Q&A with Emma Chastain (Author of Confession of a High School Disaster)

Today on the blog I have been lucky enough to do a Q&A with Emma Chastain! Today’s Q&A is a part of the 2017 Debut Authors Bash hosted by http://www.yareads.com/

Gryffindor Books: When you were growing up who or what first got you into reading?

Emma: My mother read aloud to me every day, sometimes for hours, when I was very young. As soon as I learned to read myself, I started inhaling books as fast as I could.

Gryffindor Books: When did you realize that you wanted to be a writer? Did your love for reading influence you to write?

Emma: I was probably five years old, maybe six, when I figured out that I wanted to be a writer. When I was a kid reading Edward Eager or Frances Hodgson Burnett, I felt the same way I do now, as an adult, reading Rainbow Rowell or Melissa Albert: that I want to observe the world as carefully, and write with as much joy and craft, as these writers do.

Gryffindor Books: If you were to be sorted into a house at Hogwarts what house would it be?

Emma: Is now a good time to admit that I’ve never read the Harry Potter books? :0

Gryffindor Books: Do you have a favorite book format? Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook, or eBook?

Emma: Paperback whenever possible. I like the manipulability of the spine and cover.

Gryffindor Books: What book character did you relate to when you were younger? What character do you relate to now that you’re older and have read more books?

Emma: When I was little, I identified with Harriet the Spy, who can’t stop taking notes on people, and whose frankness gets her into trouble. I now realize that, unfortunately, my closest fictional counterpart is probably Rabbit, Winnie-the-Pooh’s neighbor, who is an anxious and judgmental rule-follower.

Gryffindor Books: Please tell us a little about your debut book, how it came about, the writing process and how you chose the name you did for the book.

Emma: Confessions of a High School Disaster is written in diary format, partly because I love comic epistolary novels, and partly because it gave me an excuse to let Chloe say all the upsetting, selfish, narcissistic things a high school kid would actually say in her diary. My first goal was to sustain the voice of a 14-year-old without cheating: no using words she wouldn’t use, no winking at the audience, no shying away from the horrifying behavior of actual 14-year-olds. I outlined for a long time, which made the writing process much easier. The novel was originally called A Year in the Life of Chloe Snow, and the final title was the result of a long discussion with my editor at Simon Pulse. Her name is Liesa Abrams, and she is right about everything.

Gryffindor Books: Are you planning on writing anymore books or creating a sequel to your first book?

Emma: Yes! Book 2 in the Chloe Snow series will be out in 2018, and book 3 the year after that.  Chloe continues to create drama, focus obsessively on herself, and not learn much of anything.

Gryffindor Books: Thank you Emma for doing this with me! I am really looking forward to reading your book!

Emma: Thank you very much for having me!

emma chastain author photo.jpg

Emma’s Links:




To view more posts from the 2017 Debut Authors Bash click this link!

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