Into YA with Laura Silverman: Part 2

 Today, I'm chatting with Laura Silverman again to celebrate the upcoming release of her book, Recommended For You as part of the blog tour! If you haven't heard about this swoony, holiday set romance in a bookstore, you can scroll to the bottom of the page to read the book's official description and Laura's bio. Otherwise, you can check out my review here. I'm so happy to support Laura's new book, and if you want to hear about her past books, I'll link to my review below. If you're excited about Recommended For You, you're in luck because it is out in the world today! If you want to order a copy while supporting indie bookstores and the blog, you can purchase the book here with my link*. Thank you to Laura for taking the time to talk with me!

  1. 1. Recommended For You is mostly set in an indie bookstore during the holiday rush. What made you decide on that setting? I spent a year working at a bookstore and fielded many of the same strange requests Shoshanna gets from patrons (including someone asking for a specific book and only remembering it was green). How did you come up with those interactions? Did any of them come from personal experience? 

I knew I wanted her to work at a bookstore inside of a mall so I could have a ton of activity going on all at once and so that her friends could also be nearby without all of them working at the same store. It then occurred to me how much fun it would be to write about Jewish characters working the chaotic holiday Christmas retail season! There was just going to be so much fun chaos to play with! 
 As for the customer interactions, I drew from my own retail and restaurant experience, did a little bit of deep-diving on the Internet, and also worked with my friend who was a bookseller at an indie for many years. Coming up with all of those funny (and annoying haha) customer interactions was one of my favorite parts of writing this novel!

  1. Outside of the bookstore, Shoshanna also starts to worry about her moms who are fighting more often and missing important moments like Latkapolooza. Why did you decide to include her parents in such a prominent role? What is your view on the value of parents in YA stories since they’re so often infamously absent? 

I’m honestly not sure why I’m drawn to writing more absent parents when my parents were very present in my life growing up. I think it’s engaging to read about a character struggling to work things out on their own, so sometimes that’s easier with the parents held at a distance. And I really love writing about that moment a child realizes their parents are only human and have problems and hopes and fears of their own. So I like writing about evolving relationships with parents more than absent parents, if that makes sense!

  1. This is your third full length novel. Everyone talks about how hard it is to write the second book, but no one really discusses the third book. What was drafting this project like? Was it smoother or more difficult than the earlier books? 

I’m going to say this was easier to write than You Asked for Perfect only because You Asked for Perfect was such a stressful book. After writing about academic pressure for a year, I was like, I’M WRITING A ROM COM NEXT. Of course, I can’t help myself and ended up adding plenty of angst with her fighting moms, but it was fun to write lots of romantic banter and comedy hijinks! 

  1. Beyond novels, you’ve also contributed to and edited two anthologies. Are the processes completely different between anthologies and novels or have you been able to easily transfer experience from one to the other? Do you have a format you tend to gravitate to more? 

Novels and anthologies are quite different. A novel is all writing, writing, revising, writing, revising, more revising. An anthology requires a lot of emailing and scheduling and organizing, making sure all of the different writers and stories are on track. It also involves editing, which I absolutely love. My favorite part of working on an anthology is that I’m getting paid to edit the work of brilliant writers. It is a truly awesome job! I hope that I continue to get to both write novels and edit anthologies, as it’s nice to jump back and forth between different types of work. 

  1. Since I know I’m not the only one who has your books on auto-buy, I’m wondering if you can give a hint about what your next project will be?

Aw, thank you! My next novel is called Those Summer Nights and will be another YA workplace romcom! Here’s the quick pitch: Reeling from a soccer injury that ended her Olympic dreams, Hannah Klein gets a job at Bonanza, the megaplex entertainment center where everyone works, including her ex best friend, her younger brother, and her younger brother's suddenly attractive best friend

Thank you for your questions!

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before meets You’ve Got Mail in this charming and hilarious rom-com following two teen booksellers whose rivalry is taken to the next level as they compete for the top bookseller bonus.
Shoshanna Greenberg loves working at Once Upon, her favorite local bookstore. And with her moms fighting at home and her beloved car teetering on the brink of death, the store has become a welcome escape.
When her boss announces a holiday bonus to the person who sells the most books, Shoshanna sees an opportunity to at least fix her car, if none of her other problems. The only person standing in her way? New hire Jake Kaplan.
Jake is an affront to everything Shoshanna stands for. He doesn’t even read! But somehow his sales start to rival hers. Jake may be cute (really cute), and he may be an eligible Jewish single (hard to find south of Atlanta), but he’s also the enemy, and Shoshanna is ready to take him down.
But as the competition intensifies, Jake and Shoshanna grow closer and realize they might be more on the same page than either expects…

Laura Silverman is an author and editor currently living in Brooklyn, New York. She earned her MFA in writing for children at the New School. Her books include Girl Out of WaterYou Asked for PerfectIt’s a Whole Spiel, and Recommended for YouGirl Out of Water was a Junior Library Guild Selection. You can contact Laura on Twitter @LJSilverman1 or through her website

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