Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Marit Weisenberg Interview - Select Few

Photo Content from Marit Weisenberg

Marit Weisenberg received her BA in English from Bowdoin College and her Master’s Degree from UCLA's school of Theater, Film and Television. She has worked in film and television development at Warner Brothers, Universal, and Disney. She lives in Austin with her husband and two daughters.

Marit’s debut YA novel was Select, and she worked on the first draft of the book over the course of eighteen months during Amanda Eyre Ward’s class ‘Write a Novel in a Year.’ As of now, there are two books in The Select series.


Series: The Select (Book 2)
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Charlesbridge Teen (October 9, 2018)
Language: English 
ISBN-10: 9781580898294

Praise for SELECT FEW

“...mixing mystery with science fiction with a heaping dose of romance." ―Kirkus Reviews

"...a page-turning adventure." ―School Library Connection

Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
I started writing the book in 2012 and took my sweet time with it, revising over and over again. It sold in 2016. 

Has reading a book ever changed your life? 
Yes! I’m haunted by Paul Kalanithi’s memoir WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR. Two years after reading it, I regularly think about the unexpected turn a life can take out of nowhere. 

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to have a life in writing?
Just finish a draft. It was the best advice I was ever given. Once you have a draft, a part of your brain relaxes because you have a complete book! From there, it is so much easier to go in and start revising, even deleting large sections.

In your newest book, SELECT FEW; can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about the novel?
The novel is the sequel to SELECT and the conclusion of the series. 

If the first book is about seventeen-year-old Julia Jaynes coming to terms with her differences from her perfect, dangerous family and making difficult choices about her future, the sequel is the continuation of Julia and John’s love story and about the mystery of who Julia really is and what that means to her family’s fate. At heart, the book is about the cost of isolation.

Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process?
A HUGE role. I see my kids not even give books a chance because of the cover. 

For those who are unfamiliar with your series; SELECT, how would you introduce it?
SELECT is a coming of age story and a love story with a paranormal twist about a group of highly evolved people who’ve been on the run for many years and hide in plain sight. They are at the end of their time in Austin, Texas when the leader’s misfit daughter uses her abilities in public. As punishment, she is separated from the other kids in the group and sent to a different school where she develops dangerous feelings for an outsider and slowly begins to question everything she thought she knew about herself, her world, and her family. 

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Julia?
Julia is a little bad! I wanted her to be tough but she can be a jerk because she’s human and a teenage girl. I had to be really careful to make sure she was still a sympathetic main character. 

Which character have you enjoyed getting to know the most over the course of writing SELECT Series?
I love Angus. I just have a soft spot for a bad boy who is also loyal and comes around to express his vulnerability and his feelings for Julia. But too late. 

If you could introduce John to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Lux Lisbon from THE VIRGIN SUICIDES. John is drawn to dangerous girls who push the envelope but he brings a healing, calming presence. 

What do you feel is the most significant change since book one?
John’s POV entering book two. I am so happy to have his voice and perspective in the book. I feel like he balances out Julia’s narrative and brings some depth. 

―“Come on, Julia. Let’s go to California.” (Angus says to Julia.) That is my all-time favorite quote in the book!

―I also like when John “talks” to Julia and says: 
Three broken hairbrushes. A shattered terra-cotta rabbit’s head. Really, Julia? Broken shit everywhere. When you asked me to open that drawer to read the Stanford packet, I thought you wanted me to see that you were using your abilities. Did you really think I wouldn’t notice? I love you. I notice everything.

―My favorite scene is Chapter One, when Julia goes to John’s graduation party and is essentially a celebrity. She can’t go anywhere without everyone looking at her and talking about her because she is the daughter of a famous fugitive and a billionaire. Also, John and Julia are keeping their relationship a secret (her idea) so there is that tension as well. If the book were a film, the camera would shoot the scene in one long take, traveling over so many of the characters and showing all of the various dynamics. Here’s an excerpt:

Still, slowly, as if I were on stage and they were my audience, all eyes began to find me. No matter how I dressed, no matter how I tried to avoid eye contact, I’d learned over time that there was something about me and my family that always attracted people’s attention. 

It was time to move on.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I’m currently working on a YA contemporary, realistic novel about two insomniacs who live in a cul-de-sac!

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
Having two daughters. Because of them, I’m constantly questioning my own ingrained beliefs and thinking about how I want things to be different for them. I want them to be polite but I don’t want them to feel they need to please other people. Needless to say, that can be tricky to navigate.

Tell me about your first kiss
A French boy at summer camp! He was like the kissing bandit of the camp.

What's your favorite thing to do on a Saturday night?
The perfect night would be going out for a long, leisurely dinner to a place with great food and great cocktails. I also LOVE movies.

What did you do for your last birthday?
My two daughters made me dinner! I was really skeptical because they were only nine and eleven at the time but it turned out to be pretty impressive! I couldn’t look at the dishes in the kitchen though.

What was the best vacation you ever had?
My honeymoon in Moorea in French Polynesia. We had an overwater bungalow and the water was aqua-blue. 

After rejecting the cult-like influence of her father's family, Julia moves into a fancy hotel in downtown Austin. But she finds herself alone except for her boyfriend, John--and her fears. Once again she's suppressing her abilities, afraid her family will come for John when they find out he's been developing abilities of his own in her presence. The FBI is also keeping a close eye on Julia hoping she can lead them to her father, Novak, as he's wanted for questioning in his former assistant's death.

With tensions high, Julia and John agree to go separate ways for the summer, paving the way for Julia to reunite with Angus, fellow outcast. Together they set out on a road trip to California to find Julia's mom and a way into Novak's secret underground world. Along the way Julia will learn the Puri perhaps aren't the only humans evolving into something different. . . and that maybe she's the leader her people have needed all along.

You can purchase Select Few at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you MARIT WEISENBERG for making this giveaway possible.
5 Winners will receive a Signed Copy of Select Few (Select #2) by Marit Weisenberg. 
OCTOBER 31st WEDNESDAY Sabrina's Paranormal Palace REVIEW & GUEST POST
NOVEMBER 2nd FRIDAY Nay's Pink Bookshelf REVIEW


1 comment: