Interview with Jennifer DiGiovanni, author of My Senior Year of Awesome

1. Can you tell us a little about your book? Is it your debut novel?

Yes, this is my debut novel. My Senior Year of Awesome is a YA contemporary. The story is about a girl, Sadie, who realizes high school is quickly coming to an end and she hasn’t really accomplished much of anything. When she’s randomly chosen as the “most likely to marry” a boy she’s never dated, Sadie and her best friend Jana devise a list of awesome achievements they feel are more worthwhile than a senior superlative award. As the girls attempt to knock out list items, Sadie is also trying to desperately avoid the boy who’s supposed to be her future husband.

2. Are you a plotter or a free writer?

I’m a very extremely free writer. I might write up a loose outline, mainly a list of scenes that I want to occur throughout the book. In My Senior Year of Awesome, Sadie’s list of achievements did help to structure my story. (But of course the list changed as I worked through many drafts). One thing I always need before I start a book is an ending. If I don’t know where I’m ultimately headed, I tend to write in circles.

3. Is your book part of a series or a standalone?

This book is intended as a standalone.

4. Do you require silence when writing or do you listen to music?

I prefer silence, although that’s not always possible in my house! I do have a book playlist that I listen to when I’m away from the computer. The songs provide inspiration as I’m working through plot holes and such.

5. Are you writing your next book? Can you share a little about it?

I’m always writing! Right now, I’m revising a YA mystery about two friends (a boy and a girl) who have bonded over their shared food allergies. When the boy suddenly disappears, the girl realizes she’s the only person capable of finding him.

6. How long were you writing before getting a publishing contract?

Once I sat down and seriously began to write it took 3 years to get a contract. MSYA started as a Camp NaNoWriMo project. I thought of it as something I was writing for fun that I worked on between other, less-fun projects. When my critique partners read an early draft, they encouraged me to further develop the story. Their feedback helped me fine tune the plot and the characters.

7. When does your book release?

My book releases in 2016. You can add it to your TBR on Goodreads to keep up with the exact release date and other info.
Plus, you can find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

BioJen D. photo

Jennifer DiGiovanni is a freelance writer and YA author. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, working on home design projects, or running (though she’s much better at walking). My Senior Year of Awesome is her first novel.

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