Author Hannah Moskowitz Interview & the Contest is Open!

The interviews and contest are finally here!!!  Today, we have the pleasure of talking to author Hannah Moskowitz.


Tell us a little bit about you

I'm a YA and MG writer. My first YA, BREAK, came out in 2009, and my first MG, ZOMBIE TAG, is out in Fall 2011. I also have two more YAs, INVINCIBLE SUMMER and THE ANIMALS WERE GONE, coming in Spring 2011 and 2012, and another MG coming probably in 2012.

In a more personal sense, I'm a student at the University of Maryland, and I watch enough TV for it to qualify as a specialty. I blog at and I am literally all over the internet.

What was your journey towards getting an agent and your first book deal like?  How many queries/rejections/etc. did you go through before THE CALL?
Oh my God, millions of rejections. I queried for a year, with four different manuscripts, so that should give you an idea of how many. At the beginning, my journey was very typical. I queried for a long time, and eventually got an offer of representation in February 2008. I ended up getting four offers. I chose one, we went out on submission with Break in April 2008 and sold in July. The following June, I broke up with that agent when we just had different visions of where our relationship needed to be. I started querying again and signed with the fantastic Brendan Deneen, formerly of FinePrint Literary, in July 2009, and we sold Invincible Summer at mini-auction back to my Simon Pulse editor in August 2009 (the same month Break came out). In July 2010, Brendan left FinePrint to pursue editing, and I switched to Suzie Townsend, also at FP, who is my current fabulous agent.

There’s a lot of debate out there about what is “appropriate” for YA—cursing, sex, violence, etc.  We’ve gotten into a number of debates about it here at the blog.  How do you decide what to do in your own stories?
I just write my characters however they would sound if they were real teenagers. I don't sugarcoat, but I also don't do edgy for edgy's sake.

What are some of your favorite books?  Do you continue reading while you’re drafting a project or does that muddle your process?
I don't read during first drafts (I don't have time!) but I try to read as much as I can otherwise, especially while editing. Some of my favorite books are E. Lockhart's The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks and her Ruby Oliver series, everything David Levithan does, particularly Love is the Higher Law and Will Grayson, Will Grayson with John Green, The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty, The Deathday Letter by Shaun Hutchinson, and everything by Garret Freymann-Weyr.

What’s your guilty pleasure?
Queer As Folk

What is the single best piece of writing advice you received?
Shut up. Stop talking. Stop bitching. That's not writing your book. Write your damn book.

And for all of us who are still working toward getting an agent and a book deal, what writing advice would you like to share with us?
My tried-and-true piece of advice is: never think you aren't good enough, and never think you can't get better. You need to push your books at agents like it is the best f***ing thing in the world, and you need to simultaneously ruthlessly write (WRITE NEW BOOKS. MORE BOOKS.) and rip your stuff apart like it's the world's worst.

Thanks so much to Hannah for talking with us today!  Now, click over to Julie's blog to read the rest of the interview, including Hannah's writing process (and how freaking fast she writes!), her newest book, and how she juggles writing with college life.

And, now, the contest is officially open!!!  Click here to go to the entry form.  You can enter this form once, but be sure to stop by for the rest of the week's interviews because you'll be able to earn extra entries each day.  :)