Welcome to the Sunday Street Team!!! I am pleased to have Corey Ann Haydu as one of May’s featured authors.
Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what type of music?
I’m often at a cafe when I’m writing, so whatever they have on works just fine. But when I’m at home I have a lot of trouble deciding what to listen to. I like having noise, but sometimes my favorite songs are too distracting. I’ve started using Spotify playlists that are marked as “editing music”. I think that might refer to editing film, but I take it to mean editing novels. It’s often lyric-less, electronic-inspired music.
How old were you when you wrote your first book?
That’s so funny you ask this. I am actually at my parents’ house right now, and I looked through all my old boxes filled with writing I used to do. I wrote a picture book with my best friend when I was about eight, so that was my first book I guess! I also wrote two books of poems and vignettes in high school. They were pretentious and embarrassing. But the first book I tried to sell, I wrote when I was twenty-six.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
I would choose A Prayer for Owen Meany, because it has the most incredible ending I’ve ever read, and I wish I could have been the one to experience the fantastic epiphany Irving must have had when he figured out how to end that novel.
What was the biggest difference while writing OCD Love Story, Life By Committee, and Making Pretty?
Gosh, every book had such a different journey. OCD LOVE STORY came the most quickly. LIFE BY COMMITTEE changed the most in the process of writing and revising. MAKING PRETTY was the book that I knew the least about, going in. I had one tiny idea, and I didn’t know how I was going to make a whole book out of it. So it was the most exciting process, because I didn’t know what was going to happen or how I would ever figure it out.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
I’d love to have Kiernan Shipka play Montana. She’s the actress who plays Sally on Mad Men, and I think she has a really fascinating energy. She seems smart and stylish and very New York-y.
What’s your favorite food? Curious minds want to know… 😉
Anyone who knows me at all knows that cheese is my favorite food. Cheese is probably my favorite object in the world, in fact. I’m obsessed.
I know that Montana takes acting classes- have you ever taken any?
I have! I actually was an actor before I was a writer. I was a child actor and then went to college for acting and was an actor for about five years out of college. So that was definitely something I borrowed from my own life!
Are there any people that influenced your writing style and/or started your desire to write?
A lot of people really influenced me. Certainly a lot of teachers along the way. I had a third grade teacher who encouraged my writing, a sixth grade teacher who did the same, and a high school English teacher who was incredibly supportive and challenging. I also was lucky enough to spend summers in a town in New Hampshire where Tomie dePaola lived, and he came to the library every summer and talked about his life as a writer and illustrator and would read to us from his newest books. It was basically magical to me, and made it seem both possible and like the most fun thing ever.
On days when you are not reading or writing, what are you doing?
I’m almost always reading and writing! But some other things I love: pilates, watching documentaries, trashy reality TV, cooking, going out to dinner with friends. I also still love going to the theatre even though I’m not in that world anymore. And I spend a lot of time walking my dog, Oscar.
Are you currently working on a book? If so, can you give us any juicy details? 🙂
I’m currently working on two books! One of them is a middle-grade novel that features a platonic boy-girl friendship, some magic, and a girl who lives in Florida but wants to be in the snow.
The other is a YA novel skewed a little more toward magical realism. It’s set in Brooklyn and is a love story, a feminist novel, and book with a huge supporting cast– a whole neighborhood of characters– which is really fun and hard to write!
Corey Ann Haydu is the author of OCD LOVE STORY, LIFE BY COMMITTEE, MAKING PRETTY and her upcoming middle grade debut, RULES FOR STEALING STARS. A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and The New School’s Writing for Children MFA program, Corey has been working in children’s publishing since 2009.
In 2013, Corey was chosen as one of Publisher Weekly’s Flying Starts. Her books have been Junior Library Guild Selections, Indie Next Selections, and BCCB Blue Ribbon Selections. Corey also teaches YA Novel Writing with Mediabistro and is adapting her debut novel, OCD LOVE STORY into a high school play, which will have its first run in Fall 2015. Corey lives in Brooklyn with her dog, her boyfriend, and a wide selection of cheese.
Corey has also been generous to donate a signed hardcover of Making Pretty and OCD Love Story to TWO lucky winners! (One book each)