Over the past two years, Robin Wasserman has seen several of her original works hit the shelves: Seven Deadly Sins</a>, a seven-book dramatic series for teens; a YA novel entitled Hacking Harvard; and the action-adventure super-powered Chasing Yesterday trilogy for younger readers. She has also contributed to short story anthologies. Her next stand-alone book, Callie for President, will appeal to elementary and middle school students, and her next trilogy will attract teens and adults who are sci-fi fans. In other words, she has written for almost all of the genres and age groups I myself intend to write for, so she gets plenty of kudos from me.
How and when did Robin first set foot on the pathway to publishing success? Well, there was an internship, and there was Scooby-Doo...
How did you become an editor?
I interned at Scholastic the summer after my junior year, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Fortunately for me, they took me back after I graduated. I worked there for a few years, and got an incredible education in the business of publishing children's books. I doubt I'd be a YA writer now (and I certainly wouldn't be a published writer) if it weren't for the things I learned as an editor.
When and how did you land your first book deal?
The first book I ever got published was a 32 page Scooby-Doo picture-clue book that I was lucky enough to write as an intern (thanks again, boss!). My first "real" book deal -- for the first four Seven Deadly Sins books -- came when I was 25. I had just quit my job to go to grad school in the history of science, and I thought I'd left children's publishing behind forever . . . but I had this idea for a teen series, and even though I was sure nothing would ever come of it, I decided to put together a proposal and cross my fingers. The whole thing was pretty much a very unexpected dream come true.
I was actually on a break from an intensely boring class on Enlightenment philosophy when the official offer came in -- and, after some silent screaming and fist-pumping in the quad, I had to go back to class for another hour. Apparently I looked so shell-shocked that my professor thought someone had died.
Why do you write?
Well, the truly, madly, deeply honest answer here is probably: I don't know. But -- because I realize that's totally unsatisfying -- my best guess is that I write because when I was growing up, the books I loved really shaped me as a person. They offered an escape from boredom and unhappiness, and the best of them changed the way I understood myself and the world. I want to do that for someone else. That's what inspires me, when I sit down at the computer -- the thought of a younger version of myself out there, looking for a story to sweep her away, a story that means something, a story she'll never forget.
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Drop by Robin Wasserman's homepage.
Check out my Seven Deadly Sins soundtrack / playlist.
Read my post about Seven Deadly Sins at SparkLife.