I'm thrilled to have Meredith visit my blog today to talk about writing, her cats, and throws a trivia challenge at her readers.
|Photo Credit: Bjorn Bolinder|
Have you always been a writer? Did you keep a journal or write stories when you were younger?
I have always been a writer, but the only times I've kept a journal are under duress for a school assignment or when traveling. (I like to record my experiences when I'm on a trip so I can reread them after I return.) Growing up I'd write poems (terrible ones, I'm sure) and stories in my spare time, and I'd always try to get out of boring school projects I didn't want to do by writing a play or story instead. In high school I wrote for the school paper and was eventually the Editor in Chief, and I also worked on top secret projects in my own time. It absolutely kills me when I think about the gems I lost when our family computer died - I would give anything to be able to read the stuff I thought was absolutely brilliant in my teens. What if some of it was!? I finally threw out all the floppy discs I saved - what would I do with them, right? In college I was in a writing program for TV and Film, and continued writing short stories in my own time. But I don't think being a writer is just about specific projects. Excellent Facebook status-updating is writing. Funny or compassionate or controversial emails is writing. Toasts at dinner parties is writing. Writing can be everywhere and all the time.
How long do you think about a story or characters until you finally decide what you want to write about it/them?
Oh, god. I've had characters floating around in my head for years that I will sometime get around to putting on paper. Maybe. If i can possibly stop procrastinating long enough...
What is the best piece of writing advice you've received?
"Kill your babies." I had an excellent teacher in college, playwright Michael Elyanow, who was always saying that - meaning, sometimes you have to cut your favorite bits of writing because they simply don't work with the overall piece. It's the hardest thing to do and almost always the right choice.
What one piece of advice you would give to aspiring writers?
Don’t worry about getting a publisher or writing something commercial or any of that stuff - just write. Write anything that you are interested in or excited about - even it’s sappy poems or memories from your childhood or retellings of books you love. You never know what you’ll be able to use someday for a project, and just getting into the habit of writing is the best exercise of all.
Tell me five random things about yourself.
1. The rhinoceros is my spirit animal.
2. I have two orange cats who are named after detectives from Law and Order: SVU. (Elliot Stabler and Odafin "Fin" Tutuola, in case you were wondering which ones.)
3. I hate Jell-O. I think it's scary and I won't go near it.
4. I love the show "The Golden Girls" and am pretty astute at GG trivia. Go ahead - try me!
5. I often change my hair color to keep things interesting. As I type this I'm dyeing it BRIGHT BLUE!
Sophomore Year Is Greek to Me
High school sophomore Zona Lowell has lived in New York City her whole life, and plans to follow in the footsteps of her renowned-journalist father. But when he announces they’re moving to Athens for six months so he can work on an important new story, she's devastated— he must have an ulterior motive. See, when Zona's mother married an American, her huge Greek family cut off contact. But Zona never knew her mom, and now she’s supposed to uproot her entire life and meet possibly hostile relatives on their turf? Thanks... but no thanks.
In the vein of Anna and the French Kiss, Zona navigates a series of hilarious escapades, eye-opening revelations, and unexpected reunions in a foreign country—all while documenting the trip through one-of-a-kind commentary.
WATCH THE TRAILER
"SOPHOMORE YEAR IS GREEK TO ME" by Meredith Zeitlin - Book Trailer!!!
FIND MEREDITH and SOPHOMORE YEAR ONLINE
Book Website: http://www.mzwrites.com/
Book Trailer: https://vimeo.com/118188167
Amazon Listing: http://mzwrit.es/1789mlj
Barnes and Noble Listing: http://mzwrit.es/1BpHB0J