Today, I am so thrilled to be hosting a Q&A with The Beginning of Everything author Robyn Schneider as part of the #StoryCrushTour! The Story Crush Tour will bring some of your favorite YA authors to five different cities, starting next month. But before that happens, we are thrilled to be hosting one of the official blog tour stops – featuring, of course, Robyn!
You weren’t? Okay, how about this. In the beginning of your book, one of the characters has a VERY traumatic experience on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland. While I expect you’ve never experienced something like that … what is your worst experience at a theme park?
Actually, I was pretty traumatized at Disneyland California Adventure a couple of years ago. I almost choked on Tower of Terror when my necklace charm flew up into my (wide open and screaming) mouth on the drop.
You first learned about this interview via Tumblr (our Tumblr, in fact) and you commented that you would begin preparing excellent GIFs for all your responses. So here goes. Hit me with your best GIF. Let’s have it.
I think this one’s pretty great:
But if you’re more for the cute animal variety, may I recommend:
Let’s talk a bit about the characters in THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING. How did each character come into being? Which one was first, and how did the others follow?
Ezra popped into my head fully formed, this broken, self-sorry boy cast adrift after experiencing his personal tragedy. I wrote the first two chapters in one sitting. Cassidy was harder. I only ever got to know her through Ezra’s point of view, and he’s not exactly the most reliable narrator. I’m still figuring her out, even now, but I think that’s what she would have wanted. Toby, though, was always Toby. He just appeared in the first chapter as if by magic (or, possibly, literary time travel).
The truth is, I wrote a book that was so emotionally autobiographical that I had to force myself to fictionalize it somehow. For me, writing from the male perspective isn’t any more difficult than writing from the female perspective. We’re all just stories in the end, and stories don’t have genders.
I’m not sure if this subject is taboo (I mean, we ARE doing this Q&A at the behest of your publisher) … but can we talk about the title? I mean, THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING is fine … but when I first read this book, I had one of the old ARCs with your original title: SEVERED HEADS, BROKEN HEARTS. And I feel as if this was a much more original, witty title. But I can see why behind-the-scenes publishing folks may have been concerned. What are your thoughts on the change-up?
I really loved the idea of calling the book Severed Heads, Broken Hearts, which is still the title throughout Europe, but it’s the punch line to a joke you only hear after reading the novel. Before, it’s just confusing. Before, it might be about zombies. So it had to go. I’m a sucker for F Scott Fitzgerald, so I love that the new title comes from his most misremembered line. It’s honestly perfect.
Favorite cake flavor?
I consider cake to be a vehicle for frosting, so the cake doesn’t matter, so long as there’s chocolate frosting.
John H. Watson. Although I suspect you were talking about Doctor Who, in which case, David Tenant.
Go-to karaoke song?
I don’t karaoke. Ever. I’m terrified of singing in public.
Must-have writing snack?
Coffee. Although, in my life, coffee isn’t so much a snack as a major food group.
Song that always puts you in a good mood?
“Do You Remember” by Ane Brun.
Favorite social media medium? (You can only pick ONE!)
Thanks, Robyn! And check out the entire #StoryCrushTour: