Hannah Moskowitz‘s debut novel, BREAK, hit the shelves this week from Simon Pulse Books and is opening to some terrific reviews.
We’d like to thank her for taking time out of her first-week festivities to be part of our “5 Minutes Alone” interview series.
AuthorScoop: What was your very first publication credit?
Hannah: No short stories, no articles, no anything even in a school newspaper. My first publication credit was a YA novella with an e-book publisher when I was fourteen. It was hugely ridiculously exciting at the time, when I had decided, for some reason I don’t remember, that there was no place for me in mainstream publishing. I went through the deal and the release of that ebook without an agent. I got my first agent just before I turned seventeen, and BREAK sold a few months later.
AuthorScoop: Tell us about your latest release.
Hannah: BREAK is about a seventeen-year-old boy named Jonah who wants to break all his bones. It’s a self-injury novel for people who hate other self-injury novels. I think of it as a dark comedy. I came up with the premise first and then built up reasons why someone would conceivably try something this ridiculous. The book still isn’t completely plausible–it still is, at least partially, a satire–but my hope is that, when you see how much stuff is crushing Jonah, his plan makes some semblance of sense.
It’s also a book about siblings, because I feel like so much YA is more concerned with friends or romantic relationships. Jonah’s close with his best friend and his sort-of-girlfriend, but he’s much closer with his younger brother, who’s a major part of the story and Jonah’s motivation for breaking his bones. I think so much of what you see of YA siblings revolves around competitive relationships, anger at a sibling, etc. Jonah loves his brother.
AuthorScoop: Aside from your own hard work, who else do you feel has contributed to your success?
Hannah: Luck. It is hugely, hugely luck. I’ve written thirteen books, but this is the one that was right for the market this second, and it’s the one that found the right people at the right time. Writing a good book is incredibly important, but it’s impossible to deny that, yeah, luck is involved. I’ve written good books that haven’t sold. I’ve also written terrible books I’m thanking God didn’t sell back when I thought they were awesome. Luck is huge.
Those amazing people I mentioned are absolutely to blame for my success, as well. My editor at Simon Pulse is absolutely my hero, and the BREAK on bookshelves is miles better from the BREAK she took on and fixed.
AuthorScoop: At what time of day or night do you do your best writing?
Hannah: Late. Probably because I’m a procrastinator, I write best when I absolutely can’t put off writing for any longer. Generally I work best between midnight and two in the morning. After that I get too tired and just start googling things.
AuthorScoop: Finally, what advice would you give to new or unpublished writers?
Hannah: Anyone who’s read more than one interview with me is probably sick to death of hearing this advice, but I never get tired of giving it: Never think you are not good enough, and never think you can’t get better. You have to throw yourself into everything you do and make it so so good, because it’s just like I said–you never know which book is going to sell. So you have to give every single thing you write as much of you as you can. You have to advocate for it like it’s the second coming of Harry Potter and then you have to move on and write something better. And you have to keep doing that.
BREAK is available now in bookstores everywhere and available for order and Kindle download at Amazon.com.