I was lucky enough to be able to interview Siobhan Vivian, the amazing author of A Little Friendly Advice. She was so sweet and fun to talk with and she even sent me super cute buttons that go along with the book! You can find my review of A Little Friendly Advice here. and you can find Siobhan's site here. Enjoy the interview!
It was pretty much a fairytale. I had been going to grad school at night to study Creative Writing. David Levithan was my thesis advisor, and I worked with him on A LITTLE FRIENDLY ADVICE during my last semester in school. Once I graduated, he let me know that he would be interested in publishing the book. It all happened very fast.
Did you draw any of the moments in ALFA from your own teen years?
Yes, absolutely. ALFA is actually based on a little tiff that was going on with friends of mine during high school, where one friend went to questionable lengths to try and keep another girl from getting repeatedly heartbroken by a shady guy.
Which of your characters do you feel you relate to the most?
I think there’s a little of me in all the characters, but I guess I’d have to say Katherine. I have a tendency to act really tough, but it’s all to cover up my crazy insecurity issues.
Do you think you've found your niche in writing for YA or would you ever try writing in another genre?
I can’t really see myself writing anything else but YA. Those are just the kinds of stories and characters I am always drawn to.
What's your favorite thing about writing?
I love the feeling that comes from getting something right—be it a word, a snippet of dialog, a description. That feeling is totally euphoric.
Do you have any other passions besides writing?
I am obsessed with music, particularly bands from Sweden right now. Sweden has the most rocking bands with the cutest boys. I swear, I am going to move to Sweden one day and be a very happy girl.
I am also really into embroidery. I have this huge binder full of pretty colored string, and I love making little presents for my friends. Last Christmas, I embroidered a copy of David’s first book, BOY MEETS BOY, and had it framed. It was pretty bad ass.
What are some books that you'd recommend for teens?
My favorite book of all time is BLANKETS by Craig Thompson. It’s a graphic novel, it’s HUGE, but it is seriously so awesome. Other favorites of mine are GINGERBREAD by Rachel Cohn, PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER by Stephen Chbosky and I loved all the RABBIT novels by John Updike. I devoured those in college.
If you could spend one day with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
Hmm…great question! I think I’d like to hang out with Shepard Fairey. He’s the artist who makes those OBEY ANDRE THE GIANT stencils that are everywhere. I’d love to spend a day running around and tagging up the city with him. Here’s a link to his site…such a cool guy.
What was one of your funniest experiences as a teen?
Easy. My family was on vacation and had purchased some waterskiing lessons for my little sister. I already knew how to water ski and I was also completely in love with one of the boys who gave the lessons. So, this boy invites me to ride in the boat with him and as I went running down the dock, I tripped over a rope and slid like 10 feet on this really gross, dingy plastic green grass carpet. I ended up scraping both my knees and my chin and was bleeding all over myself. He tried really hard not to laugh at me, but his friends weren’t so kind.
Now that I think about it…that wasn’t so much funny as it was completely mortifying…but there you go!
What's up next for you?
Yay! I’m so glad you asked. I’m just finishing up my next book called SAME DIFFERENCE, It’s about a girl named Emily who struggles with having two different identities --- depending on whether she’s at home with her popular, suburban best friend she grew up with, or hanging out in a city with a super cool, wild new girl she befriends in a summer art class.
Anything else you want to add?
Yes. You look totally pretty today.
Why thank you! :P
And be sure to pick up a copy of A Little Friendly Advice! It really is a great book by a super cool author.