch the movie because I could only remember bits of it, but Allison nailed me the moment she began drawing in the back row.  I wasn’t as eccentric as her, but definitely as much of a no name.  In fact, by the time I graduated from high school, instead of knowing anything about myself, all I knew was what I wasn’t; I wasn’t good at sports, I wasn’t smart, I wasn’t a partier or a goth, I had no school spirit or motivation for anything, I was the opposite of popular, but I wasn’t even picked on all that much either, because I learned how to be ignored.  Actually, I might have been an anti-Allison, because while she was looking for attention, I was looking for ways to hide.  Only now that I’m in my early 30s do I realize that I was an artist and a writer; a quiet observer of people.  Back then, I didn’t even have enough confidence to claim that for myself.

6. What’s the best part about being a member of the Sucker family (so far!). 

The best part of being a Sucker(!) for me is finally feeling like the younger me that I’ve buried so deep has a place of acceptance.  Connecting with other YA writers and readers seems to me more than just a professional link, it feels like a confessional link– that hey, we’ve all been there, felt awkward, loved too much, gotten in and out of trouble and fought against our own identities, and in our writing, at least, we’ve never truly left.

To read Kristina’s story in volume 3, click here.

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5
May

6 Questions for Mary Malhotra, author of Superpower

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1. You’re a teen again and call your MC (from your story in volume 3) on the phone with urgent news: What’s the news and what is his/her reaction?

Here’s how the phone call would sound from my side:

Guess what, Dana? Ms. Heller’s toasted! The parents are all on your side. They think the accident was her fault, not yours… Why would I call you if I hated you?… You didn’t ruin Ms. Heller’s life. And Niki just has to get better…  Girl, you are spending way too much time home alone. You should totally come back to school.

 2. We are making a short film of your story, who plays the lead character?

Has to be Shailene Woodley. After starring in Divergent and in the upcoming TFIOS, I know she would get Dana.

 3. If you were hired to co-author a book with a best selling YA author of YOUR choice, who would you choose?

Let me answer this question with a list.

Things I would volunteer to co-author with John Green:

a YA novel
a short story for Sucker
a Post-it note

4. Describe your weirdest writing habit.

I’m super sensitive about anyone looking over my shoulder while I write, but when I’m revising, if I change one word on a page I read it aloud to everyone I know:  ”What do you think? Which way does it sound better?”

5. Which character in the classic teen movie The Breakfast Club bests describes you in high school?

It’s got to be Carl the Janitor. Remember when he tells the Breakfast Club, “I look through your letters, I look through your lockers. I listen to your conversations, you don’t know that but I do. I am the eyes and ears of this institution my friends.” I’m not sure what Carl did with all his observations, but I was obviously taking notes to help future me write YA fiction!

 6. What’s the best part about being a member of the Sucker family (so far!)?

Sucker is a labor of love start to finish, and when you become a part of it you really feel that love! It was a long road to get here, but positive Sucker vibes kept me from losing heart and the editorial feedback has been fabulous. My story is twenty times stronger (and half as long) as it was the first time I thought it was “done.”

To read Mary’s story in volume 3, click here.

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4
May

How I Found Sucker, Kimberly Kreines, author of “Black Lacey”

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I found Sucker as a staff reader first. I enjoyed reading all of the submissions for the first two issues and decided to submit for volume three. My experience working on both ends has been phenomenal. The staff is supportive of the writers, and I can tell by all the enthusiasm and hard work involved that Sucker does its best to promote the writers as well as each volume. I feel very fortunate to be one of the writers in volume three.

– Kimberly Kreines, author of “Black Lacey” volume 3

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3
May

How I Found Sucker, Mary Malhotra author of “Superpower “

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My super supportive family helped me find Sucker. My son and his wife Mia (a published poet who is an experienced citizen of the world of literary journals) gave me a birthday card including advice on great journals to submit my work to — and Sucker was on the shortlist. Meanwhile, my mom (and fellow SCBWI member) pointed out an SCBWI article featuring Sucker and editor Hannah Goodman. I got my hands on Volume 1, devoured it, and knew I wanted to be part of the Sucker family! I can’t say enough about the wonderful feedback Hannah and her amazing team give, whether your story is almost there or almost-almost there. Even if a story is rejected outright — I’ve been there too — the feedback makes it not like a slap in the face but rather like an invitation to keep working.

-Mary Malhotra author of  “Superpower ”
@MCMalhotra

To purchase volume III, click here.

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2
May

How I Found Sucker- Lilliam Rivera

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I found out about Sucker Literary through twitter. Someone in my timeline posted how the journal was looking for young adult submissions. It’s been a great experience. The editors work really close to make sure you are putting out your best work. They’ve worked closely with me to make this story as strong as possible.

Lilliam Rivera, “The H8TE”,  Volume III, click here.
@lilliamr

 

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1
May

How I Found Sucker, Evelyn Ehrlich author of “The Chemistry of You and Me”

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Years ago, at my first SCBWI conference in LA, I befriended Lilliam Rivera, a sassy and very fashionable YA writer. We kept in touch and saw each other every summer at the LA conference, where we’d share our small successes and cheer each other on. Fast forward to this fall, when I caught a tweet from Lilliam that Sucker had an open call for submissions. It was a sign. I already had THE CHEMISTRY OF YOU AND ME written. I sent it in. A few weeks later, I got “The Email” from Hannah Goodman, editor extraordinaire, that my piece had been accepted for publication. Woo hoo! I tweeted about it, of course. And that’s when Lilliam revealed that she, too, had a story forthcoming in volume 3. It really was fate that we’d take this journey together and wind up published at the same time, in the same anthology. So now we’re not only friends, we’re also Sucker family.

Evelyn Ehrlich author of “The Chemistry of You and Me”, Volume III, click here.

 

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30
Apr

How I Found Sucker- Kristina Wojtaszek

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I found Sucker Lit online when I was searching for more YA to read.  I guess you could say it was love at first sight, because Sucker offers the real emotions and widely different viewpoints of true-to-life YA experiences.  Sucker doesn’t shy away from the tough issues, and I think that kind of honesty is just what teens are looking for.  It’s an amazing experience to be caught up in a stunning story that actually resonates with your own life, and I think it’s a rare experience, too.  I am not ashamed to say that this is my third attempt at getting a story published in Sucker (and my first success).  Hannah is an amazing editor and she really is looking for the best of the best!

Find out more about Kristina, here.

To purchase volume III, click here.

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29
Apr

How I Found Sucker, Charity Tahmaseb author of ” Just a Matter of Time”

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I can’t remember exactly. I think Sucker popped up on my radar via YARN: Young Adult Review Network. All I remember is being so excited at another venue for young adult short stories. I bought volumes 1 and 2 right when they came out and I’m so thrilled to be part of volume 3.

Charity Tahmaseb, author of  “Just a Matter of Time”

To purchase volume III, click here.

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