"Poignant and necessary… a novel vital to young adults’ lives that examines the intersections of sexuality, gender, and race—issues and blurred boundaries that teens grapple with in a society that favors neat and tidy boxes." -Booklist, Starred
Where did you grow up?
Mostly Norcross, GA. It's about twelve minutes north of Atlanta.
Did you read a lot as a child?
What were some of your favorite authors and books?
I lived for the Encyclopedia Brown books by Donald J. Sobol and anything with Judy Blume, Roald Dahl or Louis Sachar on the cover. Also wanted to be a spy like Louise Fitzhugh's Harriet and cure strange childhood quirks like Betty MacDonald's Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. Then I hit seventh grade, Harry Potter busted his way onto the scene, and that was all she wrote.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I don't think I really knew. This is where the whole “representation matters” piece comes in because I think there were occupations I was interested in (lawyer/judge, author, plastic surgeon) but I didn't see anyone who looked like me actually DOING those jobs ... so subconsciously, I didn't really think I could do them either. For a while, I wanted to be an astronaut, but that was all because of Mae Jemison. I figured out the writer thing eventually.
Tell us about some of the jobs you’ve had before you became a writer.
What job have I NOT had is a better question! I've worked in childcare and retail, I've been a personal trainer, I've managed a formal gown store, I've sold shoes ... I've even worked in Israel designing Holy Land pilgrimages for American tourists. It's been wild.
How did you get started writing?
Email updates during my first summer in Israel. I would do these extensive things with pictures and all that. People loved them. Then I moved into lifestyle blogging. Took me a minute to try my hand at fiction because I was convinced I didn't "have the imagination for it," but clearly, I was wrong. LOL.
How do you write books?
Very methodically. I spend a good bit of time jotting storyish things—plot points, character quirks/traits, lines of dialogue, you name it—in a composition notebook, and then when there's enough stuff in there, I put things in order and build an outline. Then I draft. Then I revise.
What do you like best about writing?
I literally am paid to make things up and/or express my opinion. What could be better?
What do you find the most challenging about writing?
At this point: making time to DO it.
What do you think makes a good story?
Solid characters that transform over the course of a believable plot taking place in an immersive setting and driven by emotion-tugging stakes.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Literally any and everywhere.
Tell us about your latest book.
Odd One Out (Crown Books for Young Readers) follows three high schoolers trying to navigate the intersections of friendship and romance, and figure out who it's okay to love. It's about questioning and attraction and sexuality and labels (or the lack thereof), and it's really my love letter to my teen self, who needed a book just like it.
What’s next for you?
MORE BOOKS! And maybe some other stuff too ... stay tuned!
Is there anything we didn’t ask that you’d like people to know about you and/or your books?
You didn't ask my favorite word or what I like to do in my free time! The former is "sesquipedalian" and the latter: sleep.
For more information about Nic Stone and her books, visit www.nicstone.info.
Photo by Nigel Livingstone.
Nic is presenting Odd One Out on Sunday, Nov. 18, at 1 p.m. at the MDC Live Arts Lab
For more than three decades, Miami Book Fair has been committed to fostering a love of reading in children of all ages. This includes Miami Book Fair’s literacy initiative Read to Learn Books for Free, in partnership with The Children’s Trust, which distributes of thousands of free children's books around Miami-Dade county via its bookshelves; during the 2017-18 school year, over 91,711 books were distributed to the children of Miami-Dade County.
Additionally, MBF hosts over 10,000 school kids – elementary, middle and high school students from all over Miami-Dade County to listen to and meet their favorite authors – many of whom leave with free books.
All-aged fairgoers will enjoy the lively Street Fair and Children’s Alley, a pop-up children’s learning activities village boasting live performances; and, students in K-12 enjoy special author presentations and workshops at the Fair and in their schools as part of the Generation Genius program, and college students will meet with selected authors for in-depth discussions on specific subjects as part of the Fair’s Classroom Collaborations program.
Tickets: Free for kids; $5 12-17 and seniors and $8 general admission
For more information please visit miamibookfair.com