Meet the Newbies is a blog event dedicated to introducing you to the “newbie” published debut authors. In this event, expect to learn more about the authors, their books, and silly fun facts! Check out the full Meet the Newbies lineup here.
I really loved Anna's debut, Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here. It's such an honest portrayal of teen life and our insecurities, and the voice is so realistic. It's smart, fresh, and hilarious! I definitely recommend you pre-order this book.
Author Most Likely To Have A Panic Attack At Forever21
Nickname: The Indoor Kid
First Day of School: April 19, 2016
Grade: Contemporary with a sci-fi story within the story
Extracurricular Activities: None, but manages to appear at any extracurricular after-school meeting with free pizza
Favorite Class: AP English Literature, Defense Against The Dark Arts (same thing).
Favorite Quote/Motto: "This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.” —Dorothy Parker
- Describe your book in five words.
Funny, sad, coming-of-age.
- Give a pitch for your book!
Scarlett Epstein, a New Jersey teenager with straight Cs and an overactive imagination, starts to write fanfiction about the other students at her lame public school. Eventually they find out, and she realizes things aren’t as black-and-white as she thought they were.
- Your main character Scarlett loves a tv show, and I think it’s safe to say she’s part of the fandom! Which fandoms are you part of and which ones are your favorites?
In high school, when I was writing fic/actively engaged in fandoms, my main two were Buffy and Harry Potter. Also some anime (Slayers and Hellsing, for anyone familiar) and some video games (Final Fantasy 7 & 8—mostly 8. I think most of my then-friends liked 7 more but it was too emo for me).
- After the tv show is canceled, Scarlett starts reading and writing fanfiction online. What types of fanfiction would you write? What would your screen name be?
I’ve been watching Misfits, the British teen show about juvenile delinquents who get superpowers during their community service shift in the pilot (aren’t you sold already??), and I could definitely see myself writing fanfiction about the original cast, Kelly especially. More specifically, the briefly-canon couple Kelly and Seth (who’s SO HOT):
My screen name could be ASB404, which was my randomly-assigned college email address but has remained delightfully memorable because 404 is an error message.
- How did you come up with the idea of your novel? How long did it take you to write it?
The idea was obviously rooted in high school experiences I’d had, and I wanted to talk about the stories you tell yourself sometimes when you feel out of place and lonely—like how the “hot popular girl” is dumb and mean to you for no reason—and what it feels like to realize that those stories aren’t always the truth. That even when you feel like the underdog, you could still be hurting people.
It took me about a year to write, including the revisions.
- What was the most fun part of writing Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here?
The fanfiction, probably. I love light, realistically-grounded sci-fi, like Black Mirror, and it was fun to write what I thought a teen girl version might be.
- If you made a squad like Taylor Swift’s, which authors would you include in yours?
Emily Henry, Britney Cavallaro, Katie Coyle (who is a friend of a friend I’ve never met but I’m obsessed with her VIVIAN APPLE books and I like her tweets) (I’m so creepy) (Katie: call me), Megan McCafferty (her Jessica Darling books are totally predecessors to Scarlett). Jessica Knoll, who wrote the sharp, cutting LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE but is way nicer IRL than you’d think if you read the book.
- How has the debut experience been so far? What are you most looking forward to as your debut date nears?
I won’t lie, I’m pretty anxious about it, just because it’s something I’ve been working towards for a really long time and I hope people generally like it, of course. I’m trying to keep calm and carry on, pretty much. So I guess I look forward to it coming out, hopefully having nice things said about it, and getting started on book 2.
Favorite ice cream flavor? Mint chocolate chip, hands down.Favorite city? New York, my home city!
Favorite movie? That’s really hard. Maybe Nights of Cabiria, the Fellini movie. The movie I’ve liked the most in the last couple years is this film called The Dirties, a surprisingly funny mostly-improvised Canadian indie from 2013 about a school shooting, which sounds totally tasteless and impossible but is actually surprisingly realistic and moving.
Favorite food? Avocado toast. I’m a dick like that.
Favorite song? Probably a Rolling Stones song, like “Wild Horses.”
About the Book:
When Scarlett’s beloved TV show is canceled and her longtime crush, Gideon, is sucked out of her orbit and into the dark and distant world of Populars, Scarlett turns to the fanfic message boards for comfort. This time, though, her subjects aren’t the swoon-worthy stars of her fave series—they’re the real-life kids from her high school. Scarlett never considers what might happen if they were to find out what she truly thinks about them...until a dramatic series of events exposes a very different reality than Scarlett's stories, forever transforming her approach to relationships—both online and off.
About the Author:
Anna Breslaw is a former staff writer at Cosmopolitan who currently contributes there as well as ELLE.com. In the past she has been a contributing writer for Jezebel and Glamour.com and recapped multiple shows for NY Mag’s Vulture. Her writing has also appeared in The New York Times, New York Magazine, Paper, and Glamour, and on GQ.com, TheGuardian.com, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, NewYorker.com and elsewhere, and she only writes about herself in third person. She lives in New York.
Have you read this book? Do you read fanfic? Which is your favorite?
Leave some comments love for Anna!