Today I have a guest post/interview with author Ann Angel. Her young adult biography “Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing” is being published by Amulet Books and will be released on October 1. I asked Ann to share a bit about the road to publication and writing for a YA audience. Here’s what she had to say:
What was your road to publication like (for your first novel as well as Janis Joplin)?
While I was working on a masters in journalism, I worked as a stringer for The Milwaukee Sentinel and I began to submit work to regional magazines. Meanwhile, I was writing stories about adoption for my kids who were all adopted. Because there were no good kids books addressing adoption, I was encouraged to submit my stories as a middle grade novel to a small adoption/infertility/foster care publisher. Perspectives Press published the book with the title Real For Sure Sister.
After a few years of unsuccessfully trying to publish more fiction, I returned to school to earn an MFA in creative writing. Most of my publications since then have come through editors I met while I was in school or at conferences since then.
What has been the greatest moment as an author?
That’s a really tough question because I think I have the fortune of many great moments — the first book is always huge. But holding Such A Pretty Face, the anthology I edited amazing. Holding the finished copy of Janis Joplin, which took five years to research and write, still gives me this feeling as if I’ve got fireflies flitting around my heart. Teaching writing also offers plenty of great moments. When I see a writer have success, it feels almost like my own success.
When you were writing Janis Joplin, did you write for an intended audience?
I always kept in mind that I was writing for teenagers who might be inspired by Janis’s amazing voice and unique style and her ability to take creative risk.
What were you like as a teen? Did it have any influence over your decision tow rite for a YA audience?
A laptop, my family, and music.
I’m working on a contemporary YA novel that tells the story of Echo and Pan.
Do you have any advice for upcoming writers?