Google+ Reading Teen: Daisy Whitney Answers YOUR questions!! (and winner of The Mockingbirds ARC)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Daisy Whitney Answers YOUR questions!! (and winner of The Mockingbirds ARC)

A couple of weeks ago, we had a giveaway for a copy of The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney.  To enter, we had you comment and tell us what you would ask Daisy if you had the chance.  Well, we never expected that she would actually take the time to answer all those questions, but she did!!  So, with a LOT of copy and pasting, I've put together your questions and her answers!  Read them all if you want, or scan for your name if you just want to know your answer!  ENJOY!  (And make sure you say thanks to this sweet and fantastic author!)  Daisy, I can't thank you enough for all the time and effort you put into answering everyone's questions!  You're awesome!!

(Read my review of The Mockingbirds)

The winner of the ARC of The Mockingbirds is Elise!  (I've sent an email)  Congrats!!

Daisy Whitney said...
Hey guys!! Great questions - I'm going to start answering them...

what advice do you have for people who want to become published YA authors?

@Zoe - My advice to people who want to become pubbed author is to write every day, edit your work relentlessly, connect with other like-minded writers who want to be published and critique each other's work, and then when you work is in the best shape possible - look for an agent!

Do you have an inspiring quote or message that you live by?

@Cialina - Good question! Some quotes I love include Randy Pausch' quote about enabling the dreams of others being as much fun as achieving your own dreams. Which translates into GIVE to others. I like this quote from Aristotle: "Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." And I like the quote from La Vie Boheme in Rent "To riding your bike midday past the three-piece suits" because that symbolizes to me the joy in pursuing your dreams!

Who is your favorite fictional character and why?

@Julia - I love Frankie Landau-Banks in the Dispreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks because she is a butt-kicking teen girl who stands up for what she believes in!

A RIVER RUNS THROUGH ITWhat are the 5 books that you would recommend to everyone?

@Misha1989 - the 5 books I would rec to ANYONE are A River Runs Through it by Norman Maclean, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, A Separate Peace by John Knowles, Harry Potter by JK Rowling and Time Travelers Wife by Audrey NIffenegger.

What is the first book you ever fell in love with?

@Jenna - First book I fell in love with was Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder! I read all those books when I was young!

What is the biggest mistake you've made in your life and what did you do to correct it?

@ReadingLassie - Good question on mistakes! I'd rather not go into details, but I do believe strongly in learning from mistakes and in making amends!

Cant wait to read this, thanks for the chance! Who is your favorite author and why?

@Nat - my favorite author is Emily Giffin. I love everything she has written.

What inspired you to write this novel?

@Marie - I was inspired to write The Mockingbirds because I am intrigued by boarding school, by codes of right and wrong, and by what it takes to stand up for your beliefs.

To Kill a Mockingbird: 50th Anniversary EditionIs The Mockingbirds in your book inspired by the honor and justice issues in "To kill a mockingbird"? If so, how did it influence your work?

@phuongV - yes The Mockingbirds is inspired by To Kill a Mockingbird and the secret society in my book takes its name from Harper Lee's book, which is the canonical story of justice and doing the right thing

Which would you rather win in a giveaway, $1000 bookstore gift card or a pair of Manolo Blahnik's?

@icedream - Manolos! Only because I'd never buy them myself and I will always buy books!

When you were much much younger, did you ever dream of becoming an author?

@Anne - yes I dreamed about writing, but I also dreamed about being a Broadway star, an Olympic ski jumper and an environmental scientist!

Why did you choose to take this type of an 'issue' the direction you did? Do you feel your book could be realistic?

@Ashley - I wanted to show what a group of smart, ethical teens could do to help each other. I hope if bad things happen in life though that teens will turn to trusted adults.

Have you ever based a character on a family member or friend?

@Debbie - yes, I have based characters on people I know, but mostly I use parts and traits from people I know.

Christian Louboutin Decollete BlackI have a wedding in February. Would you go out with me to buy some shoes to go with my dress? What's your favourite pair of shoes?

@Ella - congrats on your wedding! My favorite shoes are Christian Louboutins. I LOVE them.

Are you only writing YA novels at the moment or are you trying something else as well ?

@buddyt - I am very focused on YA though I also want to write for middle grade readers too.

When did you first realize that you wanted to write a book?

@wulfluva - I first knew I wanted to write books about 4-5 years ago when I was reading more contemporary fiction and had the aha moment of thinking "I can do this!"

I haven't read "The Mockingbirds", but it always reminds me of " How to kill a mockingbird". Is there any connection to this book, have you read it and did it influence you somehow?

@MissPageTurner - yes the book was inspired by To Kill a Mockingbird - see answer above!

Wake UpDo you have a playlist for this book, and if so would you like to share?

@ASimpleLoveofReading - I don't have a playlist, but off the top of my head I would say Wake up by Arcade Fire, Ode to Joy by Beethoven, and Stop Hey What's that Sound by By Buffalo Springfield.

If you could co write a book with someone, who would it be?

@AprilX - I'm not sure I'd be any good at co-authoring! I'm so solitary in my writing that I can't even picture it!

I am anxious to read this author and then ... I want to know:
What inspired or is her muse to write that novel or any piece of this?

@Lu - see answers above about inspiration!

Was this story something that you wrote quickly, or was it a slower process? I am always curious to know who quickly authors write such successful books. Some seem to take years, and other just weeks. Fascinating!

@Scoot - I wrote a showable draft in about 5 months, then did some revisions with my agent and many for my editor!

My question will be very personal: I've heard you've been once in Alex's shoes (no pun intended!), what have you done about it?

@Jam - I have been in Alex's shoes and I successfully pressed charges at my university when I was date raped in college.

Tazo China Green Tips Green Tea, 20-Count Tea Bags (Pack of 6)I see that the playlist while writing question was already brought up... So were you drinking more coffee or more tea during the writing process of the Mockingbirds?

@Teril - I consume an obscene amount of caffeine daily mainly in the form of green tea and did while writing The Mockingbirds too!

I just want to know what is your favorite book and why! I look forward to reading your book!

@latishajean - my favorite book is a River Runs Through it by Norman Maclean because it says so much about people and how we connect or don't with each other.

Ah, I'm so getting this book! Really.
Well, why mockingbirds and not any other bird? Everyone seems to be really interested in mockingbirds.

@Mika - BC of To Kill a Mockingbird!

At what age did you decide to become a writer?

@Lucy - I decided to start writing novels at age 35!

What inspired the physical appearances of your characters?

@LaurenM - the inspiration for physical appearance of characters varies a lot. Some are based on people I know, but most are pictures in my head!

What kind of impact do you want The Mockingbirds to have on this generation of readers?

@kulsuma - I hope the Mockingbirds sends the message that it's cool to take a stand for yourself and for others!

Do you see yourself writing more 'issue' books in the future?

@ishta - I have written a sequel to this book that also tackles some issues and then I will be focusing a bit more on contemp romance stories!!

Who is the character who most enjoyed writing and why?

@Itzel - I loved writing Alex because she is the heart of the story, Maia because she is so tough and brilliant and Martin because he is such a good guy.

Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, TheIf you could be a literary character, who would you be?

@Vivien - I would be Frankie Landau-Banks because she is going to change the world!

There are always moments in writer's life that he/she thinks 'I quit' or 'I can't think straight'. How do you get over this??

@Chiara - "Never give up, never surrender!" I believe in hard work, persistence and talent. I also believe in ceaseless forward motion. Keep writing, keep going!

I'd love to know, if you could go back to any time in history and be anyone, famous figure or a plain peasant, which era would you choose and who would you be and why?

@Yllektra - if I could go back in time it would to whoever has the best shoe collection!

Silly question, but what is your favorite brand of shoes?

@Ashley - not silly, but important question! My favorite brand of shoes are Christian Louboutins! I am in love with them! I want a pair so much!!!

What made you decide to write about this particular topic for your teen audience?

@mrsheise - I chose to write about date rape because I wanted to show a character healing and recovering from it

My questions is about why she chose to write about date rape and was it hard to write about as it is personal?

@booksnob - it was not hard for me to write about it because my own personal experience was so long ago that I had a necessary artistic distance from it.

Describe the first pair of shoes that you bought yourself?

@EvaSB - I don't remember the first pair I bought! The last pair of shoes I bought though was a pair of 4 inch blue heels to go with a white and blue dress!

How does your mood affect your writing?

@Precious - I am very regimented about writing, so my mood doesn't come into play much.

When did your shoe obsession start and do you remember the first pair you bought yourself with your own money?

@Jasmine - see above about shoe buying. My shoe obsession started in earnest about 2-3 years ago when I stopped wearing clunky cloggy shoes all the time!

Little House in the Big Woods Book and Charm (Charming Classics)Who were your favorite authors when you were a teen? (And I love shoes too!)

@Bella - I loved Laura Ingalls Wilder, Judy Blume and Danielle Steele when I was a teen

Is it hard being a good mom and writer at the same time?

@xlacrimax - it can be tough finding a balance as a mom and a writer. I try to do the best I can!

Haha I love how Daisy puts shoe-lover first before mum and wife :P
My question would be: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I have two questions:

1. How many pairs of shoes do you own?

2. What's your favorite shoe store?

@BlackestNight Reads - I probably have about 40 pairs of shoes and my favorite shoe store is any shoe store with pretty shoes!

Eiffel Tower (Through Gates, 1909) Art Poster Print - 24" X 36" Poster Print by Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, 24x36If you could live anywhere, where would you live?

@YAvampirebooks - I would like to live in Paris!

After receiving rejection leters, how did you become motivated again?

@Miranda - I knew rejection was a necessary part of the process and I chose to simply keep going and to believe that I would get where I wanted.

Why would you write a story about rape? What inspired you?

@Polkadots - I wrote about rape because I wanted to show the healing that is possible after a traumatic event

I would ask Daisy how she finds her inspiration for writing.

@GoodGolly - I find inspiration when I walk my dog in the mornings and turn off the phone and just let thoughts and ideas have space to form!

Why was this the book you knew you had to write?

@Gabrielle - I knew it was the book I had to write because it clicked. I wrote every day, was focused every day and the story almost told itself.

I am one of those people that find it amazing that writers have real lives too. Pleaae give us a glimpse of a typical day in your life. :)

@chrizette - my daily life - walk dog at 630 am, help get kids ready for school, work on client work from 830-230, pick up kids from school, help with homework and take to activities, dinner, bedtime, then write from 8-1030 or 11, watch TV and hang out with hubby, bedtime at 12.

Did you ever have writer's block when you wrote Mockingbirds? If so, how'd you over come it? Unless you had smooth sailing, which is great :)

@Jade - I didn't have writers' block, but that's partly because I use my dog walk time every morning to work out problems and the next scene to write

What if that pair of BEAUTIFUL, DROP DEAD GORGEOUS shoes doesn't look nice on you? Will you still buy them?

@Fi-Chan - I would only buy shoes that look awesome on me!

Do you remember when you started reading a book? :D 

@petit - not sure I understand the question. I started reading at 4 or 5.

if an amazingly gorgeous pair of shoes and a super interesting book have a deathmatch for your love, which would win? :D

@melannie - book wins!

"Ode to Joy" from Beethoven Symphony 9I'd love to read this! I've many great things about it :)
Do you listen to music while you write? Is there an especific song that inspired your writing?

@sharli - I only listen to music while writing in coffee shops or airplanes. Songs that inspire the Mockingbirds - Ode to Joy.

Hmm, I would ask what's her favourite flavor of ice cream :)

@audrey - mint chocolate chip

What is her favorite book of all-time?

@ivy - A River Runs Through it is favorite all time book

What authors inspired you to want to become a writer?

@Elise - Emily Giffin was a writer who inspired me to write

what made you want to become a writer ?

@pinkstuff - I write because I believe in the suspension of disbelief

If you ever get writer's block, how do you get through it?

@misreneer - the cure for writers block is to go for a walk, then sit down and write

Where were you when the idea for this novel hit you?

@missy - I had been noodling on the idea for a while. It was during a call with a friend that the idea crystallized

I'm completely curious about this book now. What are the mockingbirds' role in this book...hmm I want to know! Haha.
Question: Do you happen to have a music playlist for this book?

@soultified - Mockingbirds are a secret student run society for justice

Since I'm a brazilian, gonna ask you what do you think about Brazil, and whether you'll like to visit it :)

@Juliana - long live Brazil!

The MockingbirdsDo you have another work in progress at this time?

@stilletto - yes, a second Mockingbirds book comes out next year and I am working on many more novels

2 Questions I would ask Daisy Whitney:
-If I wanted to publish a book, could you help me out with it?
-And also, lol, can you follow my blog? XD

@hafsah - I will cheerlead you and encourage you!

okey, here is the question:
what are your favorite types of books??
that´s all!

@andii - my favorite books are young adult contemporary novels and memoirs about living in Paris

What is your inspiration?

@lag123 - I am inspired by life, my dog, ideas, people around me, nature, but mostly - people! 

Thank You Daisy!!



  1. Thanks so much for the Mockingbirds ARC. I'm so excited! And a big thanks to Daisy for also giving us her time in answering all those questions. Wow! I think that is the longest Q & A I've ever read. But I enjoyed reading through it!

  2. Wow! Daisy must be about the coolest person ever to go through that many questions and actually answer them! I would get this book now, even if I wasn't interested in the story (which I totally am) because she is just that awesome! Thanks Daisy!

  3. Thanks for answering my question!

  4. Wow - Daisy, thank you so much for being so generous with your time and your answers!

  5. Andye - nice work with the layout of the post!

  6. Great interview!!! Yay, I'm so happy that my question was answered. :)


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