Today, I am super duper excited as we have the extremely funny Flynn Meaney here to discuss her books: Bloodthirsty and her newest release The Boy Recession (look for my review later today).
Amanda: Flynn can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Flynn: Well, I grew up just outside of New York City and went to the University of Notre Dame, where I majored in marketing and minored in French. I was really lucky in college because I studied abroad twice—in Ireland, where my family is from, and in Paris. I just finished my MFA in Creative Writing from Hunter College, and now I work for a French company as my “day job.”
Amanda: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?
Flynn: Ooh, I just googled “pantser”—that’s a new word for me, apparently it doesn’t just mean someone who pulls other peoples’ pants down! I’m not a pantser (by either definition). It’s funny, because I wrote Bloodthirsty in a huge rush because I wanted to catch the tail end of the vampire craze, so I didn’t have time for plotting or outlining. But that’s very unlike me; now I start with about a 10-page outline for the overall book, then when I start each chapter I do a thorough chapter outline, about two pages of outlining per five-page chapter. Right now I’m studying a few different books about plotting and outlining, because I’d love to get better at that stuff.
Amanda: What do you think is the difference between a reader and a real Book Lover?
Flynn: I guess a lot of people read, but a Book Lover can live a second life through a book. A Book Lover feels like they’ve visited London after finishing a book set there. A Book Lover confronts his/her own morals when the hero of a book faces a difficult dilemma. A Book Lover gets a crazy obsessive crush on a fictional character.
Amanda: What can we expect of The Boy Recession?
Flynn: The Boy Recession is told by two different narrators: Hunter, a skateboarding slacker, and Kelly, a “nice girl” who’s sick of being called a nice girl. Their high school in Wisconsin has a lot more girls than guys, thanks to a “boy recession” that is a result of the actual, economic recession, and this skewed ratio makes Hunter super popular just as Kelly is realizing she likes him.
Amanda: How did you get into the heads of your male leads, as they think distinctly different from women? Did you have to do any research or did you just wing it (because guys are pretty easy to read anyway, haha)?
Flynn: The weird thing was, it was actually easier writing Hunter than Kelly, because with Hunter his thought process is automatically separate from mine, because he’s a different sex, but with Kelly I had trouble drawing the line between how girls in general think and how I think. Writing Hunter also wasn’t too bad because I would bounce ideas off my boyfriend and get his insight on the male mind.
Amanda: You didn’t go the conventional route when picking your heroes, what was your attraction with Finbar (Bloodthirsty) and Hunter (The Boy Recession)?
Flynn: Haha yes, neither of these guys would be my first choice for a boyfriend, I have to admit. With Finbar, I needed a guy who was a real outcast (or saw himself as one), so he would be desperate enough to try the fake-vampire thing. With Hunter, I thought his arc of being forced into the spotlight would be funnier if he was super laid back and always tried to fly under the radar. Hunter was like the guys I used to see hanging out at the gas station on the corner but never hung out with myself, so I decided to get into one of those guys’ heads.
Amanda: What vampire series did you have in mind when writing Bloodthirsty? Any in particular or was it a mesh of all out at the time?
Flynn: I was definitely thinking about Twilight and how huge that book was, especially with high-schoolers—all those high school girls falling in love with Edward Cullen. But I didn’t want to attack Twilight in particular so I created the fictional Bloodthirsty within Bloodthirsty…and I had lots of fun writing a ridiculously exaggerated excerpt from it!
Amanda: I love your comical style of writing, exaggerating the current trends in the media (Bloodthirsty came out when vampires were huge, The Boy Recession came out when there is a man drought – well in Australia there is – and also when girls are going a little silly trying to attract attention) was this intentional or were they just funny subjects for you to write about?
Flynn: Ooh, I think I heard about the man drought in Australia actually! I saw a YouTube report called “Single in Australia: a Bloke’s Paradise.” Anyway, I grew up in a very pop culture-aware family, I think, because my father’s a journalist and my brother is a filmmaker and a lifelong TV and film buff, so we were always talking about the latest pop culture happenings at the dinner table. And because I write realistic fiction and try to keep my dialogue true-to-life, my characters are aware of celebrities and movies and pop culture, which have also become jumping-off points for my book ideas.
Amanda: Bloodthirsty and The Boy Recession are both Contemporary Humourous YA, are you planning to venture into any other genres in the future?
Flynn: Yes, definitely. It’s funny, because I just finished my thesis for grad school and it’s all very dark, serious poetry, with death and crime and feminism and fascism and heavy historical stuff…so pretty much the opposite end of the spectrum! There are so many things I’d love to write—definitely a full book of poetry and a literary novel for adults.
Amanda: Going to a small school myself, I understand what it’s like for everyone to know everyone else, like the characters in The Boy Recession, did you go to a small school?
Flynn: Very small! My high school graduating class had eighty-nine people, and, with very few exceptions, those were the same eighty-nine people I started kindergarten with. It’s a strange experience; no one really dated, because it seemed almost incestuous. But a small school was a positive thing, too, because it forged strong bonds and friendships that have lasted for me.
Amanda: What is next on your schedule?
Flynn: Eesh, I wish I knew! I just finished graduate school in May, and I work as well as writing, so right now I’m having a little break, but I hope to start another YA book soon.
Amanda: Now can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read your books?
You should read my books if…
Amanda: Can you summarize The Boy Recession for us twitterstyle (140 characters or less)?
Flynn: Hunter is a slacker with a heart of gold. Kelly is the girl next door who’s gonna win his heart—unless that shrieking throng of girls gets in her way…