Today debut novelist Michelle Levy visits The Hiding Spot. Michelle's novel, Not After Everything, is a powerful work of YA fiction that should be on the to be read list of readers who enjoy stories that pack an emotional punch. Check out my interview with Michelle and enter to a win a finished copy of her novel below!
I’ve been told that readers who liked The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharpe, The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider, and/or Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell will enjoy Not After Everything. And those are some amazing comparisons so I’ll take it!Tell me a little bit about your writing process: Do you outline? Start at the beginning? The middle? The end?
I’m a big believer in outlining. I don’t necessarily stick to the outline completely, but I need to have a sense of where the big beats in the story are going to go. And then I always write linearly. I think I’d be too confused if I jumped around. I’m kind of in awe of writers who are able to do that.What jobs did you have on your way to becoming a published author? Is there a certain work experience that has shaped your writing or provided inspiration?
I’ve cleaned houses. I’ve been the person who stocks the greeting cards at grocery stores. I worked for a coat manufacturer that produced some of the most hideous coats I’ve ever seen in my life and had to try to sell those coats to stores like Nordstrom. And then finally got into casting for film and television. I’ve been a casting director for almost sixteen years now. I love it and can’t imagine ever giving it up completely. Casting has certainly influenced my writing. I usually cast my characters as I write them, which helps me hear how a certain actor would say a line as the character, which, in turn, helps me find the perfect voice for each character.If you had to pick a favorite word, what would it be and why?
I imagine you’d like to keep this PG. ;) Kidding. I’d say my favorite word would probably be surreptitious. Because even the word itself sounds sneaky.My blog is dedicated to my personal hiding spot, books. Name a notable book that provided you with a hiding spot.
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. After I read that book I immediately had to read it again so I could just bathe in all those beautifully arranged words.What can readers look forward to next?
I’m working on another contemporary YA book that deals with the psychological effects of bullying.
1 Winner. US Only. Ends 12/4/2015.
About the Book
Tyler has a football scholarship to Stanford, a hot girlfriend, and a reliable army of friends to party with. Then his mom kills herself. And Tyler lets it all go. Now he needs to dodge what his dad is offering (verbal tirades and abuse) and earn what his dad isn’t (money). Tyler finds a job that crashes him into Jordyn, his former childhood friend turned angry-loner goth-girl. She brings Tyler an unexpected reprieve from the never-ending pity party his life has become. How could he not fall for her? But with his dad more brutally unpredictable than ever, Tyler knows he can’t risk bringing Jordyn too deeply into the chaos. So when violence rocks his world again, will it be Jordyn who shows him the way to a hopeful future? Or after everything, will Tyler have to find it in himself?
About the Author
Michelle Levy was born and raised in Littleton, Colorado, where she memorized books before she was able to read, tricking her parents into thinking she was a genius. At eighteen she moved to Los Angeles, to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Michelle always secretly harbored a desire to write. She spent many insomnia-filled nights dreaming up stories that she never thought to write down. When she finally set out to get something on the page, the words flew out of her until she had her first completed manuscript, and she never looked back.
When Michelle isn't writing she is most likely working at her other job as a casting director, where in her many years of casting she has been privileged to work on projects such as Six Feet Under, Deadwood, Bruce Almighty, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters, and many more.
She still lives in Los Angeles but desperately misses thunderstorms and clouds and, well, weather really (even the occasional snowstorm), so she visits Colorado quite often.