I am pleased to present to you the interview with Sybil Nelson. Sybil is the author of the “Priscilla the Great” series and several other YA books. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband and two children. She is currently working on her PHD in Biostatistics. She graciously took time out of her busy schedule to answer the following questions.
1) How did you get your idea to write about a preteen super hero?
Do you want the real answer or what I tell everyone? I’ll give you both and let you choose.
Truth: Due to a change in birth control, I ended up having my period for a month straight. I was so annoyed and wished that my period could bring me something besides cramps and chocolate cravings. I thought it would be cool if my period could also bring me superpowers. So I got the idea for a girl who got super powers on her first period. I wrote the entire book in less than 30 days. When HarperCollins showed interest in the book, The Adventures of PMS Girl, they convinced me to get rid of the period concept and to change the book to Priscilla the Great. After eight months of editing with them, they ultimately rejected the book.
What I tell everyone: I really wanted there to be a book that triumphed the power of being a girl. There are lots of great action books for boys, but not so many for girls. I used to love reading comic books as a kid and I am addicted to the X-Men. I thought there needed to be a superhero book for girls that are like me when I was young.
2) What is your favorite characteristic about Priscilla?
I love her sense of humor. She really tells it as she sees it. She might not always see it correctly, but her way of viewing things is definitely amusing.
3) What kind of books did you enjoy reading while growing up?
I read anything and everything when I was growing up. I even went through a Harlequin romance phase. Hey, maybe that is why Priscilla’s mother’s name is Quinn.
4) What advice would you give to young writers?
Write every day. That is the way to hone your craft. I find that if I skip a few days of writing, it’s harder to get back in the flow of things. But when you write every day, you are sharpening your skills. And you can’t edit an empty page. You have to have something written. So just write. Write anything all the time.
5) What is your writing routine?
I try to write at least 1000 words a day. I keep a journal with me where I jot down ideas all day long and then at night before I go to bed, I type out those ideas.
6) In one sentence, how would you describe what it is to write?
Writing is freedom.
7) Any new projects in the works? Future events?
Ha! I have so many ideas I don’t have time to write them all. Here is what I’m currently working on.
Dark Marco – Spin off of Priscilla the Great
La Cienega’s Smile – Short story prequel to Nothing Else Matters
Somehow Someday – YA romance
I have more projects, but I have to limit it to three at a time.
Sybil Nelson’s books are available on Amazon.com, Smashwords and Barnes and Nobles.com.
*Read the book review of Priscilla the Great.