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Amy Zhang

The Next Big Thing Meme

The fabulous Lori M. Lee tagged me for this one! I’m going to cheat a bit and tell you about both my about-to-be-published book and my WIP, because ERMAHGERD, guys, I’m so excited for both of them. Okay? Okay.

(Side note: those of you who have added my book on Goodreads, THANK YOU, but that isn’t the official Goodreads page. My publisher didn’t make it. And whoever did mixed me up with another author, so…yeah. Not me. I’ll let you guys know when there’s a book to add–it’ll be around the time that I get to share my title with all of you!)

1. WHAT IS THE WORKING TITLE OF YOUR NEXT BOOK?

Still can’t tell! But I CAN tell you that I submitted it as FOR EVERY LIFE, which is a reference to Newton’s Third Law of Motion, and I CAN tell you that the title of my WIP is MEMENTO MORI, which is Latin for “remember you will die.” Mori is also the name of my protagonist (who’s dying. Shocker, huh?)

2. WHERE DID YOUR IDEA 

FOR 

THE BOOK 

COME FROM?

UNTITLED (we’ll just call it that for now–isn’t it easier?) actually began as two short stories–one about an abandoned imaginary friend, and one about a girl who tries to commit suicide. UNTITLED is their lovechild. I’m not sure where the ideas for the two original short stories came from, but I knew there was a connection between them and I knew I wanted to develop that connection into a full-length novel.

MEMENTO, on the other hand, has been sitting in the back of my mind for…a year? Two? I don’t remember where the idea came from, or when I got it, but I remember thinking, “I have to write this story. I have to.” 


3. IN WHAT GENRE DOES YOUR BOOK FALL?


UNTITLED is YA contemporary with a touch of magical realism. MEMENTO is YA contemporary with a touch of ice cream (or a lot of ice cream).


4. WHAT ACTORS WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO PLAY THE PART OF YOUR CHARACTERS IN THE MOVIE RENDITION?


Something about UNTITLED: there are no descriptions of the character’s appearances. None. I want people to be able to see themselves in Liz and Kennie and Julia. I want them to be able to see their friends. I want the characters to be anyone, everyone. So no actors 🙂

As for MEMENTO….I don’t know I’m just really bad with actors and stuff okay LEAVE ME ALONE


5. WHAT IS THE ONE-SENTENCE SYNOPSIS OF YOUR BOOK?


UNTITLED is about a girl who tries to end her short and catastrophic attempt at life, told from the perspective of her abandoned imaginary friend.

MEMENTO MORI is about a girl with half an immune system, a boy with half of his muscles, a cat named Schrödinger, and the road trip they take to solve the paradox of life.


6. WHO IS PUBLISHING YOUR BOOK?


UNTITLED is coming out in fall of 2014 from Greenwillow/HarperCollins. MEMENTO MORI is not currently under contract.


7. HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE THE FIRST DRAFT OF THE MANUSCRIPT?

I wrote the first draft of UNTITLED during NaNoWriMo 2012–so, a month. I’m actually super proud of that, mostly because November was a rough month for me, and I was under word count the entire time. I managed to pound out something like 13K in the last two days. Then I revised for about two months, and it sold the following February.

As for MEMENTO…well. I’ve been drafting for the last four months or so, and I have about another 15K to go.

8. WHAT OTHER BOOKS WOULD YOU COMPARE YOUR STORY TO WITHIN YOUR GENRE?


UNTITLED: BEFORE I FALL meets THIRTEEN REASONS WHY

MEMENTO: Hmmm….I’m not sure. My CP says it reminds him a bit of THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, except, you know, far less AMAZEBALLS.


9. WHO OR WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS BOOK?


“Isn’t this basically the same as question #2?”


Lori’s answer, which I’m seconding. 


10. WHAT ELSE ABOUT THE BOOK MIGHT PIQUE THE READER’S INTEREST?


UNTITLED is told by an imaginary friend, which opened up these incredible options for the story. The story is actually told in a non-linear fashion–there are three main times: a countdown from seven days before Liz crashes her car, a countdown of the hour before Liz crashes her car, and the day after Liz crashes her car. And there’s a chapter with eleven words. I love that chapter.

In MEMENTO, Mori has written letters to the dead for as long as she can remember, and the book is actually her last notebook of letters. Among the addressees: Maurice Sendak, Gregory Peck, Nannerl Mozart, Georgiana Cavendish, and, of course, Schrödinger. I really love playing around with narration (have you noticed?)
I’m tagging fellow Greenwillow author Chessie Zappia, whose book ASK AGAIN LATER sounds totally amazefrackingballs and Mark O’Brien, because he’s working on this new MS that I want everyone to be excited about. Take it away, guys!


2 Responses to “The Next Big Thing Meme”

  1. Eeeeeeee YES. I’ve been wanting to do this! Thanks!!

    Also, I need to read UNTITLED (GIVE ME A TITLE, LADY) right now!

  2. Have you ever read GOING BOVINE by Libba Bray? It’s about a boy dying of mad cow disease who goes on a road trip. That might be a good comp title for MEMENTO MORI 🙂

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