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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Interview & Giveaway with Adam Silvera, author of More Happy Than Not

Today the always wonderful and often funny Adam Silvera is at The Hiding Spot to chat about his debut novel More Happy Than Not. I am so incredibly happy that Adam's book is finally out in the world for the masses to read and love. I truly adore this book, which has been bouncing around in my head since I read it months ago. Check out the interview below, then enter to win yourself a finished copy of the book. Trust me - you want this book in your life.

Can you talk a bit about the role of the Leteo Institute in More Happy Than Not and your inspiration for this aspect of the novel? 
The inspiration for the novel itself was me wanting to explore nurture vs. nature in regards to homosexuality, and, if a teenager who is gay were presented with an opportunity to be straight, whether he would take it or not. I’ve always been a fan of novels with memory so I combined the two, presenting my narrator, Aaron Soto, with an opportunity to “forget” he’s gay so he can have an easier life, which is very tempting because homeboy has been through many more harrowing trials than the usual sixteen-year-old. 
Tell me a little bit about your writing process: Do you outline? Start at the beginning? The middle? The end? 
I’m on my third book now and my process has been different each time. For More Happy Than Not, I’d been trying to write this book for a couple years when one day while I was living in Texas for a brief stint - intending to write a different book (middle grade fantasy, actually) - something finally clicked with me for this book. I wrote the first chapter (now different than what’s being published) in a couple hours. Then I would outline a couple chapters ahead, keep writing, outline a couple chapters ahead, keep writing, and so on. I didn’t know how it would end, and the ending has changed since that first draft, but this method allowed me to build momentum while inching towards the last page. 
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 worked as a bookseller (Barnes & Noble originally, later Books of Wonder), a marketing assistant at a literary development company (Paper Lantern Lit), an intern at a creative writing website for young adults (Figment), and a reviewer of children’s and young adult novels (Shelf Awareness). 

Working with my wonderful editor at Shelf Awareness, Jennifer M. Brown, taught me how to better edit myself. Working at Paper Lantern Lit taught me a thousand things about strengthening your plot, and identifying whether or not your book has a plot. And being a bookseller was probably my favorite gig—I was given recommendations out of my comfort zone and I got a chance to observe which covers were actually attracting readers and customers, a skill that came in handy when assisting with the design of my own cover. 
If you had to pick a favorite word, what would it be and why? 
My favorite word has always been STUFF because I’m a ten-year-old forever. 
My blog is dedicated to my personal hiding spot, books. Name a notable book that has provided you with a hiding spot. 
Harry Potter for life! I have a Riddikulus! tattoo on my wrist because that series was both my escape out of our world and my ticket into the publishing world I’ve written myself into. I would probably be a video game reviewer (respectable profession, obviously!) if Harry and his homies at Hogwarts didn’t turn me into a reader. 
What can readers look forward to next? 
My next book is tentatively scheduled for Fall 2016 and is a straight-up contemporary novel called History Is All You Left Me. I’m still in the middle of writing it (it was sold on proposal), but it’s about two boys grieving the love of their life and engaging in a destructive relationship with each other in his absence. The narrator, Griffin, was Theo’s childhood love, and Jackson was his boyfriend at time of death. It’s another very personal novel to me. 

I also have another speculative project in the works called They Both Die At The End—stay tuned!

About the Author

Adam was born and raised in the Bronx and is tall for no reason. He was a bookseller before shifting to children's publishing where he worked at a literary development company, a creative writing website for teens, and as a book reviewer of children's and young adult novels. He lives in New York City. More Happy Than Not his debut novel. 

Win It!

1 Winner. Open Internationally. Ends June 25, 2015.
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Don't miss Adam's stops at these other great blogs:

June 1 - Novel Sounds
June 2 - Bookish Broads
June 3 - Cuddlebuggery
June 4 - The Hiding Spot
June 8 - Paper Riot
June 11 - Fiction Fare
June 12 - Book Rock Betty


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