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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Author Interview: Robin Wasserman of Skinned & Crashed

Robin Wasserman is the author of Skinned (which is now available on paperback) and the sequel Crashed which is available in hardback on September 8, 2009. However, Barnes and Nobles has it available for purchase now. I ordered my copy already! Go here. She has also written the Chasing Yesterday series and Seven Deadly Sins series. Robin enjoys writing about high school -- but wakes up every day grateful that she doesn't have to relive it. She recently abandoned the beaches and boulevards of Los Angeles for the chilly embrace of the East Coast, as all that sun and fun gave her too little to complain about. She now lives and writes in New York City, which she claims to love for its vibrant culture and intellectual life. In reality, she doesn't make it to museums nearly enough, and actually just loves the city for its pizza, its shopping, and the fact that at three A.M. you can always get anything you need -- and you can get it delivered.

Thank you Robin, you are one of my fave authors and I was so happy you did this interview with me :)

For more info on Robin, check out her various sites:

Check out the book trailer for Crashed:

1) What age were you when you first started writing?
I started writing in elementary school. I was one of those kids that was always buried in a book (I read while I walked to and from school, while I was in the bathtub, while I was in class, as long as I could find a way to hide my book from the teacher, etc). And people kept
telling me that if I liked to read, I should write my own that's exactly what I did. In fifth grade, I wrote my first "book," a very short sci-fi story (embarrassingly similar to ET) called KENNY. You can actually read an excerpt here:

2) What inspired you to write Skinned?
A few years ago, I was in graduate school studying the history of science, and I read a lot a
bout the history of automata (mechanical people and animals). People have been building automata for thousands of years, and wherever you find a mechanical person, you find people arguing over what it means to *be* a person, ie what it means to be human. I got really fascinated by this issue of how we define humanity and what it would mean for a machine to be able to think and feel. But I really wanted to get at the question from inside the machine's head. What would it *feel* like to be a mechanical person? That was the beginning of Skinned...

3) Are the cha
racters in the book based on someone you know?
Unfortunately, I don't have a particularly scandalous answer for this one. I've written other books based on people I know (the narrator of Hacking Harvard, for example, is *very* similar to what I was like in high school...although hopefully I was a little more likeable than she is). But the characters in SKINNED and CRASHED are completely made up. It can be challenging to try to create new characters from scratch -- for example, the relationship between two sisters is at the heart of the book, but I'm an only child -- but it can also be surprising amounts of fun.

4) What was the hardest part of writing Skinned?
ely coming up with what the future world would be like. I've always loved reading books set in the future, and it's not because of the characters or the plotlines. It's because I loved disappearing into a different world for a few hours, asking "What if?" So I *really* wanted to come up with an exciting future for SKINNED--to build a world that would feel real, even though it was completely different than our own. But that meant spending weeks asking myself questions like, "what would they watch on TV in the future?" "what would they wear to parties?" "where would they go for fun?" It's amazing all the tiny details you need to come up with, if you're going to build an entire world. Even if they don't all appear in the book, they're all in my head.

5) What can readers expect with the second book Crashed?
More explosions, more flying, and more making out! SKINNED was all about Lia trying to come to terms with her new life--but in CRASHED, she's pretty sure she's got a handle on things, and she's ready to go a little wild. You're going to s
ee a lot more of the world, and you're also going to see a LOT more tension between the mechs (mechanical people) and the orgs ("regular" humans). There's a declaration of war. All the characters from SKINNED are back, but all of them have been radically changed by what happens at the end of that book, and not always for the better. Sorry to be so cryptic. But did I mention the explosions?

6) Was it easier to write Skinned or Crashed?
SKINNED was a bit easier because I already had so much of the story in my head when I sat down to write, and it just came pouring out. When I started CRASHED, it took me a while to get back into that headspace -- and to find ways to explore the future world that weren't just repeating what I did in SKINNED. I wanted to make sure there were a lot of new twists and turns revealed. Like I mentioned above, CRASHED also has a lot more action (running, fighting, escaping, infiltrating, etc) in it than SKINNED, and those kinds of scenes take me longer to write.

7) Are there any new authors that have sparked your interest?
Ooh, good question. "Dull Boy" by Sarah Cross is great. I've been hearing amazing things about "The Chosen One" by Carol Lynch Williams, and can't wait to get my hands on a copy. And while Carolyn MacCullough isn't technically a new author, she is about to publish her first fantasy, "Once a Witch," and I'm counting the days.

8) What book are you currently reading?
I just finished "Sharp Teeth," by Toby Barlow, a book about roving packs of LA werewolves that I never expected to love, but it's the best thing I've read all year.

9) Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
THANK YOU!!!!!! I wish I could say it to every one of them individually. I still can't believe there are real live people out there who want to read anything I've written. I keep waiting to wake up.

10) Tell us something about yourself that no one knows about.
The shameful secret life of Robin Wasserman? Hmm...well, I'm pretty sure no one knows that I once watched an entire season of One Tree Hill one rainy afternoon, when I just couldn't bring myself to get off the couch. (And actually, now that you know it, you should probably forget it, because that is truly shameful!)


Frankie Diane Mallis said...

Aw Robin is so sweet and Skinned was awesome! I know her mom and she is super sweet too:-)

Sarbear said...

Haven't heard of thesee -- they sounds good though. And that girl has cool hair (the purple)!

Faye( Ramblings of a Teenage Bookworm) said...

Awesome interview! I was reading Skinned but i couldn't really get into it. I try to read it again :D

Sassy Brit @ said...

Fantastic interview! And this is author is definitely going to appear on my Friday Find!


D Swizzle said...

i LOVED skinned!

Kelsey said...

These books look really good. Great interview!

Here's your award:

Mandy said...

Hey, great interview! Very cool.

Alyssa Kirk said...

I haven't read this series yet but have heard a lot of great things! I liked hearing about her fave new authors. Great interview!

Shauna Leigh Atkinson said...

I already got my copy of Crashed, pre-ordered long ago after I read Skinned. Loved Skinned and can't wait to read Crashed. And, yeah, she seems like a really nice person. Great series, definitely a must read!

Shauna Leigh Atkinson said...

I also meant to say hi Elena!! Sorry, I was in my own little world and meant to also say hi.

Also, I was already getting ready to post about this book as well on my blog, since I already got my copy and have been waiting soooo long for it and was super excited.... Anyway, I saw your blog was updated and popped over here to see about the same book! So I posted links to your interview on my blog, great job Elena!!! I hope you like it, here it is:
Happy reading!

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