Meet the Newbies: Rebecca Podos

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.

Rebecca's debut captured my attention because of the mystery component and the clear attention to family. This book is packed with layers upon layers of touching themes and sophisticated writing. I urge you all to check out The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos.

Nickname: Bextraterrestrial
First Day of School: 1/26/16
Homeroom: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
Grade: Mystery
Extracurricular Activities: Reading Sweet Valley High books hidden behind my textbook in math class
Favorite Class: Gym (no just kidding)
Favorite Quote/Motto: “I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, of everything done-to-me. I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I'm gone which would not have happened if I had not come.” –Salman Rushdie


1. Family, friendship, and mental illness are such important parts of your novel. What do you hope people take away from reading your book?
So many of us have loved a family member or partner or friend who suffered from mental illness, and one of my biggest goals for HOLLOW PLACES was a story in which the only true villain is illness itself, and never the people afflicted by it or affected by it. I tried to be true to my experience, while hoping that Imogene’s story would resonate with readers’ experiences as well. I know that sometimes, it won’t, and that’s okay. There’s no one truth. But the feedback I’ve gotten from readers who saw themselves in Imogene, who recognized her journey and identified with it, has meant the world to me.

2. If you could spend the day with any of the characters in your book, which character would you choose and what would you do?
Much as I adore her, I’m not sure Immy would have much use for me, but I’d love to hang out with Jessa! And unlike Immy, I would NOT turn down window-shopping on Newbury Street with a twenty-dollar gourmet cupcake in hand. I think a day’s worth of dressing room montages and tough-love advice from Jessa would be super therapeutic.

3. What has been the best experience you've had so far as a debut author?
What’s been immensely cool is being a part of the YA world, which is stuffed with awesome readers, writers and bloggers (J) I’ve gotten to know so many of my fellow ’16 debuts, and am blown away not only by the stellar talent within the kid lit community, but also the kindness and the constant support for one another. Being a writer has its highs and lows, but I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.

4. I understand that in addition to being an author, you are also a literary agent. Can you share details of what you do on an average day as a literary agent? This job has always fascinated me!
Sure! My day starts with an audiobook on the way to the office—because I read so many unpublished books, that’s one of the best ways to wedge in published books (right now I’m listening to THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN by Roshani Chokshi, and it is TO DIE.) I spend some time handling problems on behalf of my authors, doing my best to smooth out the myriad obstacles and crises along the road to publication. Having been through a lot of them myself, I definitely empathize! Then it’s a ton of reading. Reading queries and subbed books that I’m super intrigued by and excited about, and reading my signed author’s next projects, or their second/third/fourth drafts of current projects. I spend a healthy amount of time elbow-deep in Track Changes, too—I’m a pretty editorial agent, coming from a writing background myself. And if I’ve got any books on sub with editors at the moment, I spend a little while refreshing and refreshing my inbox, just as authors do!

5. Can you tell us anything about your current WIP?
I’ve just handed in my next book, a YA contemporary, and I’m so incredibly excited about it. It has tiny New Mexican ghost towns and performing mermaids and LGBTQ romance, and if HOLLOW PLACES is about loneliness, then this book is about feeling trapped. It’s about the snares life sets for us and the kind we set for ourselves, and about believing someway, somehow, that we’re strong enough to climb out of them.

About the Book:

All Imogene Scott knows of her mother is the bedtime story her father told her as a child. It's the story of how her parents met: he, a forensic pathologist, she, a mysterious woman who came to identify a body. A woman who left Imogene and her father when she was a baby, a woman who was always possessed by a powerful loneliness, a woman who many referred to as troubled waters.

When Imogene is seventeen, her father, now a famous author of medical mysteries, strikes out in the middle of the night and doesn't come back. Neither Imogene's stepmother nor the police know where he could've gone, but Imogene is convinced he's looking for her mother. She decides to put to use the skills she's gleaned from a lifetime of her father's books to track down a woman she's never known, in order to find him and, perhaps, the answer to the question she's carried with her for her entire life.

Rebecca Podos' debut is a powerful, affecting story of the pieces of ourselves that remain mysteries even to us - the desperate search through empty spaces for something to hold on to.
Book Buy Links: GoodreadsAmazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iBooks | Book Depository

About the Author:

Rebecca Podos' debut YA novel, THE MYSTERY OF HOLLOW PLACES, is forthcoming from Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins) on 1/26/16. A graduate of the Writing, Literature and Publishing program at Emerson College where she won the M.F.A. Award for Best Thesis, her fiction has been published in Glimmer Train, Glyph, CAJE, Paper Darts, Bellows American Review, and Smokelong Quarterly. Past Awards include the Helman Award for Short Fiction, the David Dornstein Memorial Creative Writing Prize for Young Adult Writers, and the Hillerman-McGarrity Scholarship for Creative Writing. She works as a YA and MG agent at the Rees Literary Agency in Boston.

Social Media Links:  Website | TwitterGoodreads | Instagram


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  1. This book sounds wonderful. I love the mystery aspect of it.

  2. I really enjoyed this one! It was quite different that I had expected from the synopsis, actually. Fun interview too! :)

  3. This is such a fun feature, I love it. Such a cool way to get to know new authors. Rebecca's book sounds awesome, will definitely keep an eye out.

  4. I love books with a mystery. It's always fun trying to solve it before the end of the book

  5. This book sounds really interesting! I'm already intrigued about the story. Can't wait to read it! I love books with a good mystery. Great interview!


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