Anna Banks, author of the New York Times–bestselling Syrena Legacy, answers questions about her journey as an author, her favorite books, and her new contemporary YA stand-alone, "Joyride!"
What was it like deciding you were going to be an author? What drove you to finally say, “I’m going to write this to publish!”?
Ugh! This question always makes me sound like a jerk! The truth is, I picked up a book one day and started to read after a very (very!) long dry spell of not reading at all. As I read the book, I thought to myself, “Hey, if this author can get published, then surely I can get published.” (Insert unfeminine snort here.) It’s not that the prose was terrible or the plot shot through, it was that the author made writing seem so easy. And as I learned, easy reading is freaking hard writing.
If you could launch any book into orbit around a planet in our solar system, which book and which planet would it be, and why?
It’d be Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen to a planet called Kepler-186f. Pride and Prejudice has proven to be a timeless piece here on Earth, and Kepler is the planet most like Earth, so just in case we inhabit it one day, I want to make sure Jane Austen will be waiting there for us.
Alternatively, I would launch a self-help book on how to survive in space, just in case someone ever, you know, needs it and stuff. As it turns out, there aren’t any self-help books like this yet, so umm, someone should go ahead and write that. . . .
Joyride will be the fourth book of yours released. How do you think you’ve grown or changed between your first book and Joyride?
Thanks for asking this question, because it’s an important one. Writers need to always be testing themselves to make sure they’re growing in their profession. One way that I’ve grown is by including more diverse characters in my books. I realized that diversity deserves to be read, and readers deserve this diversity. An author cannot represent real life in a book without representing all the lives that make up life. To me, it’s that simple.
If you could swap lives with any other author who is writing currently, who would it be and why?
John Green, hands down. I want to know what it’s like to wake up and just be naturally awesome at everything I attempt.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
When I was twelve years old, I stole a car and drove across three state lines with it. It was the only bad thing I ever did, but it did balance out all the other bad stuff I didn’t do! That entire experience was part of the inspiration for Joyride.
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