We have a lot of fantastic debut authors at OneFour KidLit and are excited to introduce them all to you. Today, we’re kicking things off with YA writer Annie Cardi.
Crazy, right? I was the kind of person who always wrote stories. When I was young, I’d invite friends over and pressure them to play writing games with me. (Once, my mom took me aside and said maybe playing other games would be fun.) So I took creative writing classes in college and went to grad school for fiction writing, where my thesis was QUEEN OF THE AIR. I figured if I had a complete novel, I might as well do something with it and started querying agents. I also submitted my manuscript for PEN New England’s Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award, which recognizes unpublished children’s/YA writers. (Attention New England writers–submit to this award!) I never thought anything would come of it, but I ended up being one of the 2011 winners. One of the fantastic things about the Susan P. Bloom award is that the committee then shares your manuscript with editors at major publishing houses. Candlewick got my manuscript and ended up accepting it for publication.
What’s your debut book about? Can you share any cool details with us?
When people ask me what my book’s about, I usually say it’s about a girl whose mother thinks she’s Amelia Earhart. From the more official PW blurb: “Annie Cardi’s debut QUEEN OF THE AIR, [is] about a teenage girl struggling to balance high school, passing Drivers Ed, and a new relationship while trying to keep her mother’s progressing mental illness — delusions that she is Amelia Earhart — secret.” For me, the “secret” part is huge. We all have secrets that we carry and fear. And it’s easy to think that no one else has these burdens, but we all do to some extent.
As for cool details, I tend to create playlists for all of my projects. QUEEN OF THE AIR was heavily influenced by Arcade Fire, especially “Keep the Car Running.”
What are you most excited about in the debut process?
So far the process has been great. I’ve loved getting to know some of the 2014 authors and am psyched to be working with them on OneFour KidLit as our debut year approaches. (I’m sure everyone says their debut class is the best, but seriously–2014ers, you rock.) But I’m really looking forward to the moment my book isn’t just a Word document on my computer anymore and is officially a book I can hold and see on bookshelves and check out in libraries. (Or, you know, the e-version of all of that.) When I was in high school I’d go to the bookstore and find the C section of authors to see where my name could be. The first time I can see my name actually there will be freaking amazing.
What are your desert island books?
If I’m anticipating a long wait, I’d want books that have the perfect balance of craft and entertainment. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD would have to be on that list, as well as THE PRINCESS BRIDE and THE GIVER. (I also know that both books hold up to multiple reads.) Although I’d want all of the His Dark Materials series, I’ll stick with THE GOLDEN COMPASS. And since I don’t think I’d be able to hunt or catch much, I’d need a copy of HOW TO COOKE EVERYTHING VEGETARIAN.
|Annie Cardi lives in Brookline, MA, where she spends her time baking, creating alternate lyrics for tv show theme songs, and writing YA fiction. Her debut novel, QUEEN OF THE AIR, is forthcoming from Candlewick Press in Spring 2014. Her writing is fueled by copious amounts of coffee and chocolate.|