Marit Weisenberg

Author of: Select

Author Marit Weisenberg with her book Select

AUTHOR BIO:

Marit Weisenberg received her BA in English from Bowdoin College and her Master’s Degree from UCLA's school of Theater, Film and Television. She has worked in film and television development at Warner Brothers, Universal, and Disney. She lives in Austin with her husband and two daughters.

Marit’s debut YA novel is Select, and she worked on the first draft of the book over the course of eighteen months during Amanda Eyre Ward’s class ‘Write a Novel in a Year.’ As of now, there will be two books in The Select series.

Visit Marit online on Instagram and Facebook.

INTERVIEW:

+ YAR: What is something that readers can expect from Select that they wouldn't gather after reading the summary?

MW: SELECT falls a bit into the category of speculative fiction -- I think from the description it sounds like science fiction (and it is!) but I wanted it to feel grounded in reality as much as possible. A true "what if" there were a group of highly evolved people who were hiding in plain sight?

+ YAR: Where did your inspiration for Select come from?

MW: For years, I lived in LA and through my job on a studio lot, I'd sometime see celebrities. I often had the thought that no, they aren't just like us! So this was already in my head. But the actual idea for SELECT was triggered by a trip to Barton Springs pool in Austin (which is great for people watching). I must have seen something that triggered the idea of a group of identical looking teens who turn heads wherever they go. I had the random thought, what if they are actually different from everyone else somehow? What if these kids are an urban myth and onlookers are excited by an actual appearance at Barton Springs, even using their phones to take photos.

+ YAR: Can you share your publishing journey with us? What advice would you give to aspiring writers who want to get published?

MW: I've always surrounded myself with writers and stories. I worked in TV and film for years and my job as a development executive was to find projects and also to work with writers to refine the story/idea (kind of like an editor in publishing). I knew I wanted to write since I was a little girl but I think it took a long time to get the confidence to try it myself. Finally, after moving from Los Angeles to Austin, Texas, I realized it was now or never and if I was going to write, I better get started.

+ YAR: Has your writing process changed at all after publishing your first book? What has been different about writing the sequel to Select?

MW: I started out having no idea what I was doing! I just wrote without any direction or idea of where I was going. It was wild. Then I was so lucky to meet author Amanda Eyre Ward who was teaching a novel writing class. Through her class, I got the direction to write your five major scenes (even if they end up changing!). So I wrote the opening, the inciting incident, the midpoint, the climax and the closing scene . That gave me more structure and points to write towards. The most helpful advice I got was to just finish. The book was a wreck when it was a rough draft but I had a book! From there I could revise. It's so hard to leave bad writing behind you that you know is going to change but there is something about finishing that helps your brain relax and then you can really strategically fix things.

+ YAR: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

MW: For book one, I did so much research that I never ended up using. I studied all about a project funded by the government on psychics and "remote viewing" in the '80s and 90's. For book two, SELECT FEW, I visited places I wrote about and I met with an FBI agent which was so helpful. In general, I don't love research. I have a writer friend who creates beautiful binders full of research before she begins!

+ YAR: When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

MW: I started writing SELECT in September of 2012 and finished it (the rough draft) in October 2014. I did about two more drafts and then got an agent exactly a year later in October 2015.

+ YAR: Since you've worked in cinema and are now an author, I'm curious to know what your favorite love story of all time is (film or literature)?

MW: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE! Both the book and the film(s). The characters! The tension!

+ YAR: What is the last book that you've read that you would rate 5/5 stars?

MW: I absolutely loved TELL THE WOLVES I'M HOME by Carol Rifka Brunt. It's literary, subtle, beautiful, heartbreaking and the best showdown between sisters I've ever read.


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