Monday, November 8, 2010

I know where I come from

After my interview with the awesome Jill Hathaway, I started to think about how being a small town, midwestern girl affects my writing.  And since I think pictures just make everything better...I should probably say how it changes my writing with pictures...

When I started writing HOW TO DATE AN ALIEN, I knew that I wanted Alex to be from a small town, but it didn't make sense to have the Alien Operations Center in the midwest, so I first tried Roswell...too bad I've never been to Roswell, so I found somewhere just as good.

Arizona!  One of my best friends actually moved to the state when we were 10, so I've visited a few times and have to say that I don't mind not having humidity!  The mountains gave a perfect backdrop for the Operation Center and getting to talk to my friend about differant thing Arizona is always helpful.

But Magan isn't Columbia in New York and you've never been there?  Exactlly...and neither has my main character.  In a small farm town, some of us went to college and some of us stayed home and worked or got married and had children.  Out of those of us who went to college, most of us didn't go too far from home and alot of those who did ended up transferring back.  I touch a little bit on that and just how amazing it is that a girl from a small Illinois town would be applying to Columbia.

And of course how could I forget what it's like to be the small town Italian girl?  No, Alex is not based off me and my life in any way, but sometimes we just have to take what we know and put it in our writing.  Like me, Alex is half-Italian and knows what it feels like to stand out in a small town.  As an adult (and since everyone now thinks they're Italian...thanks Jersey Shore...) I've learned how my differences make me unique and that normalcy is very overrated (thanks Kiersten White!)


  1. It's true how our upbringing shapes how we craft our worlds.
    Your Columbia subway pict got me nostaligic--I went there for undergrad!
    I moved to the midwest so for me, the experience is in reverse!

  2. And you left New York for our vast array of cornfields? Okay, so there is something to be said for urban America...and really I can't talk since I have yet to go to New York, but I did live in Chicago for awhile and do miss the food.


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