Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Interview with Mindi Scott (Author of Freefall)

Mindi Scott was kind enough to allow me to interview her. If you haven't read Freefall (2010), its a YA novel that I highly recommend. Mindi's writing is contemporary fiction that speaks to the tough issues facing teens. Her second novel, Live Through This, will be published by Simon Pulse in 2012. I chose to interview Mindi for the blog because she's awesome and I wanted to get the perspective of someone who writes in a different genre than I do. Learn more about Mindi on her website or follow her on twitter.

Drea: Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

Mindi: I wouldn't say that I wanted to be, but when I was younger, I always thought I would write a book after I got really, really old. Instead, I got started when I was around 26.

Drea: Why did you choose to write YA books?

Mindi: I used to think it was because those were the books that spoke to me as a teen. I recently realized that I read a lot of middle grade when I was younger, and then switched to John Grisham and women's fiction and such. I read very little YA when I was a teen. So, I think my revised answer is that when I was making the decision about what kind of book I wanted to write, I connected with the dozens of YA novels that I read more than any other type of book.

Drea: What do you do when you find yourself telling instead of showing in your writing?

Mindi: I usually open up The Bookshelf Muse and scan through their ideas. That will usually trigger an idea for me of how to show something if it, in fact, needs to be shown.

Drea: Where do you get inspiration for your characters?

Mindi: I honestly don't know! Occasionally, after I've finished a book, I'll reread it and say, "You know, [this character] kind of reminds me of [this person]." Most of the time, though, I have no idea where they came from.

Drea: Do you think you will stick to writing realistic fiction or would you like to try another genre?

Mindi: I don't have story ideas for another genre at this time, but I am interested (perhaps!) in trying realistic Middle Grade.

Drea: Are you an outliner? If not, what do you do to plot your novels.

Mindi: I definitely outline. My outlines consist of a paragraph (or more) summarizing each scene that I anticipate appearing in the novel. It changes as I go, of course, but for better or worse, I always have a detailed map to follow.

Drea: What traits do you believe a writer must have in order to be a successful YA author?

Mindi: Ha, well, success is relative, right? I think to be an effective YA author, one has to strive for authenticity and truth. A path to success is harder for me to define.

Drea: Where and when do you do most of your writing?

Mindi: Sometimes I write scenes in a journal wherever I happen to be, but the majority of the work is done at my computer in my home office. I work a part-time job, and I pretty much write whenever I'm not there!

Drea: Who are your top 3 favorite authors?

Mindi: Courtney Summers, John Green, Carolyn Mackler

Drea: What are you currently reading?

Mindi: I'm reading the draft of Live Through This while I revise it. (Sadly, I've had very little free time so far this year to read.)

Drea: Do you listen to music when you write?

Mindi: Most of the time. My iPod broke several months ago, followed by my CD player. That pretty much leaves Pandora or the regular radio until I replace one or both of those.

Drea: What is the biggest challenge you've faced in your writing career?

Mindi: Managing my time has been a huge, huge challenge for me, especially in 2011. I feel like every day is go, go, go! and I'm always behind no matter what I do.

Drea: What is the hardest thing about being a published writer?

Mindi: Hmm. I saved this question until the end because it was the hardest one for me to answer . There are things I want to say, but I don't know if I really want to say them. And that actually sums up my answer on lots of levels! I've observed many communications that have gone so wrong over the past couple of years that I've become kind of paralyzed online.


  1. Fantastic interview!!! I love what Mindi said: "an effective YA author, one has to strive for authenticity and truth."

    I totally think that's the thing some people miss but it's so important when writing for teens. They don't buy the bull. It's really opening up and pouring it all out there.

    Lovely interview!

  2. I agree with the comment above me; this interview is fabulous. I love how straightforward Mindi is.

    Also, great new blog, girls!


  3. I love Mindi's book. She writes in a manner that feels true. No unnecessary drama and tears and such. And I love that she gives her characters the hard times they deserve, just in order to make the reader stronger.
    Thanks for the interview. It'a always so nice to hear something from her.