I'm a New York Times best-selling author who writes novels for teens and tweens. Sometimes people call me Satan's minion because I don't sugarcoat teens' lives in my books. I was named a finalist for the Nat'l Book Award and then asked to step down due to a mistake. (Ouch.) My newest book, The Infinite Moment of Us, just came out and is about first love...and first sex. Also, my dear son who is technologically way more gifted than I am is here with me and will be helping. ( /u/alpheus125) For that we should all be thankful. I sure am.


EDIT: Okey-doke, time for me to head off for a book event at the marvelous Tattered Cover. Thanks, y'all. This was fun. I'll check back later to answer any more questions that come in, k? Cheers! Oh--and thanks, reddit!!!

EDIT2: Back from an awesome event at the Tattered Cover and excited to tackle more questions. This is fun!

EDIT3: Dudes! Go to bed! That's what I'm going to do. I am zonking out here. But I'll check back once more in the morning to wrap up any lingering pressing questions. Y'all are awesome, btw. Thanks for being so...authentic!

EDIT4: Good morning, reddit! Y'all are cool. Have I mentioned that? Your questions make me laugh and make me think!

EDIT5: Thanks, reddit. That was fun and filled me up with positive energy. Till next time! +salutes+

EDIT6: Thanks to a reddit poster, I now know that the new "top ten most frequently challenged books" list is up, and Dav Pilkey's Cap'n Underpants series now holds the #1 spot. My bad for being a dumbass and not being up to date! But: Go, Dav, go! I'm rooting for you!

Comments: 974 • Responses: 82  • Date: 

AndiArch858 karma

Not a question, just a quick comment. First of all, as a librarian, banned book authors have a special place in my heart!

As a librarian and a mother, I keep a list of banned books to share with my daughter, broken down by age group. It's basically a yearly Christmas list consisting of nothing but banned books. I buy 9-10 for her every year in addition to her Santa list. These books will teach her tolerance, understanding, acceptance, and will make her feel comfortable in her own skin. Thank you for writing books that are truly for young adults. The dialogue is real, the situations are real. You did not create this storyline to tell them how they should act. You are telling a story based on how they do act. THANK YOU!

Edit: Holy crap, this comment exploded while I was sleeping. Thanks for the gold! You guys rock.

Edit2: I will get the list to everyone who requested it, edit this comment to add it here, and x-post to r/books.

Edit3: I DELIVERED! This was a bitch to format, but I did it for you guys! Banned books list

myraclegirl370 karma

YOU ROCK! Librarians rock, period, and as a fellow mom, I share your philosophy. Also, I tell stories, yes, and sometimes--though I never want to be didactic--those stories tell not only how characters do act but what the consequences from those actions can be...

bencordoza517 karma

Are you ever frustrated when your books get banned, or do you take pride in it?

myraclegirl882 karma

At first I cried. And called my editor and apologized, because I felt so terrible about it. Now I take pride...but it requires a bit of emotional effort, because it still hurts to have people say, out loud and with venom, "Your books suck. YOU suck." You know?

lumos-maxima503 karma

The ttyl/ttfn/l8r, g8r series was my favorite series ever in middle school (and it still remains one of them). I don't know how many times I annoyed my friends borrowing stuff I learned from those books, lol (SUPERFLYINGTACKLEPOUNCE being one of the phrases they rolled their eyes at the most). I feel like you developed the characters' personalities SO effortlessly and accurately, btw, and it was incredibly refreshing to read those novels because I felt like the girls spoke about the world without any BS tinting their opinions. What was your favorite part of writing those books?

myraclegirl421 karma

Thanks! You just made me smile. Did you like Big Bunny? Um, fave part of writing was NOT HAVING TO WRITE F*CKING SETTING. I hate setting. In other books that aren't purely written in text/IMs, my annoying (awesome) editor makes me include setting, and it is hard.

almost30andireadYA120 karma

I believe when an author gives their characters a true voice, meaning they use believable dialogue and don't have them say or do what most "adults" would want them to say or do, that it makes the book better. I hate it when I read a book and the characters sound stiff or canned. Annoying!!

myraclegirl205 karma

Agreed! I think adults who read young adult fiction often forget that these books aren't actually written FOR them, the adults. They're not meant to be etiquette lessons, or "this is how you SHOULD act" reference guides. They're meant to be good good stories that reflect a truth or truths.

ClarkTheLegend295 karma

What did you do to get banned and do you personally believe that you should of been?

myraclegirl851 karma

Lots of my books have teen girls in them. Teen girls sometimes talk about sex. Teen girls sometimes have sex. Lots of grown-ups would like to believe that this is not true. I am not one of those grown-ups, and I think it's important and meaningful to give readers stories that reflect reality--in a respectful way. Like, not salaciously, but with the intent of saying, "Let's look at how this story played out. How'd it seem to work out for so-and-so?" And then the readers--who are SMART, dammit--can grapple with those issues themselves. And no, I do not believe I should have been. I do not believe that any author should be banned, ever. Freedom of speech, dude. :)

jeannaesteves194 karma

Hello! I just wanted to tell you that I've read the TTYL series dozens of times growing up and I love them just as much now as a twenty-something as I did as a middle-schooler. Thank you for writing books that helped me through my teenage years; I can't thank you enough!

myraclegirl261 karma

Aw, thanks! I'm working on the 4th in the series now. The girls are in college! EEEEEK! I'm wondering if Angela should join a sorority. What do you think?

dearmedearman276 karma

Gah, Angela is a total sorority girl. And Maddie will hate her for it, just a little bit.

myraclegirl262 karma

that's kinda what i'm thinking too...

jeannaesteves96 karma

Oh wow, thanks for your answer! I had no idea there would be a 4th! I think Angela would totally join a sorority- I can't wait to read this! :)

myraclegirl161 karma

Is called YOLO! Comes out next fall!

Frajer161 karma

I'm studying to be a librarian and I was wondering is there anything I could do to prevent your books and any other books from being banned?

myraclegirl238 karma

Omigosh, YES! Talk to the parents of your students (if you work at a school) or offer a presentation to parents at your local library (if that's where you work). Tell them that knowledge NEVER hurts. (Guns do! Rush Limbaugh does!) Help them understand that processing tough "content" through the privacy of reading a book is so much more healthy than never getting to talk about it/struggle with it/come to some conclusions about it at all.

cbevs117 karma

I haven't read your book, but I find it hard to believe a Wildcat could be dirty.

myraclegirl134 karma

hahahahaha. Westminster alum, are you? In which case, you know full well what Wildcats can and cannot be! IS THIS CHARLES BEVINGTON???? Dude! Wildcats caught into all kinds of dirt at YOUR HOUSE!!!!

thebellinvitesme84 karma

Hi Lauren! Thanks for doing this AMA! I was so impressed with how you handled the National Book Award ridiculousness. My question: Which of your characters is most like you, and/or which character do you wish you were more like, if any?

myraclegirl112 karma

Now that is a great question, esp. the second half. I get the first part of the question a lot, but I like the twist!

I'm most like Winnie from the Winnie Years series. Good girl, funny, tried to do the right thing. Often got into embarrassing situations. Once ran over a squirrel on my bike.

Who do I wish I were more like? God, I'm going to go with Cat from Shine, because she has courage in spades. She doesn't let the haters get to her. Sometimes I do.

eggsistoast82 karma

I read your novels "Bliss" and "Rhymes With Witches" several years ago on a whim and I loved them. Easily some of the best YA horror/suspense fiction I've ever read. I love how believable and real your characters are.

My question for you is, is there another coming out in the "Bliss" series? I need more!

myraclegirl97 karma

Oh, you have made my heart squishy. Those are two of my fave novels (that I wrote), too. And they were HARD to write!!! But right now--as much as I'd love to write another (and I have a third planned to wrap things up)--I doubt it'll happen. Why? Because Bliss and RWW didn't sell so well. My guess is that the girls who like the "sweeter" books, like the Winnie books and the ttyl books, saw Bliss and RWW and read the jacket flaps and were like, "Nnnnoooooo thanks," and so...yeah. That is a potential peril of writing whatever the heck you want to write instead of "branding" yourself by always writing the same sort of thing. Not that branding yourself is necessarily a bad idea. Just not for me.

Seer118561 karma


myraclegirl48 karma

Awwww! What a HUGE compliment. Thanks--and thanks for saying that's a good thing!

no_name_in_sight56 karma

No question here. But I listened to you speak at a teen literature conference in Denver a few years back, I was around 16, and you completely changed the way I think about language and the way it evolves. as well as what literature is and why its good to think about it with an open mind. thank you for that.

myraclegirl62 karma

Dude. Or dudette. Thanks! Yeah, language isn't static, nor should it be. Linguists get super excited when they study the way languages--spoken and written--change with the times. Language evolves just like we (hopefully) do!

mirroredsea53 karma

I read the TTYL series when I was in middle school and it was the first time I ever learned that a girl can have an orgasm. Sex Ed didnt even teach me that, so thank you so much for that! I loved those books a ton and random phrases or scenes from it pop into my head every now and then!

myraclegirl59 karma

See? Yes. That is one of the things I want to share with girls. Girls can and do like sex, and there is nothing wrong with that! Just make sure the respect is there...and, from my personal believe system, LOVE!

143books34 karma

Not a question -just wanted to say I loved Shine, and the way you handled the whole 'oops' thing was so classy. Thank you for being great.

myraclegirl65 karma

Oh, thanks for saying that. Man, that sucked. The worst part? Telling my parents, who were sooooooooo proud. And I had to call and say, "Um, that Nat'l Book Award thing I told you about...?" I cried.

almost30andireadYA33 karma

What is your typical response to those who say, "your books suck!"?

myraclegirl91 karma

"Ah, go stuff it your butt." Except not really. I just think that in my head, because I'm a lowly human and not fully actualized. IN REALITY, I say, "Oh, I'm so sorry this book didn't work for you. Not all books are for all people. Cheerio!"

almost30andireadYA18 karma

Hahaha! Totally get it! I would love to be able to say what's on my mind to people sometimes! I'm one who doesn't believe in banning books or censorship. I need one of those buttons that says, "I read banned books!"

myraclegirl98 karma

I made a shirt that says, "I'm with the Banned." Hee hee. I love it.

AllieBear182026 karma

Can I just start off by saying... I LOVE YOU. Your books are so down to earth and I just love them. As a teenage girl I can so relate to Winnie, she is amazing and truly has such a big heart. You are definitely my favorite author! ♥ Is it weird that I wish you were like my second mom? I could definitely tell you anything, and we could watch dumb movies and buy each other dr. pepper while playing chubby bunny! ♥

myraclegirl51 karma

AllieBear!!!! I am sending you fluffy unicorns and puffy hearts. Thank you so much! Being down to earth is totally my goal. I wanted to write "A Girl's Guide to Life As It Really Is," if that makes sense. Like, what DO you do when you get your period and your mom only uses pads? Why buy a nude bra? How do you deal with the physical awkwardnesses of first kisses and stuff like that? Plus, I just wanted to write about awesome girl friendships, where the girls have each others' backs and aren't all cliquey. Because girls rock.

scatteredsun26 karma

just wanted to say I wrote a fan letter to you in 7th grade and you were awesome enough to answer it. made 7th grade me very happy, love your books!

myraclegirl20 karma

Yay me! I used to be SO good about answering fan mail. I still love getting it and read everything, but aye-yai-yai. Time! I need a time-stretcher! Thanks for writing way back then. Hope you're doing well! ;)

SainTheGoo26 karma

I don't understand, who is banning your books? Schools, libraries? I'm pretty appalled this happens, it's not something I've encountered in my schooling. Sorry you had to deal with that, seems so bizarre of a thing to happen today.

myraclegirl43 karma

Yeah. It's bewildering. Lots of people have no idea that book banning still goes on. Look up "ALA" and "censorship" and you will get all kinds of awesome articles, resources, and information about the craziness that happens when grown-ups (usually they're grown-ups) see a book and say, "I want that off the shelf NOW!" I think it comes down to fear, really. Adults want to keep their kids safe. They want to keep them in a bubble of all that is good. I get that. But the real world isn't that simple...and in my opinion, books are amazing resources that allow teens (and grown-ups) to educate themselves and think things out for themselves.

poetjill23 karma

How do you come up with the charaters in your stories?

myraclegirl106 karma

I follow my children around as they go through their lives and I spy on them. I wear a trench coat and carry a notepad. I am vair vair subtle.

Except, really, I do.

SpiderSynthpop18 karma

It's probably a bit late to comment, but I just wanted to day that its cool you did this. The other day, I found one of your books at a used bookstore as part of a big "BANNED BOOKS" display (the store is super anti-censorship.) and I had no idea why it was banned. My fiancé and I looked it up, flipped through a bit of it, saw why and saw why. And we thought "right on, that's really cool. There's so much sugarcoated processed teen novel garbage, it's ballsy to write stuff that's about real teen issues and thoughts instead of just fluff."

And then you pop up for an AMA! Funny how that works. So I just wanted to say that even though Im not really the target audience here, I think it's really cool that you do it. Sure, you may get stuff banned, but that's how you know who your true fans are.

And I suppose if I HAD to ask a question, what's your writing space like? Do you just sit anywhere and write or do you have like a special desk or spot you write in?

myraclegirl10 karma

Synchronicity! The world IS connected! Ah, I love life. YOu and your fiance sound coolio. Especially since you know how to make accent aigus on reddit posts!

heartpuppiez17 karma

Hi Lauren! I loved Rhymes with Witches. I read it when I was in 12th grade and the theme of "for one to rise, another must fall" really struck a chord with me which is probably why I have remembered it for so long (I am 24). To what extent do you think that is true?

myraclegirl10 karma

Hi! Well, I wish it weren't true at all. Maybe it isn't. Maybe our culture just keeps allowing it to be true (sometimes) because we have yet to realize that collaboration is so much better than competition.

dearmedearman14 karma

Which of your novels was the most fun to write? (Asking as someone who loves all of them).

myraclegirl19 karma

Melanie! Bonjour! Ca va? I miss you! And, most fun to write? My newest book about seven-year-old Ty, brother of Winnie from The Winnie Years series. It's called The Life of Ty: Penguin Problems. It was the most fun because Ty is adorable and loves duct tape and dust busters and there were no hate crimes involved.

DrJosiah13 karma

Most banned author? When I was in highschool F. 451 and 1984 was banned from our library and campus. Are you saying your books have been shunned from public school at that level? Or more? More so then Hitler's Mein Kampf? (also banned book for public highschools in many areas)

BallisticBurrito18 karma

Fun fact: Watched F. 451 in a class and had to read 1984 for a different class, both in public highschool. :o

myraclegirl10 karma

Awesome. So many teachers now teach a Banned Books week, and lots of bookstores do Banned Books displays. It's good fodder for discussion one way or another. Ideas don't kill; people kill.

myraclegirl17 karma

Books recently on the list: To Kill a Mockingbird, Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Color Purple, and the fab children's pic book And Tango Makes Three. It's a crazy world we live in. The Bible remains the most banned book ever (as I recall), but you can find actual stats by going to the American Library Association's website. They tally official book challenges and keep track of numbers.

teenage_dirtbag18213 karma

Oh my goodness! I got to meet you at the Decatur Book Festival in 2012 I believe! After the DBF I read Shine, and goodness it was wonderful! I saw your new book in Little Shop Of Stories in Decatur and I was planning on buying it! I was wondering where you got your inspiration for your younger series? I remember reading them when I was the age of the titles, they were wonderful!

myraclegirl19 karma

Yay Decatur! My adorable NY publicist pronounces it "day-kah-TOOR," all Frenchie like. Adorable.

My inspiration for the younger series? Just how awesome it is to be a kid, and how fun and interesting and smart kids are. Like at Thanksgiving? I'd ALWAYS rather sit at the kids' table, even now.

pbantham13 karma

I read and enjoyed your new book, Lauren. I wonder if there is any chance of a sequel? I also heard a rumor about a squirrel tattoo. Is that true??

myraclegirl21 karma

Pamela! I know you. You are cute. I had a lot of fun writing about Wren and Charlie and how they fell in love. The sex scenes? Those were...strange to write, and oddly embarrassing, but a good challenge. (I had to get a lot of field experience...) I REALLY enjoyed the whole experience, though, and I'm thinking that what I'd love to do is write a companion novel about their buds, Tessa and P.G.

Pamander13 karma

Not really a question but.. I fucking love the energy she puts into her replies.

myraclegirl23 karma

I'm the "she"! I'm the "she"! Hey, look, everybody: I'm the "she" Pamander is talking about! +big grin+

puppydog1234212 karma

First of all.. I am not in any way condoning banning any types of books, and I have really enjoyed your relatable tone and writing style. That said, my middle school pretty much didn't have any bans on books, and it was considered "cool" to read books that talked about things like sex and violence because we wanted to be like the older kids. Because of this, I read several books when I was 12-13 that kind of freaked me out, including some parts of the TTYL series. Have you ever considered putting age recommendations on some of your books? I think I would have enjoyed your books more, and been able to relate to them a little better if I had read them in my later teen years. And that might get some of the jerks off of your back who like to ban your books.

myraclegirl29 karma

You know what I think is cool...and also very telling? That you KNEW as a 12-13-year-old that you weren't ready for ttyl, and therefore you only read parts of it and not the whole thing. Kids are pretty good at knowing what they're ready for. Kids are so smart. As for age recommendations, they're there. Inside flap of book jacket.

uberlad10 karma


myraclegirl61 karma

You're welcome! Thanks for saying thanks! Best advice? Sheesh. Imagine life is like this: You're waiting at a redlight. You're stuck there. You didn't choose to be, but there you are. How are you going to spend your time? Bitching and moaning and looking at your watch, or thinking INTERESTING thoughts? Looking at the beautiful sky? Laughing at a joke? So, use this life WISELY--we're dead a lot longer than we're alive--and leave the universe a better place than when you got here.

mackrenner9 karma

Don't have a question, just wanted to pop in and say that I read the ttfn series and I can't remember which one it was, but there's a conversation where they talk about masturbating. And I remember reading that right at a time when I felt weird about masturbating, cuz of course it's only for boys. And reading that made me feel a lot better about it. :) And now years later I'm much more comfortable with masturbation/sexuality/etc.

myraclegirl19 karma

Welp, yep, I hear you. It is awkward to talk about masturbating, and yet--as I tell my kids--it's an awesome thing to do. In private, of course. But God (I myself believe in God) made our bodies to be full of awesomeness, and open convos will only help people let their inner lights shine more fully. In my opinion.

soccergirl138 karma

Who is your favorite author friend?

myraclegirl15 karma

I have many author friends!!!! LOVE MY AUTHOR FRIENDS! My two author besties, however, are the mysterious E. Lockhart and the sexy Sarah Mlynowski. Have you read their books? If not, GO FORTH AND DO SO!

garypooper7 karma

What do you think of National Novel Writing Month?


Do you think it would good to do something like this in schools?

myraclegirl10 karma

Ah, nanowrimo. You know who rocks with nanowrimo? Jo Knowles, another of my author buds whom I admire beyond belief. I am totally up for nanowrimo. I usually use it as a "get your booty in gear" tool, though I've never written a full novel during that one month of Nov. Hell yeah do it in schools!

dnsm7 karma

What have you done with my pickles?

myraclegirl15 karma

I gave them to Emily Lockhart, my writer friend, because she likes them. And I like her. Pickle love makes the multiverse better.

But then Sarah Mlynowski steals them, that pickle-stealer. Or so I have been told.

ComradeHappiness7 karma

Do some of your characters suffer from depression? Or schizophrenia? Are they compulsive liars sometimes?

myraclegirl17 karma

Depression? Check. Maddie suffers from situational depression when someone posts a nekkid pic of her on the web. Schizophrenia? No. Lots of good books do, though. Compulsive liars? No...well, maybe. You know what? Yes! Sandy, AKA Lurl the Pearl, from BLISS (a horror novel I wrote) is definitely a compulsive liar. Omigod, forgot what a liar she is!

Pewpbawlz6 karma

  1. What's your average day like being an author? I've always been interested in writing for a living but I'm not entirely sure what you do besides writing.

  2. What do you think books have that other forms of entertainment (TV, Games, Movies) don't?

myraclegirl8 karma

Oh, an average day of writing means MAKING MYSELF WRITE. And then thinking, "Oh, this is fun." And then writing some more.

Books engage readers in a more intimate way than other forms of entertainment/media, I think. They encourage critical thinking.

JamesRenner6 karma

Shine was sooo much better than Chime, anyway.

myraclegirl3 karma

Hey, thanks for the sentiment. The biggest sadness of that little bit of history, I think, is that those two books ended up getting compared, period. I adored Chime and found it utterly brilliant. But I know you are sending me a virtual hug...thank you!

ubercanucksfan6 karma

I've never read any of your books before, but what books would you recommend for a teenage boy? Most of the books I've looked at that you've written have female protagonists, do you have any books with a male protagonist, or written to give a message to men too?

myraclegirl10 karma

For a boy: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, Looking for Alaska by John Green, The Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. And so many more, but that's a start! You're right that mine are geared mainly for a female audience, but I get more letters from guys than you might think. And my fifteen-year-old son just read (and enjoyed) The Infinite Moment of Us, which is told from dual perspectives of an 18-yr-old girl AND an 18-yr-old boy. So, maybe that one?

Siddius5 karma

My wife is a substitute teacher (library media specialist) and has convinced three schools to un-ban your books. Keep up the amazing work and keep fighting.

myraclegirl4 karma

OH PLEASE GO HUG YOUR WIFE FOR ME! Tell her that in my book, she is a hero and a rock star!

lilkat95 karma

Will you ever be releasing more Winnie books about older her? I love them!

myraclegirl5 karma

I would love to! (Nudge nudge wink wink, Editor Julie!) Right now, focusing on the Ty books, which are the "little bro" books to the Winnie series. Winnie shows up in them, though. And Teensy Baby Maggie, too!

poetjill4 karma

Which one of your books is good for an eleven year old?

myraclegirl11 karma

Best bet? Easy-peasy: ELEVEN. (Seriously, that is the title of the book! Is all about Winnie Perry's eleventh year!)

DudeImMacGyver4 karma

Is that really your last name?

myraclegirl6 karma

It really, really is. People ask that all the time. My daddy gave it to me fair and square!

PlaysForDays4 karma

Do any of your books touch on the abstinence issue?

myraclegirl5 karma

Abstinence from what? ;)

Oh, fine. Yes, actually. There are characters in my older YA books who very deliberately choose not to have sex, and there are definitely characters who think long and hard before deciding to have sex. Also, topics like going to Planned Parenthood, getting on the pill, making your bf get tested for disease...stuff like that is addressed, too.

china-pimiento3 karma

Do you think that the use of such a catchy pseudonym betrays your own insecurity about the artistic quality of your work?

Do you care about artistic quality?

edit: Holy Christ, now I'm reading this thread and your Wikipedia, etc. and boy oh boy do I hope you're some kind of elaborate Andy Kaufman-style hoax.

myraclegirl4 karma

What's my pseudonym? Wasn't aware I had one. Yes! I care about artistic quality! Nope, not a hoax. Just a me.

WonderbaumofWisdom3 karma

"Myracle"? That name must force you into making books for tweens.

myraclegirl3 karma

I have thought often about what a fun and lovely coincidence it is that "Myracle" is my last name. Not that I'm claiming to be a miracle! But it's a nice last name for a writer, for sure. Also, many of my books have spiritual themes (yes, even the books with SEX and DRUGS and ROCK AND ROLL), so that's kind of cool, too.

Another author's name I love (and another author I love, period): Holly Black, who writes such brilliant dark fiction. Perfecto!

estrellitadelmar2 karma

I have seen your books before in B&N and on Amazon, and overlooked them, especially ones with "cringe-worthy" names. Also, because what 23 year old woman would be caught reading a book for teens that's not a fantasy book?

... well. This one will. After reading through your responses here, you feel like a very real, not-self-absorbed author with a good heart. I'm going to give your books a chance. And deal with the stares on the subway.

Good luck to you in your future projects.

myraclegirl3 karma

Hey, what a cool thing to say--and what an honest thing to say. How interesting that you find YA books to often have cringe-worthy titles. That's fascinating. I'm no doubt too absorbed in my own world to think of it like that. Also, because I read widely--YA, fantasy, adult, non-fiction, fiction--I will say loudly and proudly, "Go, you! YA fiction rocks. You'll love it!"

IkomaTanomori2 karma

Have your books ever been compared to Catcher in the Rye?

myraclegirl2 karma

No! I wish! Would you please?

Koopakiller112 karma

Hello, I have never read your books, but I think I would like to. Being a banned author is rather interesting, and you seem like a pretty cool person yourself from this AMA. Due to my inquisitive nature, I've got a couple questions for you:

As a 23 year old male looking for a good or well told story, regardless of intended demographic, what would you recommend from your catalogue? Any outside recommendations?

I'm sure you get asked this plenty, but what first inspired you to become a writer? What continues to inspire you?

What was your favorite book when you were younger? What about now?

What's your favorite band/musician? Favorite song? What about when you were growing up? What's the coolest concert or event you've been to?

Have you ever been into comics or graphic novels? If yes, what are some you really enjoyed?

How do you take your coffee?

What the most exotic place you've been to?

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Is this the profession you always saw for yourself, or did you get here with different expectations only to find a surprise calling?

How has your life experiences influenced your writing?

What kind of setting do you like to have when you're writing? (e.g. Background music, total silence, in an office or other specific writing place, etc...)

Best movie you've seen in recent years?

Which of your books took the most time to write? Which came most naturally to you?

How has writin these books impacted your life in positive ways? Hopefully there's less, but what about negative?

What's the most exciting thing to do?

And lastly, because I just can't grow up: If you could have one ridiculous super power, such as being able to change people's voices into strange or random sounds when they talk, what would it be?

Thank for taking the time to do this AMA, and any responses are appreciated. Also, I would just like to say congratulations for writing the way you want to, haters be damned. Keep on keeping on, girl.

myraclegirl5 karma

My head is spinning! But I am grinning, too. You're a writer yourself, I see. Um, I'll answer the ones that stuck in my head: soy latte with toffee nut syrup always wanted to be a writer, yes best recent movie? Lincoln exotic place? rural Japan Shine was hardest to write; the books about Winnie were the easiest. Two best graphic novel (for me): My Friend Dahmer and Just Another Troll-Fighting 11-year-old Orthodox Jewish Girl And best book of mine for YOU to read? My newest, of course! The Infinite Moment of Us!

Andreus2 karma

What is the most hilarious phrase you've ever seen in a piece of hatemail?

myraclegirl5 karma

verbatim: "lady your sick. what's the matter with you. you make me feel dirty. maybe you got a brain infection. please keep writing books so you don't ever use your infected brain to act with. I wouldn't want anybody getting hurt. by your demented interpretation of sense making. I look forward to your response."

Copterwaffle1 karma

Can you describe how you broke into the world of YA fiction?

myraclegirl4 karma

Through naive stubborness. Five years, 148 rejections. Just decided not to f*cking give up. I decided to follow Winston Churchill's edict: "History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it."

annielovesbacon1 karma

Wow, I am so glad you posted this AMA! I began reading the first TTYL book when I was ten, but I never finished because my mom didn't allow me to read it. I had forgotten about it, but now I'm totally going to go back and read it!

And The Infinite Moment of Us looks great, I'm planning to buy it ASAP :)

I do have one question - if you could meet someone face to face who describes your books as "trash" and you could say whatever you wanted to them without worrying about their feelings or bad press, what would it be?

myraclegirl3 karma

Well, I couldn't possibly NOT worry about hurting the person's feelings. Kindness matters a lot (not that I think you're suggesting it doesn't). Respect matters a lot, too, especially face-to-face. The internet allows for crazy rudeness, you know? But I think I'd say, "Hey, for real, would you like to sit down and have a cup of coffee? And truly talk? I'll listen to you, and you'll listen to me...?" I have this illusion (?) that if any of the trash-talkers met me in person, they'd realize I'm not as bad/depraved as they think.

girlred1 karma

I'm reading Bliss right now. Very good....and creepy!

myraclegirl1 karma

Oooo, yay! Love my Bliss. And Sandy. God, she was a fun character to write. Have you reached the sleepover scene yet?

LostConscript1 karma

How did you first get into writing? Maybe not as a novelist, but in general.

myraclegirl1 karma

By saying to myself, "You're going to write for an hour a day for a year. End of story. Do it." And so I did. I am stubborn. At the end of the year, I had a novel. It was crap. But it showed me that I could do it! So I did it again...and again...and again...

MrBlaaaaah1 karma

I, uhm... I missed you at the Tattered Cover today? Nuts.

myraclegirl1 karma

poopy! it was a fun event; wish you could have been there.

Camachan1 karma

Oh my goodness, let me just say that it makes me extremely happy that you did this AMA. I just wanted to ask you: what was your inspiration for Kissing Kate? That book made me cry, reasons being it was extremely similar to a situation I had, myself (except it went a LOT farther). I've read so many of your books, and you're right there in my favorite authors, with Laurie Halse Anderson.

I know I'm a bit late and you're probably not going to see this, but thank you so much for being such a great author!

myraclegirl1 karma

Oh, hunny-bunny! Kissing Kate, wow. That takes me back. That book holds a special place in my heart. I'm so glad it meant something to you! Hope you (and your love?) are strolling happily through life hand in hand.

Simon_Plenderson1 karma

Well, mad respect for you even if you have moved on. Hope you read this... but I am fine if you don't.

Also: Since I don't have any content in the above comment:

Ahh fuck it. Nobody cares anyway.

myraclegirl1 karma

I care! I care! We're all connected, that's what I think, so just the fact that you'd take the time to send a little positive regard means a lot to me. Thanks!

picksburgher1 karma

Just wanted to say that I thought Shine was really beautifully written. Haven't had the chance to read any of your other works, but I am looking forward to doing so when I get a break from school! Thanks for sharing your talents with us.

myraclegirl2 karma

Thanks! Damn, that book kicked my booty. Couldn't have done it without my brilliant editor, Susan Van Metre, that's for sure. I'm really glad you liked it.

TrueAstynome1 karma

I just wanted to say congratulations on an awesome career. I met you a few (many? ugh, getting old sucks) years ago in Colorado before you'd really hit it big, and I think it's awesome that you've had enough success to draw the attention of naysayers. Keep it up!

myraclegirl2 karma

Cool! Hi (again)! Getting old IS hard. But let's not let it suck, k? Let's rock it!

Dayzle1 karma

You sound like a sweetheart. I would just like to say that we live in a world where every touchy subject is on thin ice. People who are too lazy to educate their children on what's right and wrong, would much rather ban everything that they feel as bad. People would rather us live in a world that's completely fake and ignorant for they think it is bliss, but people like you pave the ground by pushing those destructive and the logical limits. Throughout history many books have been banned because it was deem radical, until finally just hit society on how real it is. I wish you luck.

myraclegirl1 karma

Hey, thanks! And I must say that you seem like a sweetheart, too. Let's all do our best to leave the world a better place than we came into it, yeah?

CardinalWinter1 karma

Hi! I was wondering, when you wrote your ttyl series, did you have a clear image of what each girl looked like, or did you just have a sort of idea about their overall appearances?

myraclegirl1 karma

pretty clear image of each. zoe: short, skinny, brown hair, subdued clothes. angela: reddish blond hair, a dandelion always moving and blowing in the wind maddie: long and wild leonine locks. tough!

der1x1 karma

You look exactly like someone who would write these type of books.

myraclegirl1 karma


HatersGonnaFap1 karma

How does one "ban" a book?

myraclegirl1 karma

Well, you file a challenge through your library, whether at a public library or at a school. The good librarians try their hardest from letting a problem even get that far. Usually a thoughtful and calm discussion can help parents see that while a book might not be right for their kid, it might be absolutely perfect for another kid.

hawksfan10100 karma

Dammit now I have to go and look up the author... XD

myraclegirl1 karma

Isn't it so annoying to get interested in life and have to learn more? ;)

ClarkTheLegend-4 karma

Could you tell me the most erotic phrase from one of your books =D

myraclegirl-1 karma

Yes. Yes, I could.

ClarkTheLegend-5 karma

Go on then, when your sons not looking =P

myraclegirl1 karma

Ah, Al's already read 'em all. Okay, then, hmmm... From Infinite Moment:

"She put her glass beside his. She had to stretch out on her hands and knees--well, one hand, two knees--to do so. Charlie fanned his hands over the back of her panties. 'God, I love your ass,' he murmured.

(Maybe not the most erotic of all, but...for the sake of the children!)


Do you or your son follow Naruto at all?

myraclegirl4 karma

Yeah...don't know what that is. My son is cooler than I am.

popABigZitSploosh-14 karma

Are you a paedophile?

myraclegirl16 karma

No, no I am not. Nor am I a goldfish.

suckthisdeth-16 karma

If an adult male was writing books about teenagers having sex it would be creepy as shit, because it is creepy as shit.

myraclegirl18 karma

I'm guessing "adult make" is supposed to be "adult male"? I disagree about the creepy factor. Here's the thing. Adults were teens once, but as they get older, they get more experience. More perspective. As writers, if they work hard and all that, they also get to be better writers than they were when they were, say, sixteen. What does that mean? That a teen writing a book about teens having sex might be fab. But, it def wouldn't have the perspective embedded within it that comes from having living and learned a bit more along the way.

Also, saying an adult male writing about teens having sex is creepy is kind of like assuming that all gay men are interested in ALL males they run across, or that all gay boyscout leaders are pedophiles. I reject.

suckthisdeth-11 karma

I'm trying to understand your pedophile to gay man comparison but it was obviously not grounded in any form of reasoning. A more plausible comparison would be a grown man looking or lusting about young kids having sex, I'm an adult male and I would feel disgusted with myself if I ever looked at a teen and started thinking about them having sex. let alone write about it for the audience of young people to read or demented adults.

myraclegirl16 karma

Well, here's another avenue into this discussion. SHINE is a novel I wrote about a hate crime. To write it, I had to think about hate crimes. Did I lust after committing a hate crime? Nope. But as an adult, I feel quite capable of looking closely at a wide wide WIDE variety of topics without feeling disgusted with myself. I would be far more disgusted with myself if I was afraid to think, period. Or if I put blinders on.

Also, teens have sex. Teens wonder about sex. Where should they go to learn about sex, in your opinion? And can only males be creepy? Can a female not be creepy, in your worldview? Just wondering.

suckthisdeth-11 karma

This reasoning is flawed, as wanting to write about an adult problem is normal. Writing about minors having sex is disturbing and should be talked about with a mental health professional. I like how having books banned for something as controversial as an adult writing about underage sex is almost a form of bragging in the title, speaks volumes to the character and immaturity of the author, which in retrospect makes sense when thinking about the subject material being written.

To answer this addendum question, yes females can be creepy as I implied in my original post. Author is very creepy.

myraclegirl12 karma

Same with drug usage? Should all adults refrain from writing about teens and drugs? Again I wonder: where, then, should these teens go to find information?