SEAN GRISWOLD'S HEAD is in stores now.
What do you love most about writing for young adults?
It doesn't feel like work. I love the words, I love the readers. I can't even name one thing, I love it so!
Did you draw on any experiences based on someone you know or events in your own life that helped you write this book?
I think any author will tell you there are pieces of us in all our writing. I lived in PA a few years ago, so setting the story there was easy for me, not to mention I thought the winter to spring transition there served the story well. I didn't know at first what Payton's problems in her home life would be, but I came up with MS because it's such an unpredictable disease, and she's a girl who relies on predictablity. My father-in-law has MS, and blessedly he's doing well, but I have seen how the symptoms and uncertainty impacts the family. Oh, and my husband is big into cycling, so he was my expert on all of that. Yes, girls. He does spandex proud.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing Sean Griswold's Head?
Payton's organizational, Type A personality wasn't clear enough in the first couple of drafts. I was trying to figure out how to show this, when I started doodling a pie chart. AND THERE IT WAS--the focus journal exercises became graphic organizers. I'm a chaotic person, so I was pleased that a nice and neat idea like that came to me.
As far as writing, how different is this book from your Princess for Hire series? Did you have to change your style of writing much?
I think if you read one book, and then the other, you can tell that it's the same author.
They both have that mix of humor and heart. It's just what I do.
That said, they are different genres and different audiences. P4H is tween fantasy, SGH is YA contemporary. So I did have to switch up my style, and writing in the first person present helped me get to the immediacy of Payton's situation. The humor in P4H is more slapstick and crazy situations. The humor in SGH is all about Payton, her observations, and how she views the world.
What's next for you in the future? What direction do you see your books heading?
I like both strands in writing, and I hope to continue in both.
For my younger readers, I have two more Princess for Hire books coming out, with ideas for additional tween adventures.
For fans of SEAN GRISWOLD'S HEAD, I just sold another book called AUTHENTICALLY VINTAGE, about a girl who decides to go vintage - forswearing 21st century technology and accomplishing the goals her grandma set for herself at 16 - when she discovers her boyfriend cheating on her with a cyber wife.
For more info on Lindsey Leavitt and her books, please visit her website here.
The focus object is intended to help Payton deal with her father's newly diagnosed multiple sclerosis. And it's working. With the help of her boy-crazy best friend Jac, Payton starts stalking—er, focusing on—Sean Griswold . . . all of him! He's cute, he shares her Seinfeld obsession (nobody else gets it!) and he may have a secret or two of his own.
In this sweet story of first love, Lindsey Leavitt seamlessly balances heartfelt family moments, spot-on sarcastic humor, and a budding young romance.
Take a look inside of SEAN GRISWOLD'S HEAD here.