We fell in love with Marianne Levy’s ‘Accidental Superstar’ so we were very excited to pick her brains about the book, writing and YA.
We know all authors have to be at least a tiny bit fond of their writing. Can you quote your favourite line from your own work?Ooh blimey. Well, for serious lines, it’s something Amanda, Katie’s big sister says, when Katie tells her she wants to be a singer and make something of her life. Amanda replies, ‘This is your life. Here and now. Your family and mates and school and home. We’re not… some waiting room that you have to sit in until you finally get called into this amazing place where you think you deserve to be. And in a sillier way, I like Savannah describing meat as, ’cruelty plus calories’.
And obviously, authors not only love writing, but are big book nerds too. What’s your fave book EVER? This question is TOO HARD. It’s probably ‘Paris To The Moon’, a collection of essays by Adam Gopnik. But ask me again tomorrow and I might say something totally different.
Any YA cliches that drive you crazy? Not in the YA books themselves, but in their descriptions – I can’t stand the idea of a strong female character. No one would ever talk about a strong male character. They wouldn’t see the need. Why does a female character have to have her strength made apparent? Why does she even have to be strong? The best characters are complicated – there’s nothing wrong with a bit of weakness. Let’s just have female characters. Or better yet, characters.
We know you used to be an actress! If you could choose, would you pick a £1 million book deal, or the leading role in a Hollywood blockbuster? Book deal, every time. I’m a terrible actress, even if I got the Hollywood role I’d probably get fired for mouthing someone else’s lines or walking into a table.
Are you anything like your ‘Accidental Superstar’ leading lady, Katie? I’m more of a show off than she is – Katie’s actually quite shy. And I’m not especially musical. We do both like to create things, for Katie it’s songs, for me it’s stories. And we both took the bus to school.
Three things we can look forward to in ‘Accidental Superstar’? There’s a song called Cake Boyfriend, about having a cake as a boyfriend. Of all the songs in the book, I think that’s my favourite. A character called Mad Jaz, who likes shop-lifting, piercings, and putting videos of her friends online – without their permission. And there’s a lot of crazy eye makeup.
Finally, because we all want to know where the magic happens, send us a picture of where you write. I have a study at home, but I’m a terrible procrastinator, so I’m most productive when I go out to write. Here’s me at my favourite table in my favourite café. I spend 50% of my time writing and 50% trying to resist the pastries.
Thank you so much for chatting with us, Marianne! You can ask your own questions on Twitter at @MarianneLevy – and don’t miss tonight’s Twitter Takeover at 7.30pm #MarianneTakeover.
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