Get to know the awesome authors joining us in October!
aka Margaret Guerevich
Author of Chloe by Design series, Pieces of Us, and Inconvenient.
YA Fest: Favorite YA authors?
Margie Gelbwasser: I have so many and am finding new favorites daily. I used to answer this question, but always end up leaving someone out, so I’ll just stick with “many.”
YA Fest: Favorite YA books from the past year (2014/2015)?
Margie: I’ve been swamped with deadlines and haven’t had much time to read, which makes me sad. However, I did squeeze in two books. I absolutely adored Becky Albertalli’s SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIEN AGENDA. This was one of those books where I forget it was a book and just wanted to know the characters and hang out with them. I still think about Simon and wonder how he’s doing. Another really powerful book is THE FIVE STAGES OF ANDREW BRAWLEY by Shaun Hutchinson. Shaun’s a good friend of mine and a crit partner so I read this book in various stages and have a special connection to it. I loved its unique format (graphic novel inserts) and the way the story packs such emotion.
YA Fest: How/why did you start writing?
Margie: Like ever? The first thing I remember writing was a poem. I was seven, and the poem had such eloquent rhymes like “twirl” and “swirl.” Haha. My mom still has this poem. Writing was just always something that helped me sort out my feelings and pulled me away from the rest of the world. I was/am happiest when I’m writing and creating new worlds and characters.
YA Fest: One piece of advice for young writers?
Margie: Don’t give up, and believe in yourself. Ok, that’s two things, but they go together. I know this is clichéd, and I’m sure I’m the millionth person to say this, but it’s so true. I also feel this advice applies to writers of all ages. There’s a lot of rejection in this business, and you have to believe in yourself enough to keep trying. I’m trying to find an agent for a YA book now. I’ve come close, but haven’t found one yet. Each rejection is upsetting, but I really believe in this book and my skills and keep going. If you need time to wallow, take a day or a week, but then try again. If getting published is your dream, don’t give up on it.
YA Fest: What are you currently working on? (Give us your elevator pitch!)
Margie: I have a few projects I’m working on now, but I’ll give my pitch for the YA I talked about above. Here goes: A girl struggling with anxiety and OCD meets a boy she thinks is her cure, but he has secrets of his own.
YA Fest: Are your characters/stories inspired by real people/events?
Margie: Since I write contemp YA, I would say most of my stories are inspired by something I’ve seen, read about, or experienced. The YA I just described, for example, is based on some of my own struggles with anxiety and OCD. The MC and I don’t share all of the same issues, but my experiences with people thinking anxiety and/or OCD only manifest themselves in one way inspired me to write this book. People often place mental illness in a box. When I tell people I have OCD issues, they’re surprised because the issues don’t come across in the way they think they should. We need more mental illness awareness.