Who are you?
I'm hannah moskowitz. I don't typically capitalize my name, but you may.
Why don't you?
I hate capital Hs, and it looks silly to capitalize moskowitz and not hannah.
How do you pronounce your name?
First syllable of hannah rhymes with "can." So not like Han Solo. Moskowitz is MOSS-koe-its, where "koe" rhymes with toe.
What books have you written?
I've written a million, but the ones you'll probably hear about are:
Young Adult books:
BREAK (Simon Pulse, August 2009). About a boy on a mission to break all his bones.
INVINCIBLE SUMMER (Simon Pulse, April 2011). About four summers, two brothers, one girl, and a lot of sign language.
GONE, GONE, GONE (Simon Pulse, April 2012). About two boys trying to fall in love, something neither of them is very good at, over the course of the 2002 D.C. metro sniper shootings.
TEETH (Simon Pulse, January 2013). About a boy who moves to an island said to be surrounded by magic fish that will cure his sick little brother, where he meets a half-fish, half-boy with a big smile and an even bigger secret.
Middle Grade books:
ZOMBIE TAG (Roaring Brook, December 2011). About a boy who wakes zombies up to see his dead brother again and then has to save the world.
MARCO IMPOSSIBLE (Roaring Brook, March 2013). About a boy who helps his best friend break into prom to confess his love to the guy he's been pining for for years, even though it's sure to end horribly.
Do you always write from a boy's point of view?
Typically. I have a project in the works with a female main character, but boys' voices come more naturally to me.
Do you have any books for adults?
Nope! I wrote one that didn't work out. I like kids' books; they skip the boring parts.
Should I read your books?
If they sound like your thing. I think of the books and the blog as separate pursuits, so don't feel like you have to enjoy one to like the other.
That said, bitch needs to eat, etc. etc, so just keep that in mind.
Do you post teasers?
Yep, on some Tuesdays. Check the "excerpts" tag.
Where do you get your ideas?
I struggle. Some writers have too many ideas. I never have enough. I spend a lot of time shaking my head really hard and hoping something good comes together. (That's what she said?)
It's definitely the hardest part of the process for me. I typically get that whack of inspiration from a comic, listening to a song on repeat, or--and this one almost always works--going to a movie theater.
Do you outline?
I actually make playlists to outline. While I'm plotting, I grab songs that seem to fit thematically with what I'm working on,t hen I figure out how to organize them in a way that builds tension and fits my vision for the book. It's an easy way to tell if I'm going to have a droopy middle or an unsatisfying ending; I can see that, okay, this part needs another fast song, or wow, I have a LOT of songs for this one plot point, maybe I need to spread this out and not try to cram it all in one scene.
Are your books in other languages?
Yes! BREAK just came out in Italian, which is really exciting.
Do you have a bio?
The real one's in the "Need Something?" but a more comprehensive one...
I'm Maryland born and raised. I did a very brief stint in the Ivy League, where I did not enjoy myself. I'm a big believer in coming home. I'm a flaming bleeding heart liberal with a passion for television and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Now, I go to the University of Maryland and I'm an English major. I'm really into literary theory and analysis and I like to rape traditional techniques and plug them into my books. I have three cats, way too many tank tops, and a very, very bitchin' hair cut. Always. I also say things like bitchin'.
I'm repped by Scott Treimel, and my editors are Anica Rissi/Leisa Abrams at Simon Pulse and Nancy Mercado at Roaring Brook Press.
How old are you?
I'm in college. And I am NOT A TEENAGER, thank God.
Just tell me how old you are. Your age is all over the internet.
Yeah, it is, and it isn't a secret. I'll say it all the time. But I want to make you work for it a little bit.
I'm kind of cagey about it because, as pretentious and stupid as this sounds, I got sick of being called a prodigy. I wrote seven books before I wrote BREAK, the book that got me an agent and a book deal. And I queried for a year before I got an offer.
I was lucky. I was insanely lucky, and I'll preach that 'til the day I die, but I didn't pop out of the womb a published writer, and that seems to be the attitude I get when the conversation turns to my age. I'm lucky. All published writers are incredibly lucky. You have to write the right book at the right time and get it in the right hands. It happened early for me, but it wasn't an accident.
I'll shut up about this now, but there's more here.
Also, a lot of the ages you'll find attributed to me are wrong. I get older and the same bios keep circulating.
So then how do you feel about teen authors?
The same way I feel about all authors. I judge your product and your personality and your hair. And I'll probably like you.
Why do you curse so much?
Why don't you get in trouble for it?
What the hell is a magic gay fish, and am I one?
Probably. I call my twitter and blog followers magic gay fish. It started out as a slang term for a book of mine called Teeth which features, as you might guess, a magic gay fish. I tweeted a lot about the thing while I was working on it, and my followers were really into it. Somehow they commandeered it for their own name. I do little to discourage this. It's a Lady Gaga/little monsters thing.
So you write books about gay fish.
That is correct.
How do you write?
Quickly, on my laptop, in front of the TV or while listening to music. While on twitter. Between homework assignments. When I should be sleeping. Usually lounging on my bed. Not every day.
My first drafts are generally very short (about 25-30,000 words) and I write them over the course of a week or two. Lately college has gotten in the way and I have to write drafts over a longer period, because I just don't have the time. I really hate that.
Why do you write books so quickly?
It's what works for me. Everyone's process is different, and as long as you get your shit down, I don't like to judge. I like my first drafts quick and dirty, like I like my men.
Does that mean they suck?
The first drafts or the men?
Do you use beta readers? How much do you revise?
I do indeed. I have the Musers, who are my very very close-knit writing family members that I trust with my life. I'll also occasionally put out a call for betas on twitter, so definitely let me know if you're interested in reading! I always appreciate it.
I revise a lot. I generally do a round or two on my own, then I pass it off to my agent, who gives me a round or two as well. Then I do more with my editor. I like revising much more than I like writing the first draft, so I welcome revisions (and you should too!).
Can I email you?
You can always email me. I'd be happy to commiserate or celebrate with you, and I'll happily give you advice if you feel like I can help. I'm at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I really do want to know when something good happens for you, and I really don't mind if you have a question.
Can you critique my stuff?
That I can't do, sadly. I put off doing it, and then it piles on top of me, and I get stressed, and...eh, I just can't do it right now. I'm sorry. I highly, highly recommend Absolute Write for getting your queries critiqued and finding good beta readers.
I'll occasionally give out critiques and things for charity auctions, so keep an eye out. I'll announce them.
Will you do an interview or a guest post for my blog?
Update: Not at this time. I'll say I'll do them and never do and it makes me feel horrible. School is enough of that.
FAQS FOR THE BOOKS: UPDATED WHEN YOU ASK QUESTIONS!
FAQ for BREAK:
How did you come up with the idea for BREAK?
It just fell into my head. I'm sorry, I know that's a terrible story. I wanted to take an outrageous premise and make it believable. And then the idea of a boy who wants to break all his bones sort of smacked me across the face. So I wanted to make something unbelievable believable, and, yeah, I wanted to satire some of the self-injury books already out there.
How many bones have you broken?
0. Well, two toes.
Did you really write the first draft in six days?
Yep! But then there was tooons of revising. So don't forget that part.
How old were you when you wrote BREAK?
I wrote it when I was 16, it sold when I was 17, and it came out when I was 18. Easy to remember!
FAQ for INVINCIBLE SUMMER
Do you know sign language?
Yep! I'm not fluent, but I know more than my main character does.
Did you really write the first draft in six days?
Nope. Eight. And then tons of revising, again.
Will there be a sequel?
Not at this time. I'd like there to be! Write my publisher and demand it. :)
Where does the story take place?
Bethany Beach, Delaware, for me, but you can place it anywhere you like. It likes to travel.
How old were you when you wrote INVINCIBLE SUMMER?
Seventeen. Which is a very long time ago.
Who are you?