Friday, July 9, 2010


My ARC contest is open until midnight, July 17th. Please enter here.

In the tradition of the great Nathan Bransford, I'm having an open thread today. Ask me anything you like and I'll answer in the comments. Or ask each other things. Or tell me something you want me to know. Or or or whatever. And go.


Anonymous said...

Can you tell your readers how it is that you have become the coolest person in the known Universe?

Anonymous said...

I just want you to know that I have a totally inappropriate schoolboy crush on you.

Bookewyrme said...

I'm curious what you study at college? Or have you not chosen a major yet?
And yea, I'm totally nosy. :D

Steve MC said...

Top Ten Desert Island Discs?

hannah moskowitz said...

Anon 1--My mom is really, REALLY awesome, so I think she imbued it in my at birth.

Anon 2--Thank you, I have one on you as well.

Lia--Right now I'm an English major, but I declared it at the end of last year, so I haven't taken any classes as an English major and God knows if I'm going to like them. I was a Theatre major before, but I hated it.

Tom M Franklin said...

favorite authors/books you didn't think you'd like but ended up loving. (and why)


hannah moskowitz said...


My Dinosaur Life--Motion City Soundtrack
I'm Wide Awake It's Morning--Bright Eyes
Rent--Original Broadway Soundtrack
Nothing Left to Lose--Mat Kearney
Narrow Stairs--Death Cab for Cutie

hannah moskowitz said...

Wait, you asked for ten! Ah! Five more:

Abbey Road--The Beatles
Four Stops and Home--The Feeling
The Hazards of Love--The Decemberists
Even if It Kills Me--Motion City Soundtrack
Spring Awakening--Original Broadway Soundtrack

hannah moskowitz said...


A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway. I didn't know anything about Hemingway besides that he was old and famous and people who knew a lot about literature liked him. I had no idea that he was hilarious and stunning and could draw me into a story and break my heart like he does in A Farewell To Arms. A lot of the classics I feel like are written for someone so much smarter than me. A Farewell to Arms didn't make me feel stupid. It made me feel like I was reading a fantastic book.

The Kiss of the Spider Woman by Manuel Puig--a story about two guys in an Argentinian prison? Written like a script? Definitely wasn't expecting to love this, and it's now one of my favorites of all time. The characters were incredible.

Maus by Art Spieglman--If you'd asked me before I started Maus if I had any interest in reading a graphic novel, I would have told you no. Especially if it was another story about the Holocaust. But Maus...I mean, holy fucking shit. Maus. Anyone who hasn't read this needs to.

The Writer said...

First of all, Hannah, congrats on getting published. I love your blog and just turned 17 a few days ago. I write for adults and I hope to be sending off queries soon. You've been a big inspiration to me to keep going.

Anyway, what I wanted to ask was, seeing as you wrote BREAK at 16, do you think young authors have as much of a chance to get an agent and a book deal just as adults do, or do you think we have it harder or easier?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on that. Thanks, and keep blogging, please. :)

bookaholic said...

OK...I just have to know!!

1stly,are you team Peeta or team Gale?
2ndly,would you be interested in an interview on my blog? :)

hannah moskowitz said...

The Writer--I still think it's harder for a young writer to get through the publishing process than an older one. And that's purely because, as a whole, most teenage writers are not as good as most adult writers. Is that true on every case-by-case basis? Of COURSE not, and there are plenty of very good, publishable teenage writers out there, and many adults who really aren't at that level. But there are also a lot of teenagers who need to experience more, and, more importantly, *read more,* before they're ready.


1. I...have not read The Hunger Games. I'm sure they're both lovely people.

2. Absolutely! Shoot me an email.

Charli Armstrong said...

The Jim Henson film that is a part of the fabric of your childhood?

hannah moskowitz said...

I...have to admit, I was born a little late for Jim Henson. He died the year before I was born. But I still watched The Muppets sometime! And he went to my college. We have a bench with a bronze figure of him with Kermit on his shoulder. You can sit next to him and stuff.

Beth G. said...

How long is Zombie Tag? I am THAT much of a stalker that I remember when you were Tweeting about your first draft and how impossibly tiny it was.

Who is your favourite character in any of the books you have written (published or unpublished, publishable or unpublishable)?

Was the Body Count Beatrice book ever finished?

One more! One more!

FISHBOY. Mermaid rape. I am confused and/or intrigued. Um...what? Any hints/explanations/spoilers you could offer would be interesting.

Sorry for the shitload of questions.

hannah moskowitz said...

Beth (good questions!)

ZT is about 35K right now but will probably grow before it hits shelves. The one I was tweeting about being tiny, though, was actually the first draft of Fishboy, I think. First draft of that was 25K, and it's 60K now, so...yeah. I grow a lot in revisions, hahaha.

Aaaand one of the MCs of Fishboy is my favorite. The #magicgayfish in question, Teeth. But I also absolutely adore Noah in INVINCIBLE SUMMER and Lio in THE ANIMALS WERE GONE.

Body Count Beatrice was not finished! I wrote like 2,000 words of it. Maybe someday.

Fishboy! I've already hinted a lot about it, in this comment, and I spent most of my evening writing a pitch for it, actually. Essentially, it's about a boy named Rudy who moves to this island in the hopes that the magic fish there will help his sick little brother. Except he meets this half-fish, half-boy named Teeth who is full of anger and smiles and bad ideas and way too much love. And he wants everyone to stop eating the fish that are curing Rudy's brother. Conflict!

Margaret said...

You wanna hang out sometime?
Alternatively: What's your favorite color?
(Yeah, I need sleep. I'm usually more creative, I think.)

Oh, I know. Why is the rum gone? (Somewhere a twelve-year-old boy is laughing.) How is a raven like a writing desk? Who let the dogs out? and, because I could never abide the number five, WHY?

Anonymous said...

Do you ever have the 'writers blues' and if yes, how do you overcome it?

hannah moskowitz said...


1. Obviously!
2. Indigo :)
3. My sister drank it.
4. They're both black? This was always the answer I had in my head. Both inky, even, maybe?
5. My boyfriend.
6. Because he's fucking stupid and leaves the door open every time he goes outside, even in the middle of the winter, and you want to STAB HIM IN THE EYE.

hannah moskowitz said...

GirlInBetween: Oh, definitely. Please keep in mind that what I'm about to say probably isn't true for anyone but me. A lot of people will find they just need to push through.

If I get it in the middle of a first draft and I feel really bad about it, and I can't finish it in the next day or two, I give up. It's going to suck anyway if I'm not passionate about it.

If it's during the edits, I take a day off. I always hate my books during editing.

If it's while I'm not writing anything, I extend my not-writing period. (I'm in a not-writing period right now and it is bliiiisful.)

Charli Armstrong said...

Not one hunh? Wishes I had been your nanny so I could have ingrained either The Dark Crystal or Labyrinth into your psyche as I have done with every child I have helped to raise. Some of whom are your age. :-)

I'll try again...
Disney or Disney/Pixar film?

And if you tell me you were born a little late for anything Disney...LOL

And in keeping with Nathan Bransford great wisdom:
Do you keep a "Character Bible"?

hannah moskowitz said...

1. Aladdin. Also adore Peter Pan (I think it's one of the most faithful adaptations Disney has done). I cried my eyes out twice at Toy Story 3. BUT I will steal this opportunity to say that my favorite animated movie, in fact, my favorite movie EVER, is How To Train Your Dragon. And I usually hate Dreamworks (Shrek, uck).

2. Nope. During the first drat, I make up the characters as I go. Second draft smooths them over and makes sure they're consistent. I don't usually have trouble remembering anything; the books are very short, after all.

Anonymous said...

You reek of awesomeness.

Another query critiquing contest perhaps?

Emma said...

Who is your prettiest friend? (hint: me)

What is your favorite music to listen to while writing?
What is your favorite poem?

Guess who is procrastinating their final paper?

hannah moskowitz said...

Anon--I would love to. As soon as I have more fucking time on my hands.

Emmala--You are OBVIOUSLY my prettiest friend. I love you. When are we doing dinner? I need to go Mongolian BBQ stat and Chris is working all the time because he screwed up and told his manager he wanted to work full time?? So I'm all abandoned now.

This is a weird place to be having this conversation. I feel weird about admitting I have a life outside of writing here, hahaha.

I listen to a lot of Dar Williams and Bright Eyes when I'm writing, but it depends on the book. I usually make playlists for the book I'm working on. Fishboy's was this:

The Island--The Decemberists
A Sea Chanty of Sorts--Margot and the Nuclear So and So's (AND THIS ALBUM SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON MY TOP TEN. FUUUUU)
Human--The Killers
I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked--Ida Maria
Soul Meets Body--Death Cab for Cutie
Boys Keep Swinging--David Bowie
Skin and Bones--Motion City Soundtrack
You Must Be Out of Your Mind--The Magnetic Fields
History Lesson--Motion City Soundtrack
The General--Dispatch
When I Was a Boy--Dar Williams
Stop Breathing--Pavement
The Ocean--Dar Williams
Love Comes--The Posies
You Are My Joy--The Reindeer Section
firefly--Breaking Benjamin
Bring it Back--Kris Allen
The Professor--Damien Rice
Land Locked Blues--Bright Eyes
Virgin Mountain--Loch Lomond
The Blower's Daughter--Damien Rice
Black Bird--Evan Rachel Wood
White Horse--Taylor Swift
Cold Water--Damien Rice

so there's generally some variety.

My favorite poem is either Prufrock, because I am hella boring, or this:

(Guys, Emma is the most amazing poet I've ever read, though. FYI.)

And I guess that you are procrastinating your final paper. And I love you.

hannah moskowitz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christina Auret said...

Do you have a blanket author? Someone who's writing is such that you know you can pick up anything that he/she has written and the reading of it would be a warm blanket over your soul.

OK, so that description won the melodrama stakes, but hopefully you know what I mean.

If you have one or two or twenty, who are they?

hannah moskowitz said...

Christina--I love this question.

So here are a few.

--David Levithan. I can just fall into his writing. It's like a hug. Everything he's written.

--Stephen Chbosky. I think The Perks of Being a Wallflower is his only novel, but I have to mention it because there isn't another book that can make me feel so at home. God, I love it. I know everyone loves it, but...God. I adore it.

--Garret Freymann-Weyr. Ever since My Heartbeat, there's been something about her writing that's just like a lullaby to me.

Beth G. said...

Gahhhh. One more question. Because I'm an inquisitive bitch.

You mentioned in an interview (do I win the stalkerprize now?) that the climax of BREAK was different in the first draft. Now, because I'm fascinated by first drafts, and where the authors' ideas were before they smoothed them over, and I love Break, I'd love to know: how did it differ?

Anonymous said...

What is your favorite color?

Why do you love queries so much?

What is your least favorite part of the writing process?

Do you ever sing in the shower? And if so, what is the song you sing the most?

Margaret said...

Silly Anon, she already said her favorite colour is indigo. :)

hannah moskowitz said...

:) Yes, my favorite color is indigo.

Why do I love queries so much...because I love voice, and I like good, concise writing, and queries are a great time for both. Because I'm good at the, and I like that I'm good at them, and I like that I can help since so many people have a hard time with them. I don't know. I just think that they can be so interesting and so strong, and that they're such an important skill to perfect.

Also, I have a really hard time critiquing real writing, so queries are a good way I can contribute to the community.

My least favorite part is the first draft. I would rather revise forever and ever. I love edits. I love fixing what's already there. I can't stand not knowing where I'm going or if the book is going to work, which is why I try to get first drafts down as quickly as possible.

I do sing in the shower. Today I sang "Jesus of Suburbia" by Green Day, but usually I sing "Roxie" from Chicago. I am very, very good at that one.

Rebecca Christiansen said...

I have a question!

What issues, themes, general things are missing from YA lit? What elements of young adult life haven't really been explored in young adult literature?

hannah moskowitz said...

That is such a great question, and I just know I'm going to forget something, but...

--We need more books with LGBTQ characters that aren't coming out stories. I wrote THE ANIMALS WERE GONE mainly because I saw this hole. My main characters are two gay boys. Neither of them is angsty about it. Similarly, we need more books with characters of color who aren't freaking out about their racial identities. Real teens who just happen to be minorities.

--More boy-centered contemporary. Maybe if we keep writing it, the boys will eventually come. Maybe.

--More contemporary romance from a guy's POV.

--More books focused on the stress of college applications/SATs. These weigh so heavily on a lot of teenagers' minds but don't show up as often as they should in YA books.

--More YA about family.

So there are a few things of note about this list...

1. I'm doing most of these. Yep. Of course I'm going to say there's a need for what I write.

2. It's "more" for everything. None of these are brand new. All these books are out there. We just need more of them.

Molly said...

Are you "going" to WriteOnCon? Is "MILK" some codeword for a crazyass drug?

Anonymous said...

Do you think there's a "YA Tone"? And, do you think it's overdone?

The tone usually includes:
- High speed zippiness
- Clever snarkiness
- Vulnerability due to the fact that said zippiness and snarkiness somehow hasn't garnered them popularity (even if it should have)
- An "FU" attitude to the world and everyone around them, especially with their unjust parental figures and anyone that stands in the way of uniting with their paramour

Sorry if this sounds a bit bitter, but I'm thinking there should be other tones in YA? It seems like if I wander over to the shelf and pull one out at the bookstore, 8 out of 10 times it'll be filled with said tone.

hannah moskowitz said...


1. I don't even know what that is.

2. Obviously. It makes your bones strong.


I HATE that voice.